Floor Marking: Paint or Tape?

Floor markings are an excellent addition to any visual communication program. When it comes to marking your facility’s floor for aisles or storage areas you will have to choose an application, tape or paint. Paint has been the default for floor markings for years now and can be very effective in a number of situations. While it is a tried and true practice, advancements in adhesive tape technology means floor marking tape is often the ideal choice. Both industrial floor paints and tapes offer advantages and disadvantages, so it will be important to completely understand your options before choosing the right option for your facility.

Did you know, the average factory in the United States needs between 5,000 and 12,000 feet of safety or organizational lines? Undertaking a floor marking project that big can be a challenge, but industrial floor tape works to make your job easier beginning with preparation. Preparing to paint the floor can take an extensive amount of time and often requires extra tools or accessories like brushes, rollers, compressors, drop cloths, sprayers, and more. Floor tape requires just the roll of tape, but you do have the option to use a vinyl tape applicator.

After choosing your medium and gathering your supplies, the next hurdle is installation. For both tape and paint you will need to plan the layout of your floor and clean the floor’s surface for optimal installation. If floor paint is being used, it is important to be mindful of fumes and protect workers with ventilation and PPE. Paint normally takes between three and four hours to dry and requires more than 72 hours to cure. Interrupting work and shutting down operations to paint the floor can cost your company monetary losses and result in a delayed workflow.  On the other hand, installing industrial floor tape happens in two steps: laying it down and tamping it. You simply need to apply weight to the tape (like driving over it with a forklift) in order to create a durable bond. After that, employees can get right back to work.

Once the hard part (prepping and installing) is over and work resumes, it is up to the paint or tape to hold up. Industrial paint is a durable option on many surfaces but will usually end up fading or discoloring. Over time chips and cracks may start to appear and painted lines in high-traffic areas will be quickly worn down requiring you to repaint. On the flip side, the industrial tape SafetyTac® was specifically developed to withstand the foot traffic, vehicle traffic, chemicals, and elements of an industrial workplace. This tape will not chip or crack and if it gets dirty, it only takes a quick wipe down to clean. When the time does come that you want to update or revamp your floor marking strategy, painted floors will require an abrasive and/or harsh chemicals to be removed while floor tape can be quickly and easily removed with the appropriate tools.

Although it can be messy and a hassle to use, floor paint does offer some advantages over tape. Paint comes in every color you can think of and in a variety of finishes, ensuring you achieve the look you’re going for while giving you more freedom to create unique lines or specific shapes. And unlike floor paint installing floor paint in tight and confined spaces or around corners is relatively easy.

Before planning or updating your floor marking strategy, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of industrial floor paint and industrial floor tape. You should consider the amount of traffic in your facility, where the tape will be applied, the time you have to complete the project, and other important factors. Take the time to research and choose the option that best fits your facility’s needs.

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