Non-skid floor marking tape is used to reduce slips, trips, and falls in slippery, wet, icy, or inclines such as stairways, ramps, and other sloped floors. This floor tape is also called non-slip, anti-skid, traction, or grip tape. There are a variety of traction tape types, from outdoor-specific contoured tape for aggressive traction to brightly colored, lighter-duty grit tape meant to bring attention to hazards while improving traction. Here, we explain the most common types of non-skid floor tape, how to apply it, and how to maintain your floor markings.
What Is Non-Skid Floor Marking Tape?
Non-skid floor tape includes a textured surface that creates a non-slip surface to improve traction and reduce slips. It is similar to the grip tape used on skateboard decks. Like other facility marking tape, non-skid floor tape has a strong adhesive backing that holds the tape in place even through heavy foot traffic. The top surface is made rough with the addition of anti-slip particles, such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide grit, giving it a sandpaper-like texture in various grades. This rough surface may be glowing or non-glowing, colored, striped, or include text, and is backed with a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
How Is Slip Resistance Measured?
Slip resistance tests determine how well the tape provides traction in wet and dry floor conditions, including in circumstances where oil or debris may be present. This may be measured using various reporting methods, including:
- British Pendulum Number (BPN)
- Pendulum Test Value (PTV)
- Slip Resistance Value (SRV)
- Coefficient of Friction (COF)
No matter the name, the testing processes are similar. To verify the slip-resistant properties (or friction) afforded by the grit or other material, a weighted block is used to apply force, which simulates slipping. These tests survey friction for standard use or may use a simulated skin to test barefoot slip resistance.
To complete the test, the machine records the opposing force as the test slider moves across the material. Tests may cover flat or inclined surfaces, across various circumstances including dry, wet, or surfaces with oil or grease. Barefoot, standard shoe, and safety sole test sliders are used to classify slip resistance across various circumstances.
Best Uses for Non-Skid Floor Marking Tape
Non-slip floor tape is an important consideration for facility safety to prevent slipping accidents and to provide extra traction in areas such as stairways, ramps, and wet locations. We carry a variety of use-specific non-skid floor tape options to improve safety on slippery or dangerous surfaces both inside and outside the facility. When paired with visual cues, traction tape can help reduce slip, trip, and fall injuries in industrial or manufacturing locations.
In doorways, areas subject to moisture, or locations where there is high foot traffic, contoured anti-slip tape provides even more traction. This traction tape features a patterned, raised surface for improved slip resistance, especially in paved areas such as construction zones or parking garages. Other locations where non-slip tape can improve safety include:
- Building entryways and exits, including stairs and ramps
- Garages, dealerships, or auto shop locations
- Loading docks and warehouses
- Manufacturing floors
- Kitchens, walk-in coolers and freezers, and food prep stations
- Boat decking and steps and marina locations
- Ladder rungs, scaffolds, and catwalks
- Wet areas such as pools and gym showers or changing areas (these locations require a barefoot-safe non-slip tape)
Non-slip tape is not recommended for use on rough surfaces such as dirt or concrete—the adhesive may not stick properly, leading to premature failure and even creating new hazards. If using traction tape in areas where people walk in bare feet, such as a changing area or pool steps, ensure you choose a non-abrasive variety that won’t irritate the skin.
How to Apply Non-Slip Traction Tape
When installing traction tape, the minimum surface temperature should be 50°F. First, mark your intended application area before applying the tape. Then, follow these steps to install adhesive-backed traction tape.
- Only apply to clean surfaces to ensure a secure adhesive bond. First, sweep the floor or wipe clean the non-floor application surface.
- Mop to ensure a clean surface, then clean any remaining grease or debris using isopropyl alcohol. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly, usually less than ten minutes.
- Place the tape—with paper backing intact—in the marked installation area, then peel back one corner of the backing liner and stick the tape to the surface.
- Slowly continue to peel away the backing and apply pressure to the tape to activate the adhesive.
- Use a tamping cart or handheld pressure roller along the application area to improve adhesion.
Slip-Resistant Tape Care and Maintenance
Our traction tape is designed for long-lasting adherence that stands up to chemicals and moisture in both indoor and outdoor locations. When applied to a clean, dry surface, the pressure-sensitive adhesive will hold the tape in place even through everyday traffic and cleaning. However, if applied over loose dirt, gravel, oil or grease, flaking paint, or road salt residue, the adhesive will fail.
If your non-skid tape application is showing signs of wear, including loss of adhesion or rolling, peeling, or scuffed edges, it may be time to replace it. If the wear is limited to only a few areas, you may choose to repair sections as necessary. If the wear is substantial, the best option may be to remove the tape application and apply all new markings.
How to Clean Non-Skid Floor Tape
To ensure your tape application lasts, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. Depending on your application location and tape type, cleaning instructions may vary. However, these tips will help you clean your traction tape application properly.
- Our non-slip floor tape includes a solvent-resistant adhesive backing, so it withstands cleaning chemicals, including steam and detergent cleaning methods.
- In areas where mopping is a common cleaning method, choose traction tape with a less aggressive texture.
- To clean traction tape on stairs, sweep away debris and mop or disinfect as usual.
- For areas where a cleaning machine is used regularly, ensure you apply floor tape rated for use with cleaning chemicals.
Our floor marking experts can assist you in determining the best anti-slip tape to suit your needs. Speak with a Floor Marking Specialist at (866) 284-1541 for help choosing the appropriate traction tape, or explore the how-to guides in our Resource Center for additional information.