August '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 4 7 I want to take a few minutes to talk about making good choices to ensure your next floor graphic works, and that the success- ful completion of the job ultimately brings you more of it. Occasionally a good cook can make a masterpiece with mediocre components, but the best way to make an award-winning meal is to start with the fin- est ingredients. MAKE GOOD VINYL CHOICES A huge mistake is assuming that removable floor graphics can be produced with any re- movable vinyl. While you might get lucky, it's a bad habit to just use whatever's available when there are application-specific materials that are accessible, and usually at a minimal price difference from your standard remov- able option. A good floor adhesive vinyl is designed to stand up to heavy foot traffic, mechanical cleaning, and have compatibility with various floor waxes and finishes. Air-egress materials should be avoided as these provide channels for cleaners to get un- der the film and attack the adhesive, weaken- ing the bond and creating a trip hazard. Al- ways check with your material supplier and make sure that your base film is warrantied for floor graphic use. Ink durability is an important consider- ation when using one-step floor graphics. The selection of base film is doubly criti- cal here as you won't have the benefit of a laminate to protect the print or provide a non-slip surface due to ink being added to the surface. These options are typically tex- tured or designed specifically for outdoor graphics. Plan on these types of films when the graphic is short-term, and check with your ink manufacturer for info on expected durability. KNOW YOUR LAMINATE OPTIONS There are so many different laminate options available, how do you know if you're picking the right one? Can you use that matte lami- nate you have lying around in your shop, or do you really need to get something specific for floor applications? Let's think about what a floor laminate does. First, it protects the print — the basic job of any laminate, right? But floor lami- nates also carry the enhanced responsibility of providing a functional finish for the decal. In addition to providing durability for use, floor laminates should carry certifica- tions like UL410, ANSI A137.1/A326.3,

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