SLIP RESISTANCe

When talking about any hard flooring surface, slip resistance is something that really should be considered carefully. No matter what you read, all hard surfaces are slippery when wet; but there are some simple things you can check and do in order to ensure that your tile flooring remains safe for you and your family. When considering tile for your floor, aesthetics and design are important, but safety is essential.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

The slip resistance of tile is rated by manufacturers according to a standard Co-Efficient of Friction (COF), with 1 being 100% slip resistant, and 0 being very slippery.

Common misconceptions

There are two common misconceptions concerning slip resistance. The first misconception is that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a slip resistance requirement of SCOF (Static Co-Efficient Of Friction) 0.5. OSHA does not mandate a slip resistance of 0.5. The second misconception is that the American Disability Association (ADA) has a SCOF requirement of 0.6. This is not true; the ADA only has referenced guidelines as to how sturdy a floor should be.

Slip resistance rating systems

There are the 2 rating systems used in tile,

Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) is the oldest method used to measure the slip resistance of tile., This measurement is inaccurate as it measures the slip resistance of tile when standing still (static.) In most cases even ice is not slippery when you stand still and this is why there is a newer method for measuring slip resistance.

Dynamic Co-Efficient Of Friction (DCOF) is the newer method used to measure slip resistance and is highly recognized as the most accurate. It is measured in a way that more naturally represents a human stride. This is vitally important especially when considering tile around wet areas such as bathrooms and pools. 

 

GOOD TO KNOW

How do manufacturers make tile slip resistant?

With the advancement in modern tile making and high definition printing, we are now able to manufacture tiles with striking textures that improve the slip resistance of the tiles when wet. Even just a decade ago, we didn’t have a fraction of the selection there is now. With new technology being developed every day, there is more and more tile to choose from to meet your design needs.

Things to consider when choosing tile

  • Is the tile being installed in a dry area with no faucets or exposure to water e.g. living room?
  • Is the tile being installed in a semi-wet area where occasional exposure to water is expected e.g. kitchen?
  • Is the tile being installed in a wet area with constant exposure to water e.g. bathroom?
  • Is the tile being installed outside?
  • Is the tile being installed around a swimming pool?

 

Area-by-Area rough guide (advisory only)


DRY AREAS

for example: living room, bedrooms

  • Polished floor tile not recommended
  • Any size and type will work
  • Any SCOF or DCOF rating will work

SEMI-WET AREAS

for example: kitchen

  • Recommended DCOF/SCOF of 0.6
  • Most Sizes of tile will be fine
  • Natural Stones and Porcelains are suitable

WET AREAS

for example: bathrooms

  • Recommend DCOF of 0.6 (SCOF of 0.6 may be suitable)
  • Showers floors with mosaics – simple rule: more grout lines, less slipping
  • First step out of shower/bath should have a small bathroom mat/rug

OUTDOOR AREAS

for example: decks & patios

  • Recommend SCOF/DCOF of at least 0.6
  • Be careful in the early mornings due to dew/condensation & after rain
  • Smaller tiles (12×12 or smaller) with more grout lines offer better slip resistance

POOL AREAS

  • Only select tiles that are recommended for pool applications i.e. very high slip resistance
  • If unsure, please ask us for recommendations
  • Be careful in the early mornings due to dew/condensation & after rain
 

Come visit us at any of showrooms - we would love to help you select a safe and perfect tile for your specific area.