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Choosing the Best Commercial Floor Scrubbers for Your Facility
(2024 Update)

Selecting the optimal floor scrubber is essential to organizing your cleaning program. Typically, the most effective floor scrubber is the one that reduces labor expenses, enabling your employees to efficiently fulfill their duties and create time for other responsibilities. The savings in labor achieved by utilizing a wider floor scrubber will easily compensate for the extra upfront cost of the larger equipment.


This article will provide information on important factors when choosing floor cleaning equipment. We will also present a comprehensive guide to the different options available. Also, we'll talk about our services in helping you plan your cleaning program.

What's New in this Update?

In 2024, Hillyard expanded it's Trident product line to include two new automatic scrubber options. The new scrubbers, Trident Bx20SC and Trident T28SC Plus Orbital, are now included in the recommendations below.

  • Trident Bx20SC: The Trident Bx20SC is a walk-behind, brush-assisted, automatic scrubber that makes cleaning simple and easy. This floor scrubber is designed to deliver high productivity and low total cost of ownership. An innovative aluminum chassis designed to last a lifetime is corrosion resistant, sturdy and durable, light weight, and provides a precision fit for components. Simple, intuitive controls make it extremely easy to operate. The Bx20 scrubber's body completely covers the frame and the components, protecting them against damage from impacts, extending component life and minimizing repair cost.
  • Trident T28SC Plus Orbital: The Trident T28SC Plus Orbital is a technologically advanced walk-behind, traction drive, automatic scrubber that makes cleaning simple and easy. It's designed to deliver high productivity and low total cost of ownership. The intelligent design allows the T28SC Orbital to easily travel through tight spaces. The T28SC scrubber's LED driving light kit helps enhance safety. Select from one of three cleaning power levels to match the right level of pressure needed to remove the soil load encountered. Constant micro-adjustments of the brush deck maintain consistent amp draw on the motor and provide the ability to clean even the most aggressive surfaces without damage to the motors. Innovative technology brings a high-definition display that features our Intelligent Drive system and the optional Hillyard Fleet Management System to the T28SC Plus Orbital. With Intelligent Drive, the operator is the center of a high-tech universe, where everything is easy and intuitive.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Floor Scrubber

  • Job Size: When considering a floor scrubber, it is important to consider the job size, specifically the daily floor space that needs cleaning. The table below can help you determine the most suitable floor scrubber for your needs.
Job Size (Square Feet) General Description Trident Scrubber
200,000 Ride-On Scrubber - 36" R36SC
140,000 Ride-On Scrubber - 34" or 36" R36SC
120,000 Ride-On Scrubber - 30" R30SC

Ride-On Scrubber - 28" or 30"

R28 Orbital


Ride-On Scrubber - 26"
Walk-Behind Scrubber - 28" or 30"

T28SS Cylindrical
T28SC Orbital


Ride-On Scrubber - 22"
Walk-Behind Scrubber - 26"

R22SC Orbital

40,000 Walk-Behind Scrubber - 20" with traction drive

T20 Orbital

20,000 Walk-Behind Scrubber - 20" with pad assist drive B20SC

Walk-Behind Scrubber - 16"


Less than 10,000

Micro-Scrubber - 13", 14" or 17"


  • Space Constraints: When choosing a floor scrubber, consider space constraints. Make sure the scrubber will fit through doorways, in check-out aisles, and in elevators. Look at the dimensions of each scrubber on its catalog sheet to help you decide.
  • Building Layout: The third factor to consider is the building layout. If there are hallways or aisles that need scrubbing, the most effective floor scrubber will reduce the number of passes required. Refer to the table below to understand the impact of cleaning path width on the number of passes needed to clean a hallway or aisle.
Cleaning Passes Required (2" Overlap Each Pass)
Aisle Width
Machine Cleaning Path 6 ft 8 ft 10 ft 12 ft
R36SC 36 3 3 4 5
R30SC 30 3 4 5 6
R28 Orbital 28 3 4 5 6
R26SC 26 4 5 6 7
R22SC 22 4 6 7 8
T30SC 30 3 4 5 6
T28SS Cylindrical
T28SC Orbital
28 3 4 5 6
T26SC 26 4 5 6 7
20 5 6 8 9
B16SC 16 6 8 10 12

More is more when it comes to floor scrubbers

If your budget allows and you don't have issues with space constraints, always opt for the highest productivity and largest cleaning path you can handle. Additionally, you should opt for riders instead of walk-behind scrubbers. Reduced labor costs will quickly save the premium you pay for larger equipment.

Understanding Scrub Deck Options


Depending on the scrubber model, you may need to decide between disc, cylindrical, or orbital scrub decks.

  • Disc Scrub Decks: Disc scrub decks effectively scrub even surfaces with substantial pressure. Their maintenance costs are relatively economical, and they offer the flexibility to interchange brushes with different levels of abrasiveness or incorporate specialized brush pads. However, before using a disc scrubber, it is important to ensure that floors are clear of small debris.
  • Cylindrical Scrub Decks: Cylindrical deck floor scrubbers offer distinct advantages in commercial cleaning applications. Their cylindrical brushes are highly effective in sweeping debris while scrubbing. Additionally, these scrubbers tend to be more efficient in handling uneven surfaces, providing a versatile solution for maintaining cleanliness in diverse environments. Combining sweeping and scrubbing capabilities makes cylindrical deck floor scrubbers a time-saving and thorough option for commercial floor maintenance. Cylindrical scrubbers tend to have higher maintenance costs than disc scrubbers.
  • Orbital scrubbers stand out for their unique cleaning mechanism that combines orbital motion with high-speed rotation, ensuring efficient and thorough cleaning of various floor surfaces. These machines effectively remove tough stains and grime while using less water. The versatility of orbital scrubbers, ease of use, and ability to reach tight spaces make them an excellent choice.

Get Expert Advice from Hillyard

Hillyard, a prominent nationwide janitorial supply manufacturer and distributor, prides itself on providing personalized and expert guidance to help businesses choose the most suitable floor scrubber for their unique facility needs. With a team of local experts, Hillyard ensures that customers receive insightful recommendations based on their specific requirements and the nature of their floor surfaces. These experts are well-versed in the latest advancements in cleaning technology and are dedicated to assisting clients in making informed decisions to clean at the lowest total cost.

Complete the "I'm Interested" form at the bottom of this page, and a Hillyard representative will reach out to assist you in choosing the ideal floor scrubber for your facility. Benefit from our expertise and industry-leading solutions to enhance your cleaning efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are brushes or pads better for floor scrubbers?

Choosing between brushes and pads for floor scrubbers depends on the specific cleaning needs and the floor surface. Brushes are effective for aggressive scrubbing on tougher surfaces, like concrete or tile, while pads are suitable for more delicate surfaces like vinyl or hardwood. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the flooring type and the scrubbing intensity required for optimal cleaning results.

DISCLAIMER:  Specifications are subject to change without notice. Examples and recommendations in this article may not apply to every situation. This information is provided on an “as is” basis and does not supersede any other documentation. Always follow the instructions as written on the product label.

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