The most attractive ESD floor will fail if it’s specified for an incompatible space or does not meet the proper industry-specific ESD standards. A flooring failure can force a facility to shut down production and result in liabilities no architect wants to—or should have to—deal with. With due diligence, by adhering to industry-specific protocols, you can avoid the costly mistakes that get specifiers in trouble.
THE GIST: Avoid Costly Failures: What to Know When Specifying ESD Flooring
Standards vary by industry. Standards for electronics manufacturing and handling differ from those governing telecom, PSAPs, FAA flight towers, and other end-user spaces. To avoid costly mistakes, do due diligence and follow industry protocols.
Before specifying a floor:
- Familiarize yourself with the basics of ESD flooring;
- Know ESD terminology;
- Be sure flooring materials are appropriate for the application (note: some static-control floors perform only in conjunction with ESD footwear)
- make an ESD flooring checklist:
- the environment
- conductivity (find the “sweet spot”)
- upper limits for charge generation (application specific)
- standards and test methods (industry specific)
- Be sure the floor provides permanent static protection;
- Do not rely on manufacturer’s specifications: require independent test reports.
After the floor has been installed, require a post-installation audit.
All ESD flooring options should be tested and evaluated based on the type of footwear that will be used in the space. Epoxy coatings and ESD vinyl offer no static protection without the (enforced) use of special static-control footwear.
To be sure the floor meets industry-specific standards and specifications, always request independent lab test reports.
ESD Flooring Is Easy To Install
Hire Locally or Consider Using Your In-House Facilities Team
If you’re an architect or designer charged with specifying or selecting a static-control floor, you know that aesthetics is only part of the picture. The most attractive ESD floor will fail if it’s specified for an incompatible space or fails to meet the proper industry standards. And product failure can result in liabilities that no architect wants to—or should have to—deal with. By following industry protocols, you can avoid the mistakes that sometimes get specifiers in trouble.
In addition to color and design, your objectives for any floor you specify probably include items such as budget, durability, ergonomics, and sustainability. These are important considerations. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find an ESD floor with excellent static-protective properties that also meets these secondary objectives.
Before specifying any floor—or thinking about design, color, ergonomics, or even budget—it’s crucial that you understand the basics about static electricity and electrostatic discharge (ESD) and that you’re familiar with common ESD terms. If this is your first exposure to ESD flooring, taking a few minutes to read an article or two now will save you time, energy, and headache down the line. To learn the basics of ESD and ESD flooring, click here.
Here are spaces where ESD flooring is required and used:
Spaces Requiring ESD Flooring
- Examples: ESD-protected areas (EPA), including microelectronics fabrication; circuit board assembly; manufacturing test and repair of electronics; cleanrooms
- Complies with ANSI/ESD S20.20: 100 volt static-charge maximum
- Handles open electronic parts
- Floor in combination with special static-control footwear provides ground connection
- Foot grounders or ESD shoes mandated and enforced
- Wrist straps required
- Examples: mission-critical areas such as server rooms; 9-1-1 dispatch areas; development labs; university labs; data centers; certain cleanrooms; flight command centers; hospitals; government offices
- Requires uninterrupted operation of electronic systems
- No wrist straps or special footwear
- Floor must prevent charges on people wearing all types of footwear
Before Specifying Any Floor, Make an ESD Checklist.
Static-control flooring options
|Static-Control Flooring Options||Environment|
Complies with ANSI/ESD S20.20 using ESD Footwear
100 volt maximum
No ESD Footwear
500 volt maximum
|Eclipse EC and GF Rubber||Yes||Yes|
|Conductive Vinyl Tile||Yes||No|
|Static-Dissipative Vinyl Tile||Yes||No|
|Plastic Interlock Conductive Flooring||Yes1||No|
|Plastic Interlocking Dissipative Flooring||Yes1||No|
|Conductive Epoxy Coatings||Yes1||No|
|Static-Dissipative Epoxy Coatings||Yes1||No|
|Shadow FX Static-Dissipative Carpet Tile||Yes||Yes|
|Antistatic High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)||No||No|
|Conductive High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)||Yes||No|
All static-control flooring options should be tested and evaluated based on the type of footwear that will be used in the specific space. Epoxy and vinyl offer no static protection without the use of static control footwear.
- 7 Common Mistakes Selecting an ESD floor
- Choosing ESD Flooring for:
- ESD Footwear: What Is It and When Is It Necessary?
- Facility Managers’ Guide to Selecting ESD Flooring
- Keeping Architects Grounded
- The Need for Due Diligence in Specifying Static-Free Flooring
- Standard of Care for Specifying Floors in Mission-Critical Spaces
- Static-Control Footwear for Electronics Manufacturing and Handling Applications
- Understanding the Hidden Costs of ESD Flooring
With Staticworx ESD flooring, you never have to choose between performance and aesthetics. Our beautiful, high quality ESD carpet tile, vinyl, EC rubber tile and sheet goods, and ESD epoxy floors are as beautiful as they are functional.