Our Customer's Favorite Tape is Superior Mark Floor Tape.
Read on to find out why.
There are many different types of floor tape on the market, and its difficult for the average person to discern the differences in quality. Most floor tapes are made of vinyl, but there are key differences in the thickness, the adhesive, the edges, and the top coating.
Let's dive into the details of floor tape. Scroll down for an in depth analysis of floor tapes. In this article, we look at the three layers of floor tape. We'll see how different grades of floor tape have differences on each layer that affect performance.
So, Why Should We Stop Painting Floors?
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A Top to Bottom Analysis of Floor Tape
The Top Coat of Floor Tape
The top of floor tape, or the part that is visible after applying to the floor, can vary in texture from brand to brand. Durastripe floor tape has a very bumpy texture. Mightyline floor tape also has a bumpy texture, although it is slightly less bumpy than Durastripe. Small ridges or bumps on the surface of floor tape easily collect and trap dust and dirt, which means that a floor tape with a textured surface will inevitably look dirtier. A bumpy surface means that the line will be difficult to clean thoroughly. Dirty lines are less visible and less effective floor markings.
One of the patented features of Superior Mark floor tape is a smooth, glossy surface. There are no bumps or ridges on Superior Mark, which means that dirt and dust cannot easily adhere to it. This quality guarantees that Superior Mark floor tape will remain clean, bright, and highly visible. Clean lines on a floor make the entire facility look cleaner and more organized.
The Edges of Floor Tape
Most vinyl floor tapes are manufactured in large sheets which are later cut down into thinner strips that form the rolls of floor tape. When the sheet is cut to form strips of tape, the layer of adhesive comes all the way to the edge of the tape. This means that the top layer of vinyl sits up higher off the floor on top of the layer of adhesive. Any traffic (such as the dragging of pallets) that crosses the line of floor tape is likely to catch the edges and begin to rip the tape. This is the reason that most floor tapes are easily damaged by forklift traffic. Once a small rip is made on the edge, the line quickly deteriorates.
Superior Mark floor tape is manufactured through a totally different process that results in a unique feature: beveled edges. Superior Mark floor tape is actually extruded, meaning that its edges have never been cut from a large sheet. The adhesive layer of Superior Mark floor tape does not come all the way out to the edge of the tape. Rather, it remains recessed away from the edge. This beveled edge is a patented feature that distinguishes Superior Mark floor tape from all of the other brands of floor tape on the market. The combination of the recessed adhesive and the beveled edge makes Superior Mark perform in an entirely different way than other floor tapes. When Superior Mark tape is tamped down, the recessed adhesive is squeezed out towards the edges, creating a vacuum effect that causes Superior Mark to literally hug the floor. The beveled edges are much less likely to lift up from the pushing and dragging of heavy skids or pallets. The beveled edge is like a little ramp that guides traffic up and over the line, thereby preserving its integrity. The beveled edges of Superior Mark come in closer contact with the floor than straight cut edges of vinyl tape, so they stay down better.
Cross Section of Superior Mark Floor Tape's Beveled Edge
The middle layer of floor tape
The most basic (and most economical) floor tapes do not even have a middle layer. They are simply comprised of a piece of vinyl which is 3-5 mils thick plus a layer of adhesive. They are not reinforced in any way. For this reason, when you hold a short length of vinyl floor tape and pull on both ends, it easily stretches out of shape and rips. It almost has an elastic-like quality that translates into poor tear strength and extreme vulnerability on the floor.
We could say that some vinyl floor tapes qualify as having a middle layer because they have a clear overlay on top of them. These floor tapes with overlay are stronger than the floor tapes without the overlay, and obviously they are twice as thick. However they retain the elastic like quality of the economical grades of vinyl floor tape and cannot compare to the top quality grades of floor tape like Superior Mark.
Last Mark floor tape has a unique feature in its middle layer. It has a textile based grid that runs throughout the tape that reinforces it. If you hold a short length of Last Mark floor tape and pull on both ends, you will not be able to stretch it. This is because of the middle layer of reinforced polyester grid. This also means Last Mark has good tear strength.
