March 17, 2021

Flooring protection

In commercial and residential construction, as well as remodeling, there’s a lot going on.  Tradespeople – electricians, plumbers, tilers, etc. — are walking around and moving supplies and equipment, possibly on new or redone flooring.  Potentially, they’re tracking mud, debris, and paint or worse, causing scratches that need floors to be redone. 

With tight deadlines and budgets, anything you can do to minimize or eliminate cost overruns toward the end of the project can be valuable.  General contractors and even individual tradespeople know that protecting existing finished work can speed up other phases of the job as well as minimize rework and liabilities.  After all, these can catch up at end of the project impacting the bottom line.  

Here are a few tips and products that can help mitigate some of these problems. 

Maintain a clean job site 

Depending on the project, maintaining a clean job site can mean many things. Containing debris and dust can drastically improve the health and safety of the tradespeople and those using the environment. Clean job sites can also improve efficiency so workers can move around in the space without tripping. It also ensures finished work areas are protected from debris generated by work that has yet to be done. 

Protecting the finished floors

There are a few things to consider when choosing flooring protection.  Some of the most important questions include: 

  • How much traffic is going to be going in and out of the space?   
  • What kinds of debris or equipment will make contact with the floor?   
  • Will the flooring be exposed to water, mud, snow, paint, or other wet conditions?   
  • How long will the protection need to last — a day, weeks, or months?   

All these are important questions to take into account when choosing appropriate flooring or surface protection.   

Below are some guidelines and even some of our proven flooring protection products for the job site. 

Paper 

Paper is often the most inexpensive and widely used surface protection product.  It comes in several varieties — from the standard, lightweight brown to a thicker red rosin paper.  These offer protection for light traffic and even provide a minor amount of moisture barrier. 

Recommendation: Trimaco X-Paper offers 1-½ times the thickness of traditional builder papers at an affordable price.  It‘s also breathable, enabling floors to continue to cure or off-gas after initial installation.  It’s also 100% recycled material. 

Builder Board (cardboard) 

If you need added protection and durability, pressed fiber or builder board might be your best bet.  These products can offer heavy-duty protection, standing up to even forklift traffic.  Heavier and thicker than paper, but still lightweight, it’s easy to install.  Products in this range are popular on commercial job sites where extended time periods for continuous protection are needed.  These products can even include custom printing, protecting surfaces as well as providing inexpensive advertising or brand recognition. 

Recommendation:  Trimaco FloorShell is five times thicker than builder paper and capable of handling forklift traffic.  It has spill–block technology to prevent water, mud, and paints from penetrating the surface.  It’s 100% recycled and economical to use. Breathable, it off-gasses without causing strong odors.  It also has scored edges for easy baseboard or wall protection. 

Reusable protection 

By far the most versatile and durable are the many forms of reusable flooring protection.  These products are typically made of various plastics or polymers to resist damage from extreme environments.  Generally, these are the thickest and heaviest products, offering maximum floor protection from all kinds of hazards — chemical spills, slips extreme moisture, and sharp objects. Even with the higher initial cost, the main benefit is they are washable and reusable. Just roll it up and take it to the next job site! The longer life means it can actually cost less over time to use. 

Recommendation:  Trimaco Aqua-Shield comes in a few different varieties and thicknesses for different types of protection.  Some options are even flame retardants to prevent the occasional burn from torches or sparks.  Washable and durable, these protectors can be reused time and time again. 

Don’t forget tape

With all the flooring protection options and varying protection levels, you’ll need some way to join them together. You need a tape that can stand up to the wear and tear the protection material provides. That is where a durable, flexible, moisture-resistant tape comes in. The tape also should be hand tear-able for ease of application without having to use a utility knife to cut and apply the tape. 

Recommendation:  Intertape Polymer Group PE7 Polyethylene Tape is a high-performance, durable, moisture-resistant sealing tape.  Designed to adhere to many different substrates.  It works well even in dusty conditions adhering to contaminated areas.  IPG PE7 also features a clean removal when the job is done as well as being repositionable if needed.  It has the versatility that contractors demand.  This tape pairs perfectly with all the flooring protection solutions above. 

Protect your job site 

Take your job site surface protection seriously.  It can lower your overall cost and liability as well as keep the job running smoothly without fear of re-works.  Elevated Industrial Solutions, formerly known as Lane Supply Company, carries a variety of types of tape to complement these surface protection products as well as all the floor protection above.

Contact us to see what other products we have to help you protect your hard work. 

Jon Rhodig
Author: Jon Rhodig
Jon Rhodig is our Product Specialist. He’s been with the company for 18+ years, starting as the warehouse/logistics manager. After several years in the warehouse, he moved into customer service and sales support where he assisted not only our customers but our energetic sales team. Jon has an appetite for knowledge and product applications, which is how he was promoted to address product application questions. In his free time, he enjoys riding motorcycles, model building, and auto repair.
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