Why Look Down?
By: Joey Heiob, Technical Specialist, Graphics Solutions , Avery Dennison
As marketers try to catch a consumer’s attention in every possible location, floor graphics are becoming increasingly popular and causing many of us to look down. Creative designers and installers are incorporating floor graphics for POP purposes, sporting events, home and office decoration, as well as special event promotions. Designers are also taking creativity to a whole new level with 3D floor graphics. Once the designer determines what kind of floor graphic they want to create, the next step is determining which pressure sensitive vinyl to use.
Before choosing a vinyl, the designer and installer should do some fact finding from the customer to choose the correct solution.
Important details include:
· Is the graphic going to be indoors or outside?
· Will foot traffic or vehicle traffic come in contact with the graphic?
· What kind of substrate will the graphic adhere to?
· Is the substrate smooth or textured?
· How long is the graphic expected to last?
Once you gather these details you are now ready to choose the film for your application. Here are some helpful tips and products from Avery Dennison that you can choose to use for a successful floor graphic:
Smooth Flat Substrates (Indoors) are usually the easiest to install and to choose a film for application. Examples of smooth substrates include sanded/finished wood floors (basketball courts), linoleum floors, painted and sanded concrete or marble.
Typically a calendered film that is 3-4 mil thick with removable adhesive or permanent adhesive is ideal based on the need of the application. Avery Dennison recommends using the HP700 solid color opaque series for cut graphics or for digitally printable graphics MPI 2902 gloss removable or MPI 2903 gloss permanent films.
If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest material to install we recommend using Avery Dennison MPI 2903 Easy Apply™ or MPI 2921 Easy Apply™. The Easy Apply™ technology will allow for easy removal of air bubbles and speed up your installation time. Avery Dennison also recommends using an edge seal tape if you use an Easy Apply product for floor applications.
You will want to make sure you protect the graphics with a UL classified slip resistant overlaminate. The Avery Dennison DOL 2000 and DOL 3000 series overlaminates come in a variety of finishes (matte, gloss and luster) and UL certified for use on floor graphics.
Rough or Textured Substrates (Indoors) can be a little more difficult to install. Examples include ceramic tile floors or indoor painted concrete.
These types of substrates will usually require a cast vinyl so it can conform to the peaks and valleys of the texture. Sometimes a heat source will be needed, which will soften the film during install and allow it to conform more easily. Products offered by Avery Dennison for these substrates would include 900 Supercast solid color opaque vinyl or MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS™ for a digitally printable film. Both series of films will conform very nicely creating a paint-like finish on the floor. When using the Avery Dennison cast films make sure you overlaminate to protect the graphic using DOL 1060, which is also UL certified for slip resistance.
One final unique application growing in popularity is installing short term graphics on low pile carpet in hotels, conference centers and trade shows. For these types of installs, Avery Dennison recommends using a permanent adhesive calendered film. Since the application is going to be short term, typically for a weekend trade-show or event, there’s no need to use a high performance cast vinyl. Carpet textures can be difficult to adhere to so using a permanent adhesive film will help achieve the highest rate of success.
By using these tips and techniques and the proper film, floor graphics can be as creative as the designer wants them to be!
For further product information on the products listed or instructional bulletins for installation of floor graphics please visit our web-site at www.graphics.averydennison.com.
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