KwikFix Depot Commercial Floor Scrubber Buying Guide

What to look for in a high-quality commercial floor scrubber? Important factors to understand as you consider your next cleaning equipment purchase or rental.

Commercial floor cleaning has come along way from the old mop and bucket model over the past several decades. But how do you choose the commercial floor scrubber that’s right for your business or commercial facility? Particularly given the need for increased and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning power.

A commercial floor scrubber is one of the best ways to clean your floors effectively and efficiently, both with regards to labour as well as cost. Here’s everything you need to consider as you prepare to include a machine into your cleaning procedures:

Floor scrubber components

How does it work? Let’s consider the basics of a commercial floor scrubber.

Clean water is consistently delivered to the floor. This typically requires two tanks: one for clean water and one for dirty water. The machine’s solution system delivers the clean water with the cleaning solution and the scrubber cleans the floor. Once the scrubbing is complete, the recovery system is kicked into gear. A squeegee collects the dirty water is essentially vacuumed into the recovery tank.

What powers the scrubber? Either an electrical cord, an engine, or a battery. Battery or electrical powered machines are versatile, effective for a range of facilities. Those with an engine tend to be reserved for large industrial ride-on commercial floor scrubbers and utilize gasoline, diesel, or liquid propane.

As you contemplate which scrubber is best for your needs, consider these important factors:

Cleaning Area Size: If you need to clean a large area but choose a smaller cleaning machine, chances are you’ll end up spending more money in time and labour over the long-term. The chart below can help you identify the size of floor scrubber that will be most appropriate for you. Keep in mind, that this is an estimate and may vary depending on the manufacturer.

Type of Floor ScrubberTank SizeCleaning Path
Micro Scrubber5-6 gallons17 in or smaller
Small Scrubber6-15 gallons17-24 in
Mid-size Scrubber16-25 gallons24-34 in
Large Scrubber25+ gallons26-38 in
Rid-on Scrubber20-100+ gallons24 in+

Solution System: The solution system of the commercial floor scrubber is critical – it delivers the cleaning solution to the floor. The solution tank carries the chemicals with the water and delivers it either through gravity or a pump. The solution system keeps the dirty water from contaminating the clean.

Scrubbing System: Depending on what you need, there is a range of scrubbing systems to choose from:

  1. Cylindrical: A cylindrical brush is great for grout, uneven, or rough floors but it tends to be more expensive. A cylindrical sweeper takes care of the pre-sweeping as it is designed to also include “light sweeping”.
  2. Disc: A machine with a disc scrubber is best for smooth floors and produces more down pressure than the cylindrical scrubbing machine. Depending on the project or your needs you can choose between pads or brushes. Pads produce cleaner smooth surfaces than brushes with a wide range of pads available depending on how aggressive a clean you require. Pads aren’t quite as “green” as brushes as they require replacing far more frequently. But, brushes may provide more value than pads depending on the type of floor you will be cleaning with your scrubber.
  3. Recovery System: Once the solution system has done its job and you’ve loosened dirt and grime from the floor, the recovery system kicks in to retrieve the dirty, or waste, water. A rear squeegee gathers and wipes the liquid as it provides a seal for the vacuum to effectively suck up the dirty water. What kind of squeegee you use depends entirely on the type of floor surface you will clean:
    • Gum rubber – the most cost-effect option. Good performance on smooth floors but given its softness, expect it to wear rapidly on rougher surfaces.
    • Linatex –  great for floors that tend to accumulate a high concentration of petroleum-based grime and dirt such as factory.
    • Polyurethane – the most costly option as it offers the best abrasion resistance.
  4. Propulsion System: There is a choice of three types of propulsion for commercial floor scrubbers. Micro-scrubbers utilize manual propulsion. Smaller scrubbers utilize brush- or pad-assist propulsion. The brush-or pad-assists the machine to move on the floor. Traction drive propulsion is utilized for smaller or ride-on scrubbers to effortlessly propel the floor cleaning machine.

The choices of commercial floor scrubbers available

As listed in the chart above, the types of commercial floor cleaners are:

  • Micro Scrubbers
  • Small Scrubbers
  • Mid-sized Scrubbers
  • Large Scrubbers
  • Ride-on Scrubbers

Styles of commercial floor scrubbers

Walk-behind commercial floor scrubbers: Walk-behind floor scrubbers are available in a variety of sizes. Micro-scrubbers that provide a cleaning path of 17 inches or smaller are perfect for small spaces or areas. Large floor scrubbers, 26 inches or bigger, clean large areas quickly and efficiently.

  • While small, they are available in a variety of sizes.
  • They offer battery or electric or battery-powered options on small floor scrubbers.
  • The smaller models are great for small spaces such as bathrooms and storage closets.
  • It can take a long time to clean larger areas and may cause fatigue in operators.
  • Electric powered models are limited by the length of the power cord.
  • Sightlines could be limited as the operator has to walk behind the machine.

Ride-on commercial floor scrubbers: Relatively user-friendly and capable of cleaning large areas quickly, they are designed for maximum cleaning capacity and productivity. Ride-on floor scrubbers typically provide a 24 inch or larger cleaning path, characterized by large recovery tanks. Ride-on machines are battery-powered and require a dedicated charging and storage space.

  • Very productive and efficient.
  • Highly manoeuvrable.
  • Provide better sight-lines with the operator sitting in front of the cleaning machine.
  • Requires a large space in which to store and charge the cleaning machine.
  • Not designed to clean small spaces.
The bottom line is that a commercial floor scrubber will be good for your bottom line! Including a commercial floor scrubber to your cleaning process will improve the appearance, sanitation, and, ultimately, the productivity of your facility efficiently and cost-effectively.


Kwik-Fix Depot is Toronto, Ontario’s leading commercial floor care equipment sales, rental, and repair service. Our selection of industrial floor cleaning machines includes floor scrubbers, floor sweepers, burnishers, buffers, carpet cleaners, and vacuums along with a wide selection of parts.

Whatever your commercial and industrial floor cleaning needs, our friendly and expert floor care technicians are ready to assist.