Should you choose temporary floor marking tape and signs for your facility or warehouse, or are permanent options better? The answer depends on your facility, the type of activity you expect in marked locations, and how often floor markings may change. Examine the differences—and similarities—between permanent and temporary floor markings and choose the best option based on your facility’s needs. 

What Are Permanent Floor Markings?

Tape construction, adhesive type, and floor surface quality can affect floor tape permanence, but no floor markings will truly last forever. However, we offer a range of high-quality, industrial-grade floor marking options designed to withstand chemicals, cleaning machines, foot traffic, and even forklift traffic and pallet dragging. Our Superior Mark® floor marking tape features a beveled edge design that sends forklift traffic and other machinery up and over the tape, rather than allowing it to scrape the markings away. While this solution is long-lasting, it is designed for easy removal—making it, technically, temporary.

For non-removable options, our mesh inlaid floor signs are the most durable option available. A permanent liquid adhesive coating and epoxy are used to create a much longer-lasting application. Curing and drying time is required for an inlaid mesh floor sign, but you’ll get floor markings that offer longer-lasting adhesion for permanent messages.

How to Remove Permanent Floor Markings

Our adhesive-backed floor marking tape removes without any chemical treatments or time-consuming scraping necessary. Inlaid mesh floor signs are applied with epoxy and liquid adhesive, so they do not peel away like removable floor tape options will. Instead, the job will require paint remover that’s strong enough to strip away epoxies and sealers.

Use these basic steps to remove permanent floor markings:

  1. Apply a thick, even layer (up to ⅛ of an inch thick) of an appropriate solvent, like our all-natural InSite Solutions Paint Remover.
  2. Let the paint remover sit—the longer the better.
  3. Once the coating has softened, use a scraper to scrape away the floor markings. You can apply more paint remover as necessary.
  4. To finish, clean the floor using a degreaser. Prepare the floor properly before applying new floor markings.

Types of Temporary Floor Markings

When looking to apply temporary floor markings, consider your facility’s definition of ‘temporary.’ Are you seeking short-term-use floor markings that can be applied and removed with little effort? Or, do you need floor markings that are designed to withstand regular traffic and activity, but that will remove easily without the need for sandblasting, chemical adhesive dissolvers, or other time-consuming processes?

Adhesive-backed Superior Mark®, Last Mark, and Econo Mark floor marking tapes are designed for long-term use and are easy to remove when it’s time for a change. We carry low-cost vinyl and vinyl-coated polyester tapes, as well as ultra-tough PVC tape backed with highway-grade pressure-sensitive recessed adhesive, so there’s an option for every facility. Another benefit of these long-lasting options: A floor tape applicator cart makes applying, repairing, and changing floor markings quick and easy.

Our carpet tape is our most temporary option—and, it’s reusable. Use this tape in locations with low-pile carpet, such as offices, municipal buildings, schools, or break areas. The sturdy hook and loop backing grips tightly and withstands foot traffic, wheeled carts, desk chairs, and cleaning routines—then removes easily, without damaging the floor. The tape surface and backing are both strong enough for multiple uses, as well. Apply this ultra-durable PVC tape in carpeted offices, schools, and municipal buildings to improve traffic flow and complement health and safety practices.

How Long Do Temporary Floor Markings Last?

The lifespan of floor markings depends on the application surface, the type and amount of traffic in the area, and exposure to weather or cold temperatures. If floor tape is damaged in some places, but not others, repair and replacement can extend the time before a full re-application is necessary. No matter what type of tape you need, avoid duct tape, painter’s tape, and other low-quality tape options—they are easily damaged and leave pieces and gummy residue behind when they’re removed. Opt instead for tape specifically designed for marking floors.

Explore our floor marking solutions, including vinyl and mid-grade economy options and Superior Mark® floor marking tape rated for use in areas with forklift traffic. These options are ideal in locations where floor markings must be durable, but may need to be updated as workflows or procedures change, or facilities are reorganized.

How Do You Remove Temporary Floor Tape?

While our floor marking tape and signs are incredibly durable, it’s easy to remove temporary floor marking tape, without the use of chemicals or solvents. They’ll remain in place through foot and forklift traffic, inclement weather, and regular cleaning—but when it’s time for tape repair or updates, the tape comes away clean without damaging the floors or leaving adhesive residue behind. To remove carpet tape, simply peel the tape application away from the floor, then roll it and store it for future use or dispose of it properly.

To remove an adhesive-backed floor marking tape:

  1. Lift the edge of the floor tape with a putty knife or other tool.
  2. Pull the tape up at a 90-degree angle for best results.
  3. If any small pieces remain, press the adhesive side of a piece of scrap tape to the debris, then peel away—the leftover tape should come up with it.

When choosing between temporary and permanent floor markings, consider the amount of traffic you expect, how often you’ll need to change or update visual cues, and whether a short-term solution is better suited for your needs, location, or flooring material. For carpeted locations, a temporary carpet tape will adhere longer than adhesive tapes. For more information on floor marking tape and facility safety, explore our Resource Center.