Floor Marking Colors for the Workplace

6 min read

Just about every type of facility uses floor markings to convey various types of information. This includes warehouses, manufacturing facilities, loading docks, supermarkets, malls, large ships, and much more. It is not enough to simply put down some floor markings and assume that they will produce the desired results. Planning out a good floor marking strategy will help you to improve efficiency, organization, safety, and more. One of the most important aspects of this strategy is going to be looking at what colors to use in what places.

Standard Floor Marking Colors

When creating a floor marking strategy for your facility, there are many things to consider. Even when just thinking about the colors that you will use for your floor markings, there are quite a few things to keep in mind.

For most companies, it is not a good idea to simply choose various colors for each different area and start installing them. This is because many companies around the world have already developed standards to follow. If you do not follow the established standards, it can cause confusion when other people come to your facility.

For example, most people will recognize floor markings that are black and yellow striped to indicate something related to caution. If you decide to use that pattern to mean something else, it will be more difficult for those to understand.

Looking through the various floor marking color standards that are in place will help you to find the ones you need.

Using Floor Markings with 5S or 6S

One of the most common sets of floor marking color standards comes from the popular 5S or 6S strategy. This is a system that helps any facility to operate more efficiently and eliminate many types of waste. A part of this is reserving certain colors for certain things when marking the floors. The following are just a few of the more commonly used floor marking color standards for 5S or 6S:

  • Aisles – If you have aisles in your facility, which is common in warehouses, public markets, and other similar places, the standard is to use an easily visible yellow floor marking to identify the edges of the aisles.
  • Equipment Storage – When reserving an area for use with storing equipment in a facility, white floor marking tape is most commonly used.
  • Held for Inspection – if you are operating a manufacturing facility you will likely need to have certain items held for inspection before they can go out. Marking the floors with orange tape or paint is done to indicate that anything in that area needs to be inspected.

Of course, if you are using other strategies in your facility, you will want to take the time to find out what standards (if any) they use for floor markings.

Creating Your Own Floor Marking Color Code

While using already established colors for your floor markings is a good start, you will also need to add in some of your own. Every facility is different and will need to incorporate colors in addition to the main color codes they use. Fortunately, there are lots of different colors and patterns that you can choose from to ensure you get the results you want.

For example, many companies will want to use floor markings to guide anyone in the facility toward the nearest exit in the event of an emergency. You may choose to use a red and black striped floor marking tape for this.

The important thing when creating any type of color code for your facility is to make sure that it is well documented and that everyone is aware of the meanings of each color. This will require some level of training as well as reminders or updates to make sure that there are no misunderstandings.

Avoiding Certain Colors

There are an almost endless number of colors that can be used for floor markings. This is great since it will give you plenty of options, but can also create some added challenges. There are some colors that you will want to avoid in order to make sure the use of floor markings provides clear information. Some examples of this include the following:

  • Similar to Floor Colors – You do not want to use any floor markings that are even close to the same color as the surrounding floor. If you have a white floor, do not use white, light gray, light blue, or other similar colors for markings as they will blend in and be difficult to see.
  • Close Shades – When creating your floor marking color standards you will want to make sure to avoid using multiple options that have a similar shade. For example, do not use red and a darker orange since they may be mixed up when seen. People with some level of color blindness work in many facilities, which makes this even more important.
  • Black Markings – If a floor marking needs to be seen, avoiding very dark colors is a good idea. While they may be visible in the light, they would be hard to detect if the power goes out.

Thinking about when and where the various floor markings will need to be seen will help you to make the right decisions about your facility. By thinking things through ahead of time, you will not have to make changes or replacements down the road.

Incorporating Floor Marking Signs and Shapes

In addition to marking floors with long straight lines, you can also create signs and shapes that will convey meaning. For example, you can place down stop signs on the floor to alert forklifts and other drivers to the fact that they need to stop on a specific area.

You can purchase pre-made floor marking signs and shapes as you need them. There are dozens of different options available. If you need something custom made, there are many print-shops that will be able to create a floor marking shape that you can use in a specific area. If you prefer, you can also create or purchase a stencil that will allow you to use floor marking paint to create various shapes or signs.

The important thing to know about this is that you are able to put just about anything you can imagine onto the floors of your facility. This will help you to dramatically improve the visual communication options that you have, which should help to benefit overall safety, organization, and more.

The colors used on these signs and shapes will have specific meanings for each area. The stop sign listed above will, of course, use red and white to convey a meaning that is easily recognized. If you put up other signs, try to follow the color standards that will make them easy to understand.

Options for Floor Markings

Once you have your floor marking strategy planned out, you need to figure out how you are going to implement it. One of the biggest decisions to make in this regard is what type of floor markings you will use. There are three main options. These options are as follows:

  • Floor Marking Tape – Floor marking tape is an affordable and easy to use option. You can purchase floor marking tape in virtually any color or pattern that you need and apply it to your floors very quickly. This tape is designed to be very durable and long lasting.
  • Floor Marking Paint – Painting your floor markings is another popular option to consider. It is also affordable and as long as you make sure the floors are clean and dry when applied, will last a long time. Changing colors or making patterns can be more challenging with this option, but it is possible.
  • Floor Marking Lights – This is by far the least commonly used option. Instead of physically applying something to the floors, you simply shine a directed light on an area from a projector. This is a great option when you have a temporary need for floor markings.

While floor marking tape is the most commonly used option for most situation, it is important to keep in mind that there is not necessarily a single answer for every facility. Most facilities will look at the various locations where they need the markings and decide what type is best for that specific area.

Whether you use floor marking tape, paint, or lights, you will want to make sure to incorporate your color standards in all of your decisions. Fortunately, all three of these options will give you plenty of choices when it comes to the colors you can use.

Well Worth the Effort

Many people are surprised to discover how many different things there are to think about when it comes to choosing your floor marking colors. The fact is, however, that this is an important part of your overall operational strategy. Taking the time to make sure you are getting the most benefits possible from your floor markings will make this investment of time and resources pay off for years to come.

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