The bottom layer of floor tape: the adhesive
Lets imagine we had a piece of Superior Mark, a piece of Last Mark, and a piece of cheap vinyl floor tape. We peel off the adhesive backing for all three to compare the bottom layers, or the adhesives. With the cheap vinyl tape, we could take our thumb and rub the adhesive, applying a little pressure, and the adhesive would disintegrate into small clumps and peel off. For this reason, when you remove vinyl floor tape, the adhesive leaves a gummy residue on the floor. Rigorous scraping is required to remove cheap vinyl floor tapes.
If we did the same thing to the Last Mark and the Superior Mark, we would find it is impossible to rub off little bits of their adhesive. This is because both Last Mark and Superior Mark have reinforced adhesive systems, with fibers running throughout the adhesive that keeps it intact. This is the quality that makes both Superior Mark and Last Mark easily removable. The adhesive stays intact and lifts off the floor in one piece. This means there will be no sticky residue to deal with if you want to remove Superior Mark or Last Mark. As durable as these two floor tapes are, even when subjected to heavy traffic, they both can be removed remarkably easily.
The Maintenance Factor
After thoroughly examining the differences on each layer of different grades of floor tapes, it is easy to see that investing in a higher quality floor tape will result in overall less costs of maintenance in the long term. If we look at price alone, economical grades of vinyl floor tape look like the clear winner. Vinyl tape has its home on areas of the floor that do not get any traffic, and are kept clean and dry. But when deciding to buy vinyl tape, the manager might not be thinking about what will be involved over the life of the tape. It is absolutely critical to consider the costs involved in the removal and replacement of floor tape when making the decision about how to mark floors. Vinyl tape may have saved some money in that initial purchase as compared to higher quality floor tapes. But what about down the road when the line is ripped up from traffic, or when a layout change is necessary? Think about the time and labor cost of getting this tape up off of the floor. Cheap vinyl floor tapes can turn into sticky, gummy mess. The amount of money saved initially will not compare to the amount of money that will be spent over the long term to maintain the floor marking system.
Floor Marking Options for High Traffic Floors
Even the strongest floor tape is not the best choice for areas of a facility that are subjected to constant heavy traffic, such as the staging area of a distribution center. Instead of attempting to maintain a solid line in this type of situation, consider using smaller floor markers such as dots, ovals, or arrows. These highly visible markers come in a variety of colors and can effectively guide the flow of forklift traffic, material, and people. If you need a pallet alignment system in a high traffic area of the floor, our corner markers work extremely well. In combination with T markers and X markers, the corner markers can create specific areas for pallets on any floor. Plus, replacement of individual floor markers is much easier and cheaper than replacing lines.
When you need to mark and communicate messages, our floor signs are the best solutions. We even give you the option of making your floor signs permanent with a clear epoxy coating.
Removes easily leaving a limited amount of residue.
Removes easily leaving a limited amount of residue.
Requires rigorous scraping to remove, leaves gummy residue.
Floor Tape Uses
Designating Indoor Traffic Lanes
Color Code Systems
Grades of Floor Tape: Good-Better-Best!
Vinyl Floor Tape The thinnest (and weakest) floor tape is vinyl floor tape. It is only about 3-5 mils thick and is extremely vulnerable to even light traffic. Removing vinyl floor tape is a very tedious process, so vinyl floor tape should not be applied to floors that expect changes in layout. Vinyl tape does not have good tear strength because it is not reinforced. As a result, vinyl tape rips easily when exposed to pallet dragging damage. Vinyl floor tape is not recommended for high traffic areas. Vinyl tapes offer the most variety in colors and patterns. Vinyl tape is available in several solid colors: red, blue, green, black, yellow, orange, purple, white, brown, and grey. There are also very bright and highly visible patterns such as checkerboard and striped.
