17 Oct 2021

Digital printing on wall & floor coverings presents new creative opportunities

Printed floor and wall coverings are rapidly increasing in popularity, boosted by the ability for today’s ink-jet technologies and media which can handle UV-curable, solvent-based, and latex ink formulations for true colour reproduction.

Paul Reeve, Managing Director at Structure-flex, talks about how digital printing on wall and floor coverings is offering companies new creative opportunities.

With the increasing demand for new and innovative ways for companies to promote their products and services, graphic displays on the ground or walls offer unusual options for brands looking for alternative promotional possibilities.

Printed floor and wall coverings are rapidly increasing in popularity, boosted by the ability for today’s ink-jet technologies and media which can handle UV-curable, solvent-based, and latex ink formulations for true colour reproduction.

These new opportunities have contributed to our decision to recently invest another £450,000 in the latest large format printing equipment available to further enhance our capabilities and to position us perfectly for the production of stunning graphics on a new range of vinyl flooring and wall coverings.

Depending on the usage, there are many different treated PVC graphic materials available in a variety of widths for use as tough and durable floor coverings.

The Udeco Digital Floor Lino is available in 2mm thickness and is designed for short to mid-term indoor applications. Its PU coated top surface is excellent for ink reception. It can be applied on most indoor floor surfaces. It is Anti-Slip, Fire rated, and has an Anti-scratch surface, making it is a great, and cost effective way to rebrand a floor space.

Crystal Floor is a Durable Soft PVC Floor Graphic material suitable for a wide range of applications within retail, expo and architectural environments. As the design is printed on the reverse it offers the most durable top material layer in the industry – slip tested low risk certification.

With the floors literally covered what are the options for the walls? Utack self-adhesive textile is a versatile, removable and repositionable material that is perfect for wall coverings and designed for smooth, flat surfaces. It is a thin, woven, self-adhesive polyester fabric, it has a water resistant matte surface to produce exceptional printed resolution and high definition.

Our increasing customer base has been asking for alternative promotional coverings and these new vinyls are so versatile that they are perfect for a wide range of uses and designs. A recent project we were involved in for specialist creative design and production agency, Burrows, demonstrates this versatility perfectly.

Being a creative agency it was as important for them to walk the walk as talk the talk when it came to revamping their Norwich based offices. After being located for 21 years in a character-filled converted Methodist Church, Burrows wanted to refresh the environment to create a stimulating place in which to work and bring clients.

With offices in London, Dusseldorf and Detroit, as well as Norwich, it was important that the refurbishment reflected the values of the Burrows’ brand as a leading Computer Generated Imaging (CGI) resource and also made a statement about the company’s 53 year design heritage.

They thought it would be a great idea to decorate four interior walls with some vibrant eye-catching designs that would physically demonstrate their creative thinking to visitors and create an inspirational environment for the staff.

We recommended printing these on Utack polyester fabric as it is designed for smooth, flat surfaces and would be both hard wearing and resistant to water so that it would stand up to the rigours of every day office life.

It was really important to the finished result that the images were reproduced at a sufficiently high resolution and the matte surface of the Utack was also capable of carrying exceptional printed quality. The printing had to look as good close-up as when you first see them at a distance to truly work on the walls and make the lasting impression that Burrows were after.

As this project required a relatively small quantity we used our Mimaki JV300 printer for the whole project to provide a high quality print resolution of 1,440 dpi. As the JV300 is able to print up to 1,610mm wide it was able to produce the different dimensions required and remain consistent over the whole process.

With the JV300 being able to print at speeds of up to 105.9m2 per hour, the printing process was very swift and the coverings only took a day to install without any mess - the polyester fabric was backed with adhesive so it was quite straight-forward to apply.

We are very excited about this range of new products and the creative potential they offer customers – it is only limited by the imagination!