Tape, Which is Best for Hardwood Floors; A Scientific Experiment

Tape gets used on every job site, it could be duct tape, painters tape, caution tape, you name the project they probably have a tape for it. When it comes to hardwood flooring, fasteners are often used for holding the planks together while the glue dries in a floating or glue down installation. Choosing the right adhesive strip is an important factor in determining the satisfaction of the final product.

For a factory finished floor, knowing your material is important to understanding how to protect it from damage. In this post we will explore 3 different types of finish with 3 commonly used Scotch products and study the effects after 30 days.

Painter's Tape, Delicate SurfaceWe tested three floors Cicerone Stout, Boardwalk Smoked, Modern Collection Graphite. These three floors were chosen for their different finish type: Lacquer, UV-Oiled, and Poly-Urethane. All 3 are dark stained products in an effort to limit variables. The 3 tapes used were Scotch-Blue Painters for Delicate Surfaces #2080, Scotch-Blue Painters for Multi-Surfaces #2090, and Scotch General Purpose Masking. Of these 3 choices, only the Scotch-Blue Painters Tape for Delicate Surfaces is recommended by 3M for use on hardwood flooring surface.

It is worth mentioning that the test results consist of a single trial. To clarify “noticeable amounts” means more than 5% of the adhesive strip shows miniature splinters of floor color, we are dealing with a very small amount of the finish coming up with these three options.

Lacquer Finish UV Oiled Finish Poly Finish

The Lacquer

On the Lacquer finish, the only product that resulted in no residue is the Scotch-Blue Delicate. Both the Multi-Surface and General Purpose tape took up some black specs from the surface of the flooring.

The UV Oiled

In the UV Oiled, the results were very similar to our Lacquer finish. The Scotch-Blue Delicate once again proved to be the best by taking up no residue, whereas the other two tapes did not fare well.

The Poly-Urethane

To our surprise, the Poly-Urethane finished floors did not show any noticeable differences between the adhesives. All 3 products resulted in no residue after 30 days.

The biggest factor in our tests had to do with the texture of the wood. The Cicerone Stout and Boardwalk Smoked are wire brushed texture. This resulted in easier removal of what looked like wood grains after having taped for 30 days.

Always check the manufacturer’s suggestions as well as trust the experience of the individuals you hired to do your job. These test results suggest using Scotch-Blue Delicate for UV-Oiled and Lacquer finish floors. The results also suggest that you can use all 3 tapes over a polyurethane finish, but for the insignificant difference in cost it is best to choose the safest delicate tape recommended by the manufacturer for preserving the finish!

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