Easy Floor and Wall Graphics with Walk & Wall™

Floor graphics have taken center stage in recent months due to the unprecedented global pandemic and the determination that social distancing contributes in helping slow its spread.

Incredibly versatile, floor graphics can be adhered to all types of flooring from fine marble or terrazzo flooring to low- and medium-pile carpet. Advances in adhesives and printable face films almost guarantee that there is a solution for just about every surface out there. For many businesses and retailers, the social distancing mandates may be their first experience with floor graphics, but there are all kinds of reasons floor graphics are a great addition to any business’s or institution’s messaging far beyond the reach of the current pandemic.

Increasing Awareness. Floor graphics offer a strong medium for raising awareness, both regarding the importance of maintaining a safe distance to stop the spread of the virus, along with promoting a brand and helping it compete in its industry. Floor graphics are often used to drive sales by informing shoppers’ of a business’s offers, and even used a directional signs to help people navigate the building efficiently. This leads to a better user experience and a better business space management because it helps them avoid navigation traffic.

Driving Sales. Floor graphics offer a great messaging tool in marketing campaigns that help reinforce branding and communicate directions to product displays. They also help create a strong brand image using strong graphics and phrases associated with a campaign or product which would leave an impact on its audience.

Communicating a message. Relative to the point above, floor graphics help leave a strong impact. This can be used as a medium to raise awareness towards a social cause, to promote positive mindsets, to entertain, or simply provide information. Floor graphics go beyond the typical wall and window surfaces graphics, which is an element that allows it to be more attention grabbing.

Grabbing Attention. Good designs and effective marketing help grab an audience’s attention, but an unexpected form of graphics emphasize it a great deal. As mentioned above, floor graphics go beyond the expected and traditional surface graphics by inputting messages in unexpected spaces. This leads to an incredibly efficient form of directional communication, safety awareness, product reminding, and special offer communication. This would strategically increase customer interaction with products and the business’s offers.

Credit: ColorGraphic Printing

As a result of the emergence of COVID-19, floor graphics are becoming very popular, and are now essential to many businesses. They are an important product for the print industry to be knowledgeable on. Walk and Wall™ has always been a popular choice for floor graphics. It is a one-step solution that offers a printable, self-installable graphic without the need for any lamination. As a result, it is now a first choice to many printers. It is unique for several reasons:

The Face Film – Walk & Wall™ is made of a robust and textured vinyl film that is printable with many different types of inks and devices. It can be used with UV Digital, Solvent, Eco-Solvent, and Latex inks. The textured face of the film is a certified non-slip (ANSI A137.1/A326.3, 67212F, R12), in which this certification states it as efficient for use with both dry and wet conditions.

Fabric Backing – Walk & Wall™ has a fabric back that is fused to the vinyl face, which makes the product thicker, therefore much easier to install. This thickness, along with the durability of the vinyl and fabric construction makes the removal of the product effortless  (as opposed to peeling up vinyl in shredded pieces).

Adhesive – The back side of Walk & Wall™ is coated with a solvent acrylic adhesive, protected by a silicone coated release liner. This solvent adhesive technology is incredibly useful for tough applications due to the extremely durable bond. It is very useful for outdoor applications that require this strong bond when weather, temperature, and moisture are factors that affect the adhesion. Adding to that, the coat-weight of the adhesive is exceptional. The manufacturing process utilizes a method that allows the adhesive to meld into irregular surfaces, which then creates a solid bond across the surface. This can vary from polished and smooth surfaces, all the way to asphalt and rough surfaces. As Continental Grafix states, the product goes down and stays down. When it is time to remove the graphic, the adhesive releases easily, with up to six months of no residue when it is removed using the proper techniques.

Walk & Wall is our go-to solution when our customers are looking for a premium one-part floor graphic solution. The ease of use allows us to offer our customers a worry-free solution for floor graphics and other applications where they need an easy-to-install and removable graphic.”

