I live in a house with polished concrete radiant-heated floors. They're not polished to a shine, but they do feel very smooth. I' d like to apply a decorative pattern to the floors with some sort of paint or tape.

  1. The first step would be to lay down something temporary, like masking tape, that can be easily moved or removed after a few days or weeks without leaving a permanent mark. I understand that many tapes can leave a residue, so I'm looking for a recommendation for a product that can be removed cleanly.

  2. The second step will be to replace the tape with a more durable tape or paint that will last a few years, and stand up to light foot traffic. (This will be inside a private home, and most foot traffic will be barefoot or in socks.) After several years, I will want to be able to remove it and restore the floors to their original condition. It's ok if this takes several hours of focused cleaning, but it shouldn't require re-polishing the floor, and I definitely don't want to risk any dye soaking into the concrete, if that's even possible.

Are there products that will reliably meet these criteria?

EDIT: according to a video on cleaning concrete floors, "concrete is a reactive surface - you don't want to put any acidic or highly alkaline [cleaning] products on the floor." I'm not sure if that helps narrow down the options - maybe an acid-free "archival grade" tape?

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    Are these in areas that are going to be walked on frequently? "Remove without residue" and "withstand years of foot traffic" might be a hard combination to find. – JPhi1618 Mar 6 '19 at 21:35
  • I’d just use “floor tape” for both phases. Type “floor tape” into amazon. Mostly schools use it on gym floors I believe, also used in warehouse and industrial applications, available in many colors. – Tyson Mar 6 '19 at 23:28
  • Use vinyl floor tape that's used on indoor arena courts for marking basketball/volleyball etc lines. I used some on wooden stairs to highlight the edge of the steps. It lasted 5 years. Example: amazon.com/Gamecraft-FTAP16BK-P-Floor-Marking-Tape/dp/… Multiple colours. Usually 1 and 2" widths. – Sherwood Botsford Sep 30 '19 at 16:24

G tape

Nichigo G-Tape 3040BK/WH is a high performance self-adhering flashing tape used for sealing around openings and penetrations in exterior walls. G-Tape 3040 is constructed with a unique combination of high density polyethylene cloth (HDPE) is laminated with low density polyethylene (LDPE) and proprietary acrylic adhesive. The functional PE cloth provides easy handling features such as, dimensional stability, high tensile strength, and high weather resistance. The acrylic adhesive sticks well to rough surfaces at both low and high temperatures (-4 ~ 190 degree F).

It's amazing stuff, I used it to tape a tear in my fabric tonneau cover right on a spot where it folds. After 3 years I pulled it off and replaced it just because I thought I should.

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  • You could also look into plastidip spray paint, it makes a removable plastic film. I've never used it so can't comment on it. – Joe Fala Mar 7 '19 at 1:11
  • That G-Tape looks useful. Reading through info from the manufacturer, though, it seems like it's meant to be pretty permanent - I'd worry it'd leave a stain or other non-removable damage. (I have looked into plastidip - there's not much info about using it on concrete, except instructions on what to do when you accidentally get some on your garage floor! In that case, I suspect most people are looking for a "good enough" solution rather than a "good as new" solution, so I don't know that it's relevant to me... I guess I have a pretty unusual use case!) – Josh Mar 7 '19 at 4:52
  • I've been using G tape for years and on many surfaces. It is meant to be permanent as a flashing ceiling but I've never had it leave a residue on anything. It's pretty incredible. another type of tape that may work well is called gaffer tape. It's what movie set crews use to tape down wires and cables. – Joe Fala Mar 7 '19 at 4:59

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