Floor tape creates versatile visual cues that communicate hazards, assist in navigation, and organize workstations and bin locations. But, for this tool to be effective, it requires proper planning. Follow best practices for selecting, applying, and maintaining industrial floor marking tape to meet safety standards and streamline processes in the workplace. Prior to striping loading docks and marking aisles, explore these tips for floor marking best practices to see positive results and lasting benefits.
Principles of Applying Industrial Floor Tape
Even though our floor tape is easy to apply—and it removes without leaving behind residue or damage—reworking visual cues due to poor planning wastes time and money. Prevent costly delays by following these tips for testing, selection, and application. These preparations can help you adhere to OSHA, ANSI, and NFPA regulations while adding visual cues that also boost the productivity and efficiency of your shop floor.
Test Tape Materials Ahead of Time
Before you apply visual cues throughout a warehouse or factory, test your floor tape to determine which materials, colors, and adhesives are best. Request manufacturer samples to help narrow your choices and see the products up close. We’re happy to send you a free sample box so you can feel the quality of our popular floor sign and tape materials.
Apply test strips in your facility and observe how the tape performs to better understand:
- Flooring and Surface Conditions
- Traffic Volume
- Environment Considerations (i.e. temperature, moisture, debris)
- Colors and Visibility
It may take more than one style of floor tape to provide adequate coverage. Consider reflective tape for low-light conditions, hazard stripes in high-risk areas, and solid-color Superior Mark® tape marking aisles and walkways with heavy traffic.
Plan, Measure, and Mark Floors
Create a detailed floor plan showing where floor tape will be installed, noting where colors, stripes, and each style of tape begins and ends. Review the plan with fellow management or other staff to verify the visual cues work within your visual communication system before moving on to the application.
Measure carefully prior to ordering supplies, and remember to include extra material for splicing corners and for future touch-ups. If you plan to use shaped floor markers to organize pallet locations, our calculator tool will help you determine how many of each L-, T-, and X-marker you need. Consider split floor sign kits for locations where floor seams, uneven surfaces, or AVG pathways exist. When stored properly, floor tape and markers have a long shelf life—so you can order extra to have on-hand anytime updates are required, which means no waiting for a shipment to arrive to replace damaged floor markings.
Next, choose floor marking equipment: Small projects can be completed by hand, but you’ll still need equipment to tamp it firmly into place, but applying facility-wide markings is more efficient when you use a tape applicator cart. If you don’t want to purchase your own equipment, we offer equipment rentals—available in one-week increments, up to six weeks—to fit most project timelines.
Clean and Prepare the Surface
When debris or contaminants interfere with floor tape adhesion, the bond fails prematurely, which makes proper floor prep a must. Review all locations where new markings will be installed and fully remove any residue using quality floor maintenance products that thoroughly degrease the floors, strip old markings, and remove paint, and allot time in your project schedule to perform other required preparations, like priming the floors.
Select Floor Markings Carefully
With visual cues, more isn’t always better. Be mindful when selecting floor markings to ensure they won’t interfere with existing signs. When choosing tape colors, always follow OSHA regulations and ANSI standards first. Then, use these best practices to finalize your choices:
- Maintain consistent color coding across your facility
- Introduce a limited number of colors and icons
- Avoid shades that look too similar at a glance
- Use repeating messages for consistent instructions spanning a large area
Methods for Cleaning Floor Tape
Industrial facility floors must be cleaned regularly to comply with health and safety regulations. Industrial environments can become dirty over time, and dust accumulation can cause slip hazards and contamination issues. Dingy floor markings are more difficult to see from a distance, which can hinder reaction time. While not all tape materials can withstand thorough cleaning, Superior Mark® floor marking tape holds up to machine scrubbers and chemicals that make maintenance easier.
Properly Sweep, Wash, and Sanitize Floors
Install floor marking tape designed to withstand expected cleaning to facilitate required sanitary and maintenance methods.Our patented beveled edges allow wheels to travel up and over the markings without dragging or tearing, and recessed adhesive ensures a secure seal, making our Superior Mark® floor tape a good fit for facilities that rely on floor cleaning machines and solvents. Our heavy-duty PVC tape won’t be easily damaged by degreasing solutions and disinfectants, either.
Keep a Cleaning Schedule
You can maintain and clean surfaces with our floor striping and safety messages with the same regularity as unmarked floors. Routine mopping to prevent build-up and scrubbing off scuff marks helps visual cues remain highly visible and readable. The glossy top surface on our floor tape helps stop dust and debris from sticking, so light cleaning and sweeping are effective between washes.
Tips for Properly Maintaining Floor Markings
Our floor tape is designed to last, but it does require maintenance and re-application over time. Missing letters or gaps in striping may be misinterpreted, and loose floor tape or sign edges can pose tripping hazards. Keep rolls of tape on hand where they won’t be subject to extreme temperatures to keep them in good condition; consider a Kaizen Cart to keep supplies organized.
Inspect Floor Tape Regularly
Adhesive can fail for many reasons, and if it does, your visual cues may not effectively communicate important information. Make inspection part of your routine to catch potential safety issues before they become problems. When you see an area of floor marking tape bubbling, twisting, or peeling, it’s time to replace it. Don’t wait for an entire section or aisle to be in disrepair: Correcting issues as needed prevents a simple fix from becoming a lengthy project. Thankfully, our floor tape removes easily so you can peel up the damaged portion and reapply a new strip with minimal interruption to the workflow.
Extend the Lifespan of Floor Markings
The first step to getting floor tape that lasts is to choose the right tape style. Selecting a material not rated for the environment’s temperature or surface conditions can result in frequent repairs. Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for installation to make sure you’re applying the product as directed. Our floor tape video resources include how-tos to help you out.
Scraping pallets and friction from forklifts can test the durability of floor tape. Extend the lifespan of floor markings in demanding areas by:
- Only marking location corners
- Changing employees’ habits for dragging and sliding pallets
- Promptly removing pallets with broken boards or exposed nails from service
- Adjusting forklift routes to avoid stopping/turning on tape lines
- Applying future re-taped lines where forklift traffic will not turn or piviot
Pair Tape With Long-Lasting Floor Signs
Following the advice above can help all of your visual cues last, but there are additional ways to extend the lifespan of industrial signage. Our Superior Mark® floor signs provide all the benefits of our beveled edge tape, including easy installation and repair. For lighter traffic areas, standard floor signs with beveled edge guards offer extra protection against wheels, forklifts, and other industrial equipment while rubber signs are designed to excel when applied to irregular or uneven surfaces.
Deteriorating visual cues can create gaps in safety messages and navigation, putting employees and visitors at risk. Prevent these issues in your warehouse or factory by choosing durable, easy-to-maintain floor tape and signs that fit within your safety plan. Visit our Resource Center for more how-to guides and advice for using floor signs and tape in industrial spaces.