Floor Lines or Aisles – Which Serves Better For the Pedestrian: Part 2

Now, when you look at an actual aisle way, you’ll see that the aisles offer enough coverage so that they can receive a nice diamond grind preparation.  But, even though the aisle requires a more aggressive preparation, they also will require a more laborious epoxy installation.

In our previous entry, we looked at the benefits of installing pedestrian walkway lines. And although the installation process is easier and less expensive, compared to the aisles, the aisle will ultimately offer a greater longevity for a variety of reasons:

Better Prep Work:

As discussed in in the pedestrian floor lines, the only prep work is alcohol wiping the floor.  Grinding the floor is always the best method, but a 3″ line does not provide enough coverage to conceal your grind marks.  But, when you’re working with a 3′ wide aisle way, there is plenty of room to adequately grind the floors, and conceal the marks with epoxy.

When you prep the floor with diamond grinders, you can profile the concrete, allowing the epoxy to create a greater mechanical bond to the surface.  This mechanical bond is significantly stronger than a bond with an unprepared floor.

Better Material Options:

With pedestrian floor lines, you really only have 1 option for material: a polyamide epoxy.  There are 7 different types of epoxy hardeners.  And each hardener performs differently.  The polyamide epoxy hardener is the most flexible, meaning it can handle more foot and fork lift traffic.  And it offers the greatest adhesion out of the epoxy hardeners. Between these 2 characteristics, the polyamide epoxies prove to be the best performing epoxies for floor line installation.

But when you have a wide aisle, then you can prep with a floor grinder, which offers the opportunity to install a stronger, thicker floor:

urethane cement aisle

The image above displays aisles with a urethane cement base installed at 65mils.  This is a thin film of urethane cement.  But installed at that gauge allows the installers to roll out the material, instead of troweling it.  And although this is a thin film, it is nearly 8 times as thick as an 8mil coat of epoxy.  And although they both scored the same Hardness results, the thicker film of urethane cement will offer a stronger, more impact-resistant floor against fork lifts and foot traffic.

And with the urethane cement primer, you can install a few coats of epoxy, with a few perimeter lines.  Which creates an excellent flooring system, that can tolerate forklifts and pedestrian traffic much longer than floor lines.

Directional Material

And one more benefit of the aisle is that you can install stencils onto the floor.  Stencils will not last on an unprepared concrete floor.  Even with alcohol wiping, the stencils will eventually de-laminate.  The stencils need to be installed at a thick enough film gauge so that they adhere to the already installed epoxy floor.  Then, they’ll perform better if they are sealed with a clear coat of some type of material.

clear coat floor graphics

Overall, both floor aisles and pedestrian walk ways are excellent options.  However, there is an obvious price difference between both of them.  And that price difference does offer a greater chance of longevity and performance.  So when deciding which is a better fit, you’ll need to balance your expectations, with the budget your facility is will to allow.