How to remove self-adhesive tactile tiles and indicators?

One of the benefits of self-adhesive tactile tiles and indicators is that they can operate in a temporary fashion. If you’re applying them to a surface that can’t be modified by drilling they make an ideal substitution to drill and resin, or screw hole fixings. However, there may come a time when the arrangement needs to be changed or the tactile tiles and indicators need to be removed completely, and it’s important to know the most effective way of doing this.

Depending on the situation there are multiple ways of removing self-adhesive tactile indicators such as studs, tiles, or strips. There are differences however depending on the type of indicator.

TPU tactile tiles and indicators

Due to their TPU composition tactile tiles, indicators can be heated at the corner, using something like a hairdryer or an iron with a cloth placed over the tile. This heat will cause the adhesive to soften and allow you to slide a scraper tool underneath and pry the tile away from the surface. Once the tile is removed the adhesive residue can be cleaned up with surface cleaner or isopropyl alcohol. Alternatively, the residue can be scraped away and then hoovered up if there’s no isopropyl alcohol or surface cleaner available.  If there are a large number of tactile tiles, something like a floor tile stripper may be ideal for tackling a greater area.

Steel tactile indicators

Steel and other metal tactile indicators present slightly more of a challenge as heating up the adhesive underneath, would require heating the metal stud or strip above it. This presents a hazard as the temperature needed is far greater than that of its TPU counterparts, and could lead to burns if not careful.

We recommend trying to pry the edge of the stud up in the first instance, then spraying isopropyl alcohol underneath the lifted part of the stud. The isopropyl alcohol should then start to eat away at the adhesive allowing you to lift the stud to the point that it should release itself from the floor. Due to the relatively small surface area of the self-adhesive, studs and strips are much easier to pry away than tiles. For that added ease and to preserve the floor underneath, isopropyl alcohol should prevent the need for any harsh or jerking movements that may result in damage to the surface

Post removal and re-using self-adhesive tactile indicators

If you’re looking to re-use the studs they’ll need to be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol to remove any of the leftover adhesive before then re-applying a self-adhesive tape or paste.