ESD vs Anti-Static: What’s the Difference?

Electrostatic charge can happen when two electrically charged objects come into contact and cause static electricity, and is very common in workplaces through electronic devices and employees. As a result of electrostatic discharge, environments operating with electronic equipment and products run the risk of larger problems such as instant and latent failures to machines. 

It’s important to have a flooring solution in place that can manage and prevent the impact of electrostatic charge, most commonly you may consider ESD flooring or Anti-Static as your solution. It is important you understand the difference between each flooring and your own environmental requirements to ensure you are picking the correct flooring solution. We have outlined below the commonly asked questions regarding ESD and anti-static flooring to make this decision easier for you.

What is ESD Flooring?

Electrostatic Discharge Flooring (ESD) is a flooring solution created with a combination of materials in order to reduce the electrostatic charge from flooring, electronics and physical contact. An ESD flooring solution acts as a conductor to intentionally flow and control the electrical current and reduce/eliminate electrostatic discharge which commonly happens in workplaces through workers moving around the factory and operating machinery, that can result in a shock. This is more common within manufacturing, warehouse and industrial environments. 

What is Anti-static flooring?

Anti-static flooring similarly refers to the prevention of static electric buildup. Anti-static flooring is created with a topcoat surface that controls and dissolves static across the surface to prevent the static buildup that produces a shock. As an electric static shock is a common pain point, customers mainly request this floor, however, after further discussion they may realise it is not as robust as they may require for their working environment. 

Differences between ESD and Anti-static flooring


When considering purchasing a floor to protect your employees and machinery, you have to determine the level of protection required. Anti-static flooring is suitable for more domestic electric static buildup that causes shock, is less of a risk and more so a nuisance value. Anti-static flooring provides a resistance range that is only between 10⁹ and 10 to the 11,  meaning the floor will not generate static. However, this does not protect against a static buildup that has already occurred in a person’s body, but rather the flooring will not generate any more static. 

For environments that electrostatic buildup can cause injury to staff, equipment failure and machinery/product malfunction, a stronger solution is required. ESD flooring is considered a more robust and long-lasting solution for environments with high levels of traffic and use, such as industrial or manufacturing. These environments tend to have a higher buildup of electrostatic and this is due to the large amounts of electronically charged objects that are receptive to electrostatic buildup. ESD flooring is grounded so, therefore, offering a higher level of protection. Due to the makeup of ESD flooring, it allows any electronic charge to be conducted through the flooring, including the electrostatic charge from a person to the floor. 


As both flooring solutions prevent electrostatic charge they can be used in a wide variety of environments. The main question is what level of protection does your business need and what are the risks of high levels of electrostatic discharge to your business. Even slight electrostatic discharge can have unfortunate effects on electronic equipment within your business. Sectors such as IT, automotive, aviation, oil, gas and medical all hold a higher risk of damage to electronic goods and will commonly use ESD flooring to prevent electrostatic build-up interfering with equipment and products.

Maintaining ESD and Anti-Static Flooring

Whatever floor you decide to go for, both are easily installed and quite low maintenance. Most ESD and anti-static flooring, like R-Tek’s interlocking ESD floor tiles, can be installed over existing sub-flooring, saving you time and money when it comes to installation. 

Like any floor, it is important you look after and clean your floors regularly and as best as you can. Whilst it is easy to clean ESD and anti-static flooring it is important to use products that are designed especially for the properties of ESD and anti-static flooring.  Anti-static cleaning products are designed to protect and maintain the floors to a high standard as they include an anti-static additive, which is important for eliminating static build-up.

Normal floor cleaning products hold a high risk of increased susceptibility of static build-up and over time, could result in damage to your floors, which would ultimately result in replacements being required. By choosing a neutral PH flooring chemical you will be protecting the top layers of your floors, giving you that reassurance that your floor will last longer. 

Alternatively, there are numerous sealants that are available and offer similar protection as ESD or Anti-static for your floors and can protect against static energy. However, these sealants are commonly known for their difficult application and require regular maintenance. 

Style & Colours

Both ESD and anti-static flooring come in a variety of colours and styles. At R-Tek, we understand the importance of maintaining your business’s brand, so we pride ourselves in our wide range of ESD/Anti-static flooring that comes in a diverse range of styles and colours that can be incorporated into any business. 

Why Choose ESD Flooring Solutions?

If you are worried about the safety of your employees and electronic machinery, investing in ESD is a brilliant solution. At R-Tek we offer an ESD/Anti-static flooring solution that is easy to install, clean and maintain, and is a long-lasting solution for your business that also is more environmentally sustainable. In case of any damage to your floors, our ESD flooring is easy to move and reuse, adding that extra convenience for you and your business.

Wondering If ESD or Anti-static is Best for Your Business?

If you are unsure which flooring solution is best for your business needs then get in touch with us now. Our team of experts have worked within the ESD and Anti-static flooring industry and will be able to talk you through each solution and answer all of your questions. We take into consideration the finer details of your business queries to ensure that all demands that are required are met.