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Adding A Designer Touch To Safety Flooring

Pat Thomas, consultant trainer at Altro’s training school, explains how to embed a bespoke design or logo into UPVC safety flooring to create a stunning impression: 

WE all appreciate the functional benefits of installing safety flooring but, with the increasing palette of colours available in many product ranges, there are more opportunities for including more complex designs into a room.
Some flooring companies, like Altro, offer a cutting service for those contractors who may not feel creative or confident enough to attempt the task themselves. But, if embedding a design into a floor is something that you would like to know more about, here are my top tips for cutting your own design.

1. The front of the flooring is too abrasive to draw your design directly on to and would show up any error so, firstly, print or draw your picture or design on to a large piece of white paper.

2. Next, transfer it on to the reverse side of the paper by placing it on a light box, or an outside window, and tracing the design through the paper so it is in reverse.

3. Now draw a scaled grid line box pattern over the design on the paper so that you have lots of small blocks with each block containing a small part of your design.

4. Take the flooring you intend to transfer your design to and draw a scaled grid block pattern with a pencil on the back.

5. Take the first block on your drawing and transfer the shape of it onto the first block on the back of the flooring, continuing until all the blocks have been filled. Your design is now in reverse.

6. Take the first piece you want to change the colour of, cut it out with a concave knife, place it upside down onto the chosen colour of flooring. Cut around your shape and then place it into the space you previously made on the original flooring.

7. Continue with this method until all your design is complete, using masking tape to hold the pieces together.

8. When complete, turn your design over. you now have some welding options:

a) you can weld your design together whilst on the tape and then apply adhesive to fix it to the substrate, or;

b) you can position the design in place on the floor, fold back the flooring and remove the tape from underneath, and then apply adhesive. Reposition it on the floor, if necessary, and then roll the flooring with a hand roller. Once the adhesive is dry you can then weld all joints, or;

c) on very large designs, you can place your cut pieces on the sub floor first and glue them into the correct position. Then lay the main floor over the design using a combination scriber to make your joints before cutting in and welding.

Whichever method you choose though, the most important thing to remember, is that all joints MUST be welded.

9. You may want to try different colour welding rods to enhance your design, for example, using a black weld rod around letters will lift them visually and make them stand out.

10. If you are welding two colours together make sure that you use the darkest colour welding rod. You can pretty much incorporate any design into a floor so long as you make the letters and shapes larger than 30mm otherwise they will be difficult to weld. The most important thing is to make sure that the main flooring and the inlay flooring are the same thickness.

Use your imagination and you can create some stunning designs that make a great impression and show that there’s more to safety flooring than meets the eye. CFJ www.altro.com

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.