Some people are notorious for refusing to ask for directions. They end up driving around in circles saying things like “this feels right” or “we’re getting closer now”. It’s often the same story with contractors looking for equipment, says Dave Bigham, surface preparation expert at National Flooring Equipment. Here, Bigham advises contractors on the information they need from the outset to ensure surface preparation success.

Before starting any construction project, contractors will decide on the tools they need to complete the job effectively. Renting equipment gives contractors access to a range of tools that can help, as long as they select the best machinery for the specific application. Using not-quite-suitable equipment can be a real headache because it increases the complexity of the job, increasing time on site and overall costs.

Asking the distributor the right questions early on helps contractors access equipment that’s well suited to the project at hand and makes their lives much easier, reducing costs and increasing productivity.


No construction job is the same, and as a result, there are a range of surface preparation machines on the market. When looking to rent a machine, contractors must not just look at what’s available but also ask the distributor about the best machine for their specific application.

Asking about the best machine for the type of building is key. For example, a contractor working in a residential space may require a smaller, more agile floor scraper compared to a contractor who works outdoors. In this instance, a larger ride-on floor scraper with a covered cab would be more suitable.


Choosing the correct tooling can be difficult, so it often feels easier to use what comes with the machine. However, not all tools are suitable for every application so it is important to ask the distributor for their advice when selecting a tool. For example, you wouldn’t use your TV remote to turn on the radio just because it’s remote, the remote must suit the appliance and the tooling is the same. Many machines also allow for interchangeable tooling for use in multiple applications, but it is important to ask about options with the distributor before selecting tooling such as blades for scraping or diamond tools for grinding.

For example, there is a general misconception that larger blades will be able to remove more flooring. However, this is often not the case when using a floor scraper. The majority of the time, it is the smaller blades that can do larger tasks, hence is it important to ask about the most suitable tools for the jobs you’ll be undertaking.

Understanding Power Requirements

Not having the correct power available for your machine can increase the cost and length of any job — but how do you know what power you need? Residential properties will usually only have single phase 110V power supply, however, machines can require much larger than this. If the power supplied to the machine is too low, then there is the risk that the machine will not work. Alternatively, using a power source larger than the machine requires will mean the equipment will still run however increasing the total cost of the job. The descriptor plate should disclose the power requirements, or alternatively, contractors should get in touch with the manufacturer who will be able to advise further.

Don’t get lost when choosing a machine to rent, ask the distributor questions to ensure the right equipment is selected for the job. Surface preparation experts, National Flooring Equipment also has an array of online resources available including YouTube videos and online manuals. They also have a team on hand who are happy to assist and answer any questions.

To get in contact with an expert at National Flooring Equipment, visit