Floor graphics are the last blank canvas.
For floor applications, the company’s OraJet Series 1663 PVC Digital Media is a 4.5-mil film. To protect the graphic and provide a safe and protective finish, Oracal offers either of two laminate films, the 4.7-mil OraGuard Series 250AS Anti-Skid, or heavy-duty OraGuard Series 255AS Anti-Skid 6.5 mil film.
One emerging floor-graphics trend has been customers using the floor materials “not only for wayfinding and advertising but as temporary tabletop and bar-top graphics,” as a decorative element and as another ad venue, says Humrick.
Mactac’s floor media has been used to “transform indoor floors into Roman roads, woodland paths, and wilderness tracks,” reports Mary Ann Kucera . “Others combined floor and wall graphics to create entirely immersive three-dimensional environments.” The range of installations has encompassed everything from carpeting to concrete, all types of standard flooring, tiles, and terrazzo.
Whatever the setting, print providers must “deliver a slip-resistant surface, with the correct over-laminating film,” she says. “It’s essential to ensure you have rating documentation and thoroughly research and read installation and fabrication instructions, as well as properly care for the graphic once it’s installed.”
For outdoor installations on streets and sidewalks, where the graphics must endure weather, UV exposure, and foot traffic, Kucera points to Mactac StreetRap 3.4-mil matte white vinyl, and companion Permaflex PF 6300 5.9-mil textured laminate.
For application to the short-napped carpet found in stores and convention halls, Imagin JT58528 HTO vinyl media can be easily installed and later removed without leaving adhesive residue, she says. Rebel RB520R 4-mil vinyl media, available white or clear, can serve for indoor floor graphics and is designed to be removable for up to a year after installation. And the company recently added two new laminates to protect floor graphics with a slip-resistant protective film: PermaFlex PF6400 is a 3.75-mil textured polyofilm for short-term indoor floor graphics; the 5-mil PF6500 is recommended for installations up to three months indoors, or one week outdoors.
While the graphics’ intended “use life” should be factored in, “We find choosing the appropriate media and laminate for the flooring is probably a more important consideration,” Kucera says. To that end, Mactac has put together a floor-graphics guide to help customers select the best media for each project (available in PDF form via the company’s website).
For the typical floor project, where intended graphic life is six months or less, LexJet (lexjet.com) has developed its Indoor FloorAd and Simple CarpetAd. Both FloorAd and CarpetAd are removable for up to six months, and can be cleaned as if they are part of the floor within 24 hours after installation. LexJet warranties both products when they are protected with its 3-mil Floor Glass laminate film, or 5-mil Floor Velvet laminate.
Two issues to consider in deciding on the right floor media for the setting are its adhesive and the protective laminate to be applied, says LexJet’s Metnick. “The adhesive needs to be formulated for use on either floors or carpets, so that it not only creates a bond with the surface but is removable, and the laminate needs to be slip-resistant,” she stresses.
Although Drytac (www.drytac.com) is not currently offering any floor-specific media, the company reports that its Interlam Emerytex UV laminating film (5-mil) can be applied with other media in its line to create a durable floor graphic. The non-glare vinyl laminating film is also scuff-resistant, and boasts a pebble texture finish. “Interlam Pro Emerytex is a pressure-sensitive laminating film that is ASTM certified to be anti-slip,” says Andrea Spivey, Drytac’s marketing coordinator.
Getting in on the ground floor
If you’re a floor-graphics newbie, one of the best locales to experiment on is your company’s own lobby, demonstration room, or parking lot. By doing so, you not only boost your operation’s aesthetics, but also provide yourself with a sure-fire promotional tool for when you bring clients in-house.
With people looking down at their phones more than ever as they navigate through their day, messages at ground-level are increasingly difficult to miss. Floor graphics can make a critical impact on your clients’ prospective customers – and generate more output and installation work for your shop.