 Gary Barker, National Sales Manager – Digital Technology Group-Tampa, FL
Credit: My-SignGuy.com

So far this article has focused on floor graphics applications, however the inherent features and benefits of the product transfer to wall applications equally as well. It adheres to many types of wall surfaces (even low VOC paints), installs easily, removes easily, and leaves no adhesive residue when removed properly. Walk & Wall™ provides a durable solution for a variety of interior and exterior wall graphics. Additionally, is has a Certified Fire Rating (ASTM E84, M1, B1), providing further peace of mind.

“Walk&Wall works like a million bucks! It survived the Chicago winter, came off perfectly clean, and left no residue on the surface.”

Dimitry Kuzmenko, My-SignGuy.com

Article written by: Gary Barker, Continental Grafix

In stock now at COBALT for immediate shipping, Walk & Wall™ is available in 48” x 82’ and 48” x 164’ rolls while supplies last. Contact us today at 800-387-7577 or orders@cobaltgraphics.ca for more information.

Applying graphics to walls and other surfaces


With the current trends in interior design and décor, more and more customers are asking for pressure sensitive wall graphic materials to make custom designs in retail or home settings. What is often not considered when designing custom wall graphics is where the end user wants to apply the material or on what type of surface they choose to stick onto. Different textures will require different adhesives to make sure that the graphic stands up for the duration of its life expectancy.  Also, if it is for short term display that there is no damage caused to the wall surface during removal which could lead to extra costs in the long run. Most product installation failures are due to a range of factors including; improper surface cleaning and poor installation techniques but more often it’s because the wrong vinyl was used. Even the strongest adhesives peel and fall off when the wrong product is used in the wrong environment and application.

We always get asked for a vinyl film that works for all type of surfaces especially on walls where higher amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds)  in the paint can cause tremendous headaches. The simple answer is a “one size fits all”  product does not exist and that is why it’s very important to test a section of wall to make sure correct vinyl is selected.

Where Do Wall Application Challenges Come From?

-Low VOC paint is a key issue with most painted walls

-Allowing sufficient time for paint to dry on walls before applying graphics is another key challenge. Rule of thumb is most painted surfaces require at least 10 days for curing and off gassing before being ready for pressure sensitive adhesive vinyl  to adhere to them.

– Poor cleaning of the wall prior to installation

– Faulty installation methods

What does low VOC mean?

Certain types of paints emit potentially harmful gases called volatile organic compounds or VOCs.  VOCs are the hot topic with paint manufacturers and many have reduced the VOCs in their products to meet consumer demand and industry regulations. The lower the amount of VOCs in the paint, the better it is for you use and clean, but more difficult for vinyl adhesion due to more latex and silicon in the paint. The result is that shortly after installation the graphics start to peel off the wall or curl at the edges and sometimes completely fall off the wall. Most important is to remember that that is not the adhesives fault!

What are my solutions?

It is recommended that every customer purchase a 3M Wall Test Kit to eliminate the risk of choosing the wrong adhesive for the surface that the graphics are intended for. Although testing does not always seem feasible or convenient for many customers, re-printing and reinstallation most certainly is not desirable so we recommend to do it the right way the first time and test the surface before to select that right pressure sensitive adhesive vinyl for the job.  If none of the adhesive within the kit stick, then a primer maybe recommended before any application. A clear fast drying primer can be used to increase the surface tension between wall and adhesive therefore giving better adhesion. A couple of brands of primer that could be used are Zinsser Bulls Eye or Gardz primer.

Are you interested to learn more about the graphic materials offered by 3M and how to apply them to a variety of smooth, textured, flat and contoured surfaces? Please join us as we host a Walls, Windows ‘N Floors Workshop at 3M Canada in St. Laurent , Quebec on Tuesday October 9th, 2018. You will learn how to apply graphic films to a variety of surfaces and learn about the installation tools that are indispensable to make your next job more efficient and more profitable.


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