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What are the longest lasting floor markings in a factory?


If you are getting frustrated with your floor markings on your floor being worn out prematurely, this article is for you. We meet with hundreds of factory managers every year and they all have a common problem, and that is floor markings being worn out or scrubbed off, especially in areas with a lot of forklift truck traffic. A factory floor can go from a pristine, perfect 5S factory to chaos within months. In this article we will look at a number of options that can prevent this from happening, and by the end of this article you will know what the longest lasting floor markings are for your factory.



  1. What are floor markings used for?
  2. So, what are the options?
  3. Option 1 – Paint
  4. Option 2 – Tape
  5. Option 3 – LED Projectors
  6. Option 4 – Laser Markings


What are floor markings used for?

Most factories embark on a lean journey at some point, whether that is 5S, six sigma or some other form of lean process. As part of the progressive improvements to production and factory environments, everything has its place; from tools on shadow boards to floor markings for pallets, trolleys and material handling equipment. Tape or paint is used to show where items should be placed on the floor. The problem with this is that it doesn’t take very long for many floor markings to become eroded, scuffed or just dirty. In many factories, especially in the food and beverage industry, the floors are cleaned every night which can lead to the early death of a floor marking. Here at Clarity VM, we have supplied factories all over Europe with specialist floor markings to cope with the environment in which they are used. Some factories are looking for floor markings which can be removed without leaving any history, but all the factories just want a permanent fix to stop the floor markings from being a eroded away, saving money.


So, what are the options?

The main alternatives to floor paint we will cover are paint, tape, LED’s and lasers. Let’s start with paint.


1. Paint

Paint has been used for many years to form lines whether that’s on a motorway, in a factory or in a car park. The advantage of using a paint is that it is relatively low-cost, it is generally harder wearing than most tapes, it is highly visible in any weather condition. Paint is also highly durable. Paint can be applied exactly where you want it; in straight lines, curves including tight radiuses and in some cases the paint can last years after application.

The downside to paint is that when it does start to wear out, it looks very messy, very quickly. It also takes the longest to apply out of all of the alternatives and requires the most skill to keep it neat and tidy. The biggest problem with paint is when you want to change your layout of your factory it is then difficult to remove the evidence of the old markings. There are a number of different types of paint which are effective for floor markings. The most commonly used floor paint is epoxy resin or an MMA base paint for a faster cure. However, feedback from some painting contractors is that this paint tends to leave brush marks in it. Another option is to use UV curing paint which offers exceptional durability and cure speed but has a higher price tag.

Capture 9


2. Tape

One of the biggest products we sell at Clarity VM is a high durability tape for floor markings. The advantage of using a tape instead of paint is that it is very quick to apply and can be done by an internal team as it does not require a specialist contractor to apply. Probably the biggest advantage of using a tape, is that it leaves no history so if you are a dynamic factory looking to constantly improve the layout, this may well be the best option for you. Another advantage of using a tape is that it can be supplied in multiple colours including blacks, reds, whites, yellows et cetera, making it the easiest option to install. The downside to using a tape is that it is the least durable option of the four. It is likely to cost the same per meter as a paint, although when you want to remove a paint versus removing a tape, the tape is easier and cheaper to remove.

Floor marking - coloured tape 1


3. LED Projectors

If a painted floor marking or floor marking tape is not durable enough for you, then there are a number of projected floor markings available. LED floor marking projectors have been available for 10 years or more, although they are only now starting to see an increase in usage across factories in the UK. LED projectors work by focusing a powerful LED light through a high precision lens called a Gobo. The advantages of using an LED projected floor marking, is that they can never be scrubbed away no matter how abrasive or regularly cleaned your floor is. They are also portable so if you should wish to move the line marking, then you simply move the projector. LED projected line markings will always highly impress visitors as they will see that you are using technology to take your factory to the next level. However, LED projected line markings also have some disadvantages. They can be expensive; a typical projector will range from £700 to up to £1500 depending on the power rating on the type of projector. They can also be limited by the floor to ceiling height of your factory, and as this is a lamp they will have an ongoing energy consumption. Another disadvantage of an LED floor projector is they become less effective in a brighter environment especially where there is lots of natural light.

virtual LED lines_2


4. Laser Markings

The fourth option for floor markings in your factory is to use a laser projected floor marking. Lasers work differently to LED and will work in most conditions. When installed correctly, a laser floor marking projection is a safe as an LED floor marking projection because the laser beam is diffused over the length of the line. Typical laser projectors cost around £1500 and can project up to 20m in length. The main advantages of a laser projected floor marking, is that it can be used in some of the brightest factories. Like an LED projected floor marking, it is also portable should you wish to change your layout. Lasers have an exceptionally low energy consumption of 1W-3W. Clarity VM’s Laser projectors are guaranteed to last 2 years.

LED Projector 1-1


In most environments, a painted Line should last you up to 3 years, however in a high traffic environment this can be less than one year. By contrast a self-adhesive marking tape should last up to 12 months but may only last six months in a high traffic environment. Both LED and laser projections, however, will last many years.

The best solution for you really depends on the environment of your factory including the optical brightness, your floor to ceiling heights and how much you are willing to spend. If you like the idea of laser projected markings or an LED projector but are not sure whether it’s going to work in your factory then we would recommend that you trial a projector to see the effectiveness. For a free trial at your site, fill in this form.