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wood floors

My question is can you also use the challenger floor machine to clean wood floors and does it do an excellent job?

Re: wood floors

An OP machine can easily clean wood floors, with just a little spray of just about any type of cleaning solution, followed by scrubbing with a terrycloth pad.
There is, however, from my experience, not much call for this service. Most people feel they can pretty easily clean their own wood floors with just a damp mop. There is commercial demand for people who can refinish wood floors. While I would not recommend the Challenger for use as a floor sander, it does perform well in doing recoating. This is where, instead of sanding away the old finish all the way down to bare wood, you instead just lightly abrade away the very top surface of the existing finish, then add a fresh new coat on top. The abrading is done with a fine sanding screen (at least 100 grit) or a maroon pad, which both prepares the finish to hold a new coat, and also removes some light to medium scratches.
Orbital machines, known as square-buffs, are used to sand floors, but they are considerably heavier than the Challenger. Also, there is no way that I am aware of to hook up a dust-vacuum to the Challenger, so sawdust would end up everywhere in the house. However, in one of her blogs at, Chris Watson does tell how she sanded and refinished a wood floor in a cabin with a Challenger, so it is technically doable.

Re: wood floors

Thanks for that Mark......appreciate your experience and your knowledge of this business. Have another question. I believe that by reading a lot of these threads and reading the website that this system is much better than say the HWE method. My question would be why do i not see more people using the challenger method or a similar floor machine rather than the HWE. Just curious about your take on that.

Re: wood floors

Low moisture methods have been quietly but consistently taking market share away from wet carpet cleaning over the last several years. The manufacturers of truck mounts and portables still hold the upper hand, however, in terms of their financial ability to advertise, to promote their method, to sponsor forums, to trash and disparage competing technologies, etc. Plus, culture changes slowly in many industries. Many tradespeople are conservative by nature, and wedded to the tools and techniques they have used for many years. On the other hand, there are those practitioners of HWE cleaning who have acquired low moisture machines, such as OPs and CRB (counter-rotating brush) machines, and use them in ways which improve their overall results. Examples of this are using an OP or CRB to scrub in prespray as well as fiber protections sprays.