Your All-in-One Floor Marking Tape Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Floor Marking Tape
If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you have undoubtedly realized that floor marking tape is one of the most effective, yet underutilized, products on the market today. I’ve talked about it as part of a number of posts, and even dedicated entire blog posts to a specific aspect of how it can be used to improve safety, communication, efficiency, and have many other benefits as well.
Well, I’ve decided it is time to put together the definitive guide on this subject. This post will contain all the information you ever wanted to know about the benefits of floor marking tape, how to properly use it, some tips and tricks on how your facility can benefit from it, and much more.
So, without further ado, let’s get started
What can Floor Marking Tape be used for?
When people hear me talking about floor marking tape, they often wonder just what could possibly be so great about this product. I mean sure, you can use it to draw attention to an area, or to tape something to the wall, but is there really anything else that you can do with it?
If I were to write even just a couple paragraphs about each of the hundreds of different uses every facility has for this tape, this page would go on almost endlessly. With that in mind, I’ll list just a few of the most important ways facilities have used this type of tape, and the benefits they have enjoyed.
Creating a Safety Border
Virtually every facility in the world has a number of different machines that are operating at any given time. These machines help make facilities much more efficient, and even allow us to create products that weren’t even imaginable not so very long ago. In addition to being beneficial, however, they can also be quite dangerous.
These machines typically have many moving parts, which if they come into contact with a person can cause severe injury or even death. Using floor marking tape (which you can find here) to visually identify the areas where machinery may be in motion can help prevent accidents, by keeping people aware of the potential hazard.
This is a simple form of hazard communication that you can install in just minutes around any machine in the facility. As you’ll learn more about else ware in this guide, you’ll want to make sure the color of the tape you choose for this type of hazard communications is always the same so it sends a clear message.
Identify Proper Parking Spots
Most facilities today have a number of different vehicles which travel through the area to help get jobs done. Whether it is a hi-low, a fork-lift, or any other type of vehicle, it is important to have them parked in the proper spots when they are not in use.
While this seems like something that shouldn’t be too hard, it often ends up causing a lot of trouble if there aren’t visual indicators as to which vehicles need to be parked where. By placing floor marking tape on the ground where these vehicles need to park, there will be no question as to where the driver should be leaving these vehicles.
In addition to making parking easier, it will also be easier for the next person who needs the vehicle to find it, without having to waste valuable time trying to track it down throughout the facility. Sectioning off small areas for this type of parking within the facility can save a significant amount of time and energy right away.
Conveying Information Quickly & Clearly
While most people think of themselves as verbal communicators, the fact is almost all people communicate using their sight almost as much as their mouth and ears. When a facility takes the time to set up standard uses for different colors and styles of floor marking tape, it can be used as an effective hazard communication strategy throughout the facility. Floor marking tape comes in a wide range of different colors and styles, so you can assign each one to a different meaning.
Some specific uses that have been found in many facilities include the following:
- Red Tape – DANGER! If you see red tape in any area of the facility, that means there is danger present and you need to take general precaution.
- Yellow Tape – Caution. There may be a danger present, such as a moving vehicle or other hazard that comes and goes at different times of the day.
- Orange – Chemical Hazards. Anywhere that dangerous chemicals are in use can be marked off by orange floor marking tape. Placing this tape in any doorways of the rooms where these chemicals are used, for example, can alert people to the threat.
- Blue – Steam Vent Area. Anywhere that hot water may be vented could be marked off with blue tape. Identifying the areas where there is danger from the steam, and applying this tape to the floor will alert people to this very serious hazard
Of course, there are many other colors that you can use, and many other threats that exist. Once you’ve identified a set of standards that you’ll use in your facility, you need to make sure to provide sufficient training to everyone who works in the facility so they are aware of all the different meanings.
Identifying Door Swing Areas
Using floor marking tape to draw attention to the path that a door will take when it is opened is a surprisingly important way to improve safety. When working in a facility, people are often carrying heavy objects, or even potentially hazardous materials. If they walk toward a door and it suddenly opens from the other side, it could cause them to lose their balance, or drop the items they are carrying.
This opens up both the individual who is carrying the items, and the person who opened the door, to significant risk. Using marking tape, you can easily highlight the areas that people need to avoid in order to stay safe when walking by.
Proper Placement of Trash Bins
Trash cans are often placed throughout the facility to help ensure everyone can keep the area clean. These bins can also be used to hold other materials, such as salt for outdoor deicing. Whatever is inside the cans, it is important that they are placed in the proper area for maximum convenience.
One great way to make it easy to see exactly where the cans should go is by using floor tape. You can purchase floor tape that is made specifically for corners (like these). Using four of these corner pieces, you can easily see where the can needs to be placed.
In addition to making it easier to locate where trash cans or other bins belong, it also helps to avoid accidents. When driving an indoor vehicle through an area, it is sometimes hard to judge how close an object is, especially when backing up. By having these floor tape markings installed, you’ll be able to identify when you’re approaching the bin, so you can stop the vehicle.
Warehouse Aisle Marking
All warehouses have aisles and aisles of shelves that hold a wide range of different products. Even many facilities have warehouse storage areas for holding inventory. Vehicles, such as hi-lows, that are used to bring inventory in and out of the area need to be able to easily see how close they are getting to the shelving when driving through an aisle. Placing floor marking tape on the ground several inches from the shelves is a great visual way to know how to avoid running into the shelving units. By marking off the aisles on both sides, it will make the job of the hi-low driver much easier, while also making the entire area much safer.
