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Can I use Floor Graphics on My Wooden Floor

SEPTEMBER 6, 2021| SpeedPro Dayton

If you’re considering putting floor graphics on your wooden floors, you’ll probably want to know if you can safely install them on wood. After all, you don’t want to harm your flooring, and you likely need any custom floor decals you apply to it to last a long time. Before you put a floor graphic on wood, learn more about how to install vinyl graphics on wood floors properly.

Make sure you get the best performance out of your floor graphics by learning how to apply vinyl to wood safely.

WHAT ARE FLOOR GRAPHICS?

Floor graphics are a type of decal designed for installation on floors, whether indoors or outdoors. These graphics often come with three layers: the vinyl layer, an anti-skid laminate coating and a strong adhesive layer. This multi-layered design ensures that graphics stick to a floor and have protection against skid marks, scratches, slips and discoloration. Many businesses enjoy using them throughout their facilities, as they give a unique look to floors.

ARE FLOOR GRAPHICS SAFE ON WOOD?

Floor graphics are safe on some kinds of wood, as well as other surfaces, such as tile, vinyl and indoor concrete. Though these graphics are safe to apply to certain types of wood, other kinds of wood aren’t appropriate. For example, painted plywood, unfinished plywood and unsealed wood aren’t the best substrates for vinyl floor graphics. Since these kinds of wood have rough surfaces, a vinyl floor graphic’s adhesive can struggle to form a strong enough bond with them.

Usually, floor graphics will initially stick to rough and unfinished wood, but they’ll end up peeling off much earlier than those on a smoother surface. Due to to the higher chance of floor graphics coming off unfinished wood surfaces faster, custom floor decals work best on sealed wood.

Sealed wood is an excellent substrate for floor graphics, as it provides a smooth surface for the decals to stick to. Due to its smoothness, this kind of wood easily forms a strong bond with a custom floor decal’s adhesive. As a result, you can safely place floor graphics on finished or sealed wood floors.

How Can I Put a Floor Decal on Wood Safely?

HOW CAN I PUT A FLOOR DECAL ON WOOD SAFELY?

When you go to place a floor decal on wood, you’ll follow many of the same steps you’d follow when applying it to other surfaces. If you’re interested in adding vinyl decals to wood surfaces, take a moment to review the main steps for installing and removing wood floor graphics:

1. PREPARE THE WOOD SURFACE

The first step to applying floor decals on wood is to prepare the surface. Here are the steps to prepare your floor:

  • Check if the wood is rough: Since rough wood can make it difficult for your floor decal to stick to the surface as long as you need it to, check if your wood is rough to the touch. If you have a rough wooden floor, you can sand it down until it’s smooth to prepare it for the graphic. You may also want to apply a sealant to it after the sanding process.
  • Wait for sealant or paint to cure: If you’ve recently painted or sealed your wood floor, wait for a few weeks before you apply the decal to give the sealant or paint time to cure.
  • Spray and clean floor: Spray the area of the floor where you’re planning on applying the wood floor graphic with a mix of water and mild soap. Next, use the appropriate cleaning supplies to clean the wood. Clean a few inches past the area where you plan to apply the decal to give yourself room for adjustment when installing it.
  • Wipe surface: Once you’ve finished cleaning the surface, you’ll want to wipe it off with a lint-free paper towel to ensure any moisture, debris or grit is gone. If you sanded the wood, make sure you’ve removed any of the wood residue or sawdust.
  • Conduct a paint test: If you have a painted wood floor, take a minute to do a paint test in an inconspicuous spot. A paint test helps you know if your decal will pull up the paint when it’s repositioned or removed.

2. INSTALL THE FLOOR GRAPHICS

Once you’ve prepared your wood floor, you can install your graphic. Begin by locating the area where you want to place the decal. Peel off part of the backing and stick the decal to the floor. As you remove more backing, use a squeegee to smooth the decal to prevent air pockets from forming.

When you install floor graphics on wood, be careful to avoid installing your decals over end joints. If you place custom floor decals over end joints, the graphics can end up looking bumpy and irregular. Since you likely want your floor graphics to give your floor a great look, avoid end joints if possible.

3. REMOVE THE GRAPHIC

Eventually, you may want to remove your floor graphics to install a new one. When it comes time for removal, you’ll find that the process is simple and follows the same steps for removing floor graphics on other surfaces.

Usually, you can simply use your fingers to peel the decal off the floor without meeting any resistance. If you can’t get a grip on the decal’s edge to peel it off, you can use a plastic card to get under the floor graphic and give it a gap large enough for you to get your hands on.

If you struggle to remove the floor graphic with a plastic card or it tears during the peeling process, don’t try to remove it with a knife, which can damage your wood surface. Instead, heat the floor decal with a blow dryer, as the heat will loosen the adhesive. After you’ve heated the adhesive, you should be able to pull up the decal easily.

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