Last Mark Floor TapeThis floor tape is 3 to 5 times more tear resistant and 2 to 5 times more durable than vinyl floor tapes. Unlike vinyl tapes, this rubber-based, floor marking is reinforced so that stretching and tearing is eliminated during installation and removal. Last Mark floor tape has a good tear strength. It also has reinforced adhesive, which makes it easily removable. Our proprietary adhesive system ensures that your industrial safety signs and guidelines remain highly visible for years. Last Mark floor tape is available in white, yellow, red, green, blue and orange.
Superior Mark Floor TapeSuperior Mark is the toughest, and most consistent floor tape on the market. This product is thin enough (.035") to prevent many trip hazards but withstands traffic from the busiest facilities. Superior Mark is designed to eliminate common factory maintenance problems such as painting and replacing vinyl tape, which require excessive installation time. Superior Mark installs quickly and easily with minimal personnel and equipment. Our aggressive adhesive system also adheres directly to retroplate and ashford floors without beadblasting or other forms of surface preparation. Superior Mark is easily removable to allow for changes in factory layout without damage to the factory floor or excessive labor. Superior Mark floor tape stands out from the competition because of its glossy, smooth surface that resists dust and dirt. This important quality means that Superior Mark floor tape will remain more highly visible for a longer period of time. The most important quality of Superior Mark tape is its beveled edges. This patented feature means that Superior Mark does not get easily damaged by the pushing and dragging of heavy pallets. Superior Mark floor tape has excellent tear strength. The adhesive is reinforced, which means when removal is necessary, the floor remains residue free.
Floor Tape Colors OSHA has established some guidelines for color coding with respect to floor markings to maintain safety in the workplace.
YELLOW - Generally used to mark aisle ways and cell area divisions.
RED - Alerts people to dangerous or hazardous equipment or materials such as electrical panels and containers of flammable liquids.
GREEN - Marks the location of safety equipment designation such as eye wash stations, fire extinguishers and spillage showers.
WHITE - Internal Objects such as machines, benches, incoming racks, jigs and carts.
ORANGE - Caution for parts of machinery or energized equipment.
BLUE - Marks areas for equipment in need of repair and warns against starting equipment under repair.
Floor Tape versus Painting
If you have tried painting lines on a factory or warehouse floor, you know how frustrating it can be to watch your lines get distorted and worn away by forklifts dragging pallets. Floor tape is a much better way to mark aisles and keep your facility organized. Applying floor tape is quick and easy, and the area only needs to be closed for a few minutes. On the other hand, painting floors means more down time for the facility. If it is a factory, production has to stop until the paint dries. And when a change in layout is necessary, paint is difficult to remove. Some floor tapes, like vinyl floor tapes, are also very difficult to remove. But if you anticipate a layout change, use Superior Mark, which is easily removed.
Facilities than need Floor Tape:
Large retail stores
Alternatives to Floor Tape
For areas with very heavy traffic and pallet dragging, it is best to use small floor markers rather than floor tape. There are a variety of shapes and colors such as T's, X's, circles, ovals, arrows, and corners. These markers can be combined to create pallet alignment systems that are out of the way of the pushing and dragging of skids. Even in the unlikely event that a floor marker does get damaged, it is much easier to replace one marker than to replace an entire line of floor tape
Watch a 2,000 lb. pallet dragging test!
Floor Tape FAQ
Q: What is your top recommendation for floor tape in a high forklift traffic area?
A: Superior Mark.
Q: What is your top recommendation for floor tape in an area that will only receive foot traffic and light cart/equipment traffic?
A: Last Mark
Q: What is the length of the roll of Superior Mark floor tape?
A: All rolls measure 100 feet long.
Q: What widths are available?
A: 2"x100' or 4"x100'
Q: What is the lead time for Superior Mark? If I order Superior Mark today when will I receive it?
A: We strive to fulfill your order for Superior Mark as quickly as we possibly can. Please call for the most up to date turnaround times.
Q: Can you make custom printed floor tape?
A: This is something we are working on, but we cannot give an estimated time frame yet. At present it is not available.