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Floor Graphics

Floor graphics are fast becoming the application of choice; stick them on and pull them off again. Genevieve Lewis scouts the work available for sign-makers

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With everyone looking down these days, floor graphics could prove the best solution for advertising

Take it to the floor

On a recent trip to Canada and America, I noticed that advertising had taken to the floor. In New York, at almost every subway station, steps and floor tiles had been pasted with advertising for a new show on Netflix.

There were whole walls adorned with the same advertising for the same show, meaning that you literally couldn’t escape it. The staircases were linked to the posters on the wall and you couldn’t help but follow the chain around the station. It was extremely effective because when I came home, I watched the entire series of The Politician.  Fair play, floor graphics, fair play.

If a similar – and I’m sure that campaigns like this happen all the time – scenario presents itself say, for all the tube stations in London, that is one big project for a sign-maker. So, what are the opportunities for sign-makers to get involved with floor graphics?

Advertising in various places such as tube stations and shopping centres can be maximised with floor graphics

Drytac works with adhesive coated products and Shaun Holdom, global product manager, identifies retail environments and exhibitions as a way for sign-makers to get involved with floor graphics.

Floor graphics are becoming more and more common place for sign-makers, especially for short-term retail and exhibition graphics

Holdom explains: “Floor graphics are becoming more and more common place for sign-makers, especially for short-term retail and exhibition graphics. With the advent of both UV and latex printers offering more and more durable ink solutions – which can cope with this high-end abrasive application, as this is one of the most demanding places a graphic can be installed.”

Health and Safety

As Holdom mentions, graphics installed on the floor must be up to scratch for the public to be safe. He outlines: “When we are talking about floor graphics, the most important thing is safety in any public environment: slips, trips and falls are a major worry for any company who is looking to use floor graphics, hence any products used needs to have the correct and valid certifications.”

Holdom goes on to explain the rules and regulations around slip ratings, which are certifications that are necessary in any public space which all flooring, including graphics, is rated on. The R9 to R13 slip ratings are values that health and safety executive (HSE) used to determine the slip resistance of a surface. The slip rating starts at R9 with a maximum rating of R13.

“The slip ratings are tested using a DIN 51130 Standard ramp test, which in simple terms is an industry standard, where a ramp is laid with the floor graphic material and is raised in varying degrees until a person, wearing a specified shoe with a rubber hardness of 96 slips on the floor,” explains Holdom.

He continues: “Surprisingly, the biggest causes of falls on floor graphics is not slipping, but tripping from the edges of graphics lifting up, hence the use of the correct floor material with correct high bond adhesive which doesn’t lift at the edges is key.

O Factoid: Slip ratings for floor graphics start at R9 with a maximum rating of R13  O

“All professional suppliers of floor graphics products should provide the customer with public liability insurance cover, which covers the product used in a public space – this is key as any injury to the member of the public due to a faulty graphic can have serious implications.

“Finally, all graphics supplied to public spaces must have the correct fire ratings; this is a legal requirement for most countries in the UK.”

The gear

Of course, Drytac can help sign-makers to take advantage of the growing interest in floor graphics with its range of products. “Drytac has a number of products to offer,” says Holdom. “From easy apply short-term products to long-term solutions for most indoor environments.”

He continues: “The first thing to remember is there are two types of floor graphics material. A one-part solution which you print directly onto the material that you are applying to the floor and no laminate is required; this is usually a highly textured PVC with adhesive on reverse and is printed with a durable ink such as UV or latex.

“Drytac has a very successful product called SpotOn Floor 200, which is a single solution product designed for short-term indoor floor graphics using a textured PVC and adhesive coated with Drytac unique SpotOn adhesive technology. This product is very durable and can be applied very easily and does not require a specialist application team.”

Floor graphics can be perfect for retail promotions, like this SpotOn solution from Drytac

The next solution has two parts and can be on a wider range of printers that have less durable ink, such as eco solvent and solvent inks. “A two-part solution requires a base film/vinyl which is printed and is then laminated with a heavy duty textured embossed laminate which provides the slip resistance,” explains Holdom, before continuing: “The important thing for all two-part solutions is that these two products must be a matched solution; the printable films usually have a permanent high tack adhesive for longer term application and matched with textured overlaminates with a slip rating relevant for the environment. Once again, Drytac has a number of different solutions for these two-part floor graphics solutions.”

Soyang Europe also provides sign-makers and printers with the necessary tools and products to produce safe and eye-catching floor graphics.

Soyang Europe’s floor graphics in the hallway of The Print Show 2019

Agreeing with Drytac, there are a number of opportunities available to sign-makers including the aforementioned exhibitions and retail spaces. “There are many opportunities available to sign-makers for floor graphics,” says David Hunter, sales manager at Soyang Europe. “These include exhibition graphics, where often short-term material options are required. In the retail sector, and sometimes in public places such as museums, more long-term solutions are required, but there are many flooring substrate options facilitating great creative scope for printed flooring.”

Available from Soyang are products like BILD Print Media, which can be utilised to targets busy shoppers on the high street. “Products such as BILD Print Media have enormous potential for point-of-sale and retail settings; the combination of bright and vibrant floor graphics with the benefit of an extended life from the print being printed on the underside, is necessary for medium to long-term promotions in high footfall areas,” says Hunter.


Much like Drytac’s Holdom, Hunter relays the expectations surrounding floor graphics. “One of the popular printable flooring products that we’ve seen used to great effect is Grip Floor; a self-adhesive backed PVC flooring with an anti-slip surface that can be applied to short-pile carpet tiles,” says Hunter. “Its high-tac adhesive makes it ideal for floor stickers for exhibition trails, being easy to apply and having the all-important slip resistance certification, which comes from its grainy surface.”

Available from Soyang is also Print Floor, which is a cushioned lino manufactured by Endutex, which can be used for short-term indoor applications, such as exhibition stands. AlumiGraphics is another product available and boasts the title of being a SGIA award winner. It uses a roller rather than a heat gun and can be placed on textured or rough surfaces such as brick or concreate.

With all the information on the products available, plus the importance of safety surrounding floor graphics, how can sign-makers move into this type of work? First up is Drytac’s Holdom: “Sign-makers and graphics houses can access this revenue stream by adding a floor graphics option to their portfolio and share with those already looking at wall and window graphics – thus offering a more comprehensive customer experience.”

Soyang’s Hunter concludes: “By making their existing customers aware of the materials available for floor graphics options, print providers can demonstrate to customers that flooring offers the same open canvas as a wall. Their existing customers may well already have a requirement for printed flooring.”

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