FAQ: Can new ESD floors be installed over old?

This is a question that should be answered only by a qualified flooring professional, based on either a site inspection or a lengthy conversation. Almost any floor can be installed over an old floor as long as the old floor is in good condition and well-bonded to the sub floor.

Some floors are easier and less risky to install over old floors. Vinyl, for example, can be installed over existing vinyl. Besides being easier and less messy than removing old tile, if the existing floor contains asbestos, tiling over it protects installers from exposure to toxic vapor inhalation during removal of the old tile.

On the other hand, vinyl is stiff and unforgiving—it could delaminate if the adhesive does not cure well or if the surface is slightly uneven. The possibility of failure is much greater installing vinyl over vinyl than if ESD carpet tile were installed over old vinyl. Carpet tiles are flexible and the release-adhesive bonds extremely well to old vinyl and epoxy. In many cases, carpet tiles can even be installed using glue-free methods like GroundBridge.

Many installers prefer installing carpet tiles over old vinyl rather than over new concrete, because concrete presents a host of variables—such as curing and moisture mitigation—that cost time and money. As often as not, the choice of installing over old floors comes down to concerns about downtime, removal cost, and subsequent damage, asbestos or other environmental factors or budget considerations.

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Background photo shows an ongoing ESD epoxy flooring installation. At the bottom of the image is at dark blue grey rectangle with the title “What is ESD flooring?” and above this box is the StaticWorx logo - the word static in orange and Worx in white with a trailing X - in a bright blue box.

What is ESD flooring?

ESD floors dissipate static safely, protecting electronics from accidental damage due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) events.

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Background image shows a sheet of yellow stickers with a caution about electrostatic sensitive devices. At the bottom of the image is at dark blue grey rectangle with the title “What does ESD mean?” and above this box is the StaticWorx logo - the word static in orange and Worx in white with a trailing X - in a bright blue box.

What does ESD mean?

ESD stands for electrostatic discharge. Minute ESD events, too small for humans to perceive, can damage electronic components.

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Background photo shows a circuit board with sparks between two components. At the bottom of the image is at dark blue grey rectangle with the title “How can you prevent ESD?” and above this box is the StaticWorx logo - the word static in orange and Worx in white with a trailing X - in a bright blue box.

How can you prevent ESD?

Preventing ESD requires a well-thought-out ESD prevention program. What is required will be dependent on the application and environment.

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Background photo is a panelled wood flooring. At the bottom of the image is at dark blue grey rectangle with the title “Is wood antistatic?” and above this box is the StaticWorx logo - the word static in orange and Worx in white with a trailing X - in a bright blue box.

Is wood antistatic?

No, wood is not antistatic. You can learn which materials are antistatic and which are not by looking at our Triboelectric chart.

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What are ESD guidelines?

Because different applications require different specifications for static control, ESD guidelines, or standards, vary across industries.

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StaticWorx high-performance static-control floors protect electronic components, explosives, and high-speed computers from damage caused by static electricity. ESD flooring is part of a system. Choices should always be based on objective, researched evidence. When you partner with us, we look at all possible items that may need to integrate with the floor, and, focusing on your goals and objectives, help you find the right floor for your application.