You can even take it a step further and color code the different aisles so people can find specific products more efficiently. Using red marking tape, for example, for inventory that is used in one area of the facility, and blue for another. There are many different ways this marking tape can be used to improve the warehouse organization.
Proper Installation of Floor Marking Tape
It is quite clear that there are many different uses for floor marking tape in any facility. What is still not clear to many, however, is how to properly install this tape so that it will look right, and last for years. While it may seem difficult to apply long distances of tape, or have it turn corners, it is actually quite easy once you have been trained.
The following sections cover some of the different methods used for installing this type of tape in different areas. Read through each of them to see how they apply to your facility.
Manually Applying Floor Marking Tape in a Straight Line
If you need to apply floor tape in a long, straight line, you need to take care to make sure it goes on properly. This type of floor tape comes in large rolls, which can be used to easily spread the tape out over a large area. The back side of the tape will have a protective film on it to keep it from sticking before you are ready.
Once you’ve identified where the tape is going to go, and completely cleaned the floor of any dust or debris, you’ll want to follow these simple steps:
- Create a Guidance Line – Using either a chalk guide, or a laser line, set up a perfectly straight line that you can follow.
- Spread Out the Tape – Unspool the tape along the line, without sticking it to the ground at this point. Once you’ve got the length you need, cut it off of the spool with a sharp razor or scissors.
- Begin Tacking the Tape Down – Start to remove the protective film on the back of the floor marking tape, and apply the edge of the tape to the ground, with the guidance line in the exact center of the tape.
- Slowly Apply the Tape – As you place the tape down, press on it firmly to ensure it sticks. Move down the line 2-4 feet at a time, applying the tape as you go. Make sure you do not remove more of the protective film than you need, or the tape could get stuck to areas before you are ready.
- Apply Pressure – Once you’ve finished with this initial step of installing the floor marking tape, you’ll want to walk along the tape to apply additional pressure. You can also roll over the tape with a heavy object, or even carefully drive along the tape with a hi-low or other vehicle.
- Wait for Full Bonding – After applying the initial pressure, the tape should be secure in place, but it is not quite ready for full use. You’ll want to wait about 24 hours for the tape to fully bond to the floor before driving over it or having too many people walk in the area.
Installing Floor Marking Tape Using a Tape Applicator
If your facility uses a lot of floor marking tape, or often has to apply it over long distances, you can purchase a tape application tool that will help make the job much easier.
A floor tape applicator (which can be found here) allows you to place a large roll of tape on the device, and then roll it along the ground where it will apply the tape to the floor. The front of this device looks like a small steam roller, and will apply weight to the tape as it is laid down.
This device has two guidance and support wheels in the back, which can help to ensure you are applying the tape in a perfectly straight line. Using this type of tool, you can install a great deal of tape in a very short period of time. This tool also helps you to avoid many of the common problems with tape installation, such as bubbling or accidental curves in the tape.
Applying Floor Marking Tape in a Corner
When installing this type of tape in a straight line, you won’t typically run into too many problems. When it is time to turn a corner, however, it can get much more difficult. Learning the following little tricks will help you to create tape corners like an experienced professional.
There are three main options to choose from when it comes to applying tape to corners. They each end up with great looking corners, which look great, and will last a very long time.
Corner Trick #1
The first option is to use two separate pieces of tape, and have them tightly overlap in the corner. When using this option, you’ll want to lay the initial piece of tape completely, and press it down. Then, with the second section of tape, you’ll want to start in the corner, and apply it at the perfect 90 degree angle to the first piece.
By starting in this area, you will be able to line up the corner piece first, before applying it the rest of the way down the line. This helps to avoid coming up short, or having too much tape in the corner area, which will look sloppy.
Corner Trick #2
If you would like to use a single piece of tape when going around the corners, that is certainly possible. To do this, you identify where the corner must be, and carefully cut about ¾ or more the way through the tape. This small slit will allow you to bend the tape in over itself just prior to pressing it down on to the ground.
While this is simple in concept, it is actually quite difficult to do properly, so prior to actual installation, practice it on a few pieces of extra tape. Since floor marking tape is so affordable, it is no problem to cut off a few pieces of tape that are about a foot long, and practice making corners.
Corner Trick #3
This third, and final trick for making your corners look perfect is to purchase the pre-made floor tape corners (which can be purchased here). You can purchase floor tape that comes from the factory with a perfect corner built right in. You can have a corner with a rounded curve, or completely squared off, depending on your preference. While this option is slightly more expensive than just using normal tape, it could save you a lot of time and effort, and you’ll know you’ll get it right every time.
However you choose to handle the corners, it is important that you take the time to inspect them occasionally in the days after installation is completed to ensure there are no issues. In many cases, if there is going to be problems with newly installed floor marking tape, it will begin in the corners.
Improving Your Facility with Floor Tape
I hope I have been able to show you just how easy it can be to improve the way your facility operates by using floor tape. This is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways to help your facility operate more efficiently, and more safely.
If you’re looking for a cost effective way to help take your facility to the next level, consider ordering your first box of industrial floor marking tape. You’ll find that before long, you are finding new and exciting ways to use it in areas throughout your facility.