There are so many different laminate options available; how do you know if you’re picking the right one? Can you use that matte laminate 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 laminates also carry the enhanced responsibility of providing a functional finish for the decal.
In addition to providing durability for use, floor laminates should carry certifications like UL410, ANSI A137.1/A326.3, DIN 51130, or AS HB198:2014. These certifications focus on the coefficient of friction of the film surface, with designations for whether the test is done on a wet or dry surface. This test is used to determine whether the film presents any sort of slip hazard when used.
The primary driver for using films with these designations is for liability in the finished installation — the extra work of choosing an approved laminate will pay off if there is ever an issue. Laminated graphics will last longer when properly cared for, and these will typically allow for normal cleaning procedures and the use of floor-cleaning equipment.