Slip Resistance Explained
Featured tile: 1223359 Cityscape Grey Microtec

Slip Resistance Explained

Slip Ratings for tiles have been designed to make it easy when deciding if a tile is suitable for the bathroom, kitchen, an outdoor area, or even around a pool.

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Beauty, style and safety.

Tiles are not just a pretty face; they play an important part in keeping you and your family safe in areas that may have a risk of slipping.

However, not all tiles are made the same and there are many various surfaces that exist. If you touch the surface of a few different tiles you can see just how different they may feel.

Some tiles feel smoother, others have a light sandpaper feel and another may have a bit more resistance. It is important to know that the feeling of a tile does not always indicate its slip resistance. 

Generally a tile with a Slip Resistance has a textured finish surface. We measure a tile and its slip resistance by a Slip Rating, this makes it easy to determine whether a tile is suitable for different indoor areas like bathrooms and kitchens, or outdoors areas like a patio or around a pool.

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Featured tile: 1220306 Lagoon Almond Microtec

What is a Slip Rating?

A Slip Rating is a test of a tile surface and its Slip Resistance.

These ratings have been developed according to Australian Standards and help with the selection of tiles where safety is a priority.

For residential buildings, the Australian Building Code and Australian Standards only mandate slip-rated flooring for stair nosings, stair landings and ramps.

Slip ratings are mainly a concern when using a tile in a commercial application such as a shopping center, warehouse, industrial building, etc. In these situations, factors such as pedestrian stride and pace along with any contamination of the tile surface by water, oil, or foreign substances are common factors in falls.

Our Hot Tip: Download our handy things to know about tiles PDF for a quick reference tool

Why is a Slip Rating important?

A Slip Rating helps to make it easy when determining whether a tile is suitable for its intended application. 

There are three common slip resistance tests in Australia:

  1. Pendulum test which gives a result between P0-P5. 
  2. Oil-Wet Ramp test which gives a result between R9-R13.
  3. Barefoot Wet Ramp test which gives an A, B or C result.

For residential applications (your home) we mainly use a pendulum test. 

The Oil-Wet Ramp or Barefoot Wet Ramp are common tests for commercial applications. 

Our Hot Tip: Choose an appropriate slip resistance for your project, remembering that the higher the level of slip resistance, the more effort required for cleaning.

Featured tile: 1008952 Rome Cement Light Grey
Featured tile: 1000448 Heartwood Walnut

What is a Pendulum Test?

A Pendulum Test mimics a standard shoe sole striking a wet tile. The test measures the frictional resistance between a wet tile and a foot-shaped mass with a rubber slider that is mounted on a pendulum arm.

In this test the higher the number, the lower the risk of slipping.

A tile with a rating between P0-P3 is generally considered suitable for indoor flooring while a P4 or P5 has a lower slip risk and can be used outside or around a pool.

Pendulum Classification Skid Resistance Value [SRV] Slip Risk
P0 Below 12 Very high
P1 12-24 Very high
P2 25-34 High
P3 35-44 Moderate
P4 45-54 Low
P5 Over 54 Very Low

What is an Oil-Wet Ramp Test?

An Oil-Wet Ramp Test involves laying the tiles on a ramp and applying lubricating oil to the surface of them. Testers walk on the inclined tiles to determine the angle at which they become unsafe.

This angle is used to determine the degree of slip resistance. 

Slip Resistance Value Corrected Mean Acceptance Angle (Degrees) Slip Risk
R9 6-10 Very high
R10 10-19 High
R11 19-27 Moderate
R12 27-35 Low
R13 Over 35 Very low

Our Hot Tip: Cleaning is an important part of maintaining an appropriate level of slip resistance.

Featured tile: 1002234 Timeless Ceppo Gris used by Petos Constructions
Featured tile: 1212954 Riverstone White

What is a Barefoot Wet Ramp Test?

The Barefoot Wet Ramp Test involves testers soaking their bare feet than walking on inclined tiles sprayed with water to determine the unsafe angle.

This test is most relevant for tiles to be used around swimming pools, showers, and change rooms.

Slip Resistance Value Corrected mean Acceptance Angle (Degrees) Slip Risk
A 12-18 High
B 18-24 Moderate
C Over 24 Very Low

 

What should I use on Stair Nosings, Landings and Ramps?

For bigger jobs such as residential buildings keeping everyone safe is a must!

The Australian Building Code and Australian Standards only mandate slip-rated flooring for stair nosings, stair landings and ramps. 

Here's a helpful guide:

Slip Resistance Classifications referenced by BCA, NCC and Australian Standards

Surface Conditions Dry Surface Dry Surface Wet Surface Wet Surface
  Wet Pendulum Test Oil-wet Ramp Test Wet Pendulum Test Oil-wet Ramp Test
Stair treads or stairway landing surface P3 R10 P4 R11
Nosings for stair treads and stairway landing edge strip P3   P4  
Ramps in buildings steeper than 1:20 but not steeper than 1:14 P3 R10 P4 R11
Ramps in buildings steeper than 1:14 and not steeper than 1:8 P4 R11 P5 R12

BCA: Building Code of Australia NCC: National Construction Code Australian Standards AS4586-2013; HB198:2014

 

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Do tiles with a Slip Resistance need special cleaning?

Tiles with a slip resistance generally have a textured surface. The initial clean is the most important for textured tiles.

24 hours after the grout has dried, tiles should be washed with Lithofin Cement Residue Remover following the instructions on the bottle.

If you notice a dull haze just after your new tiles are laid, or you are finding that your tiles are getting dirty very quickly, don't panic! This may be grout residue and is easily washed off with Lithofin Cement Residue Remover. Check out our handy info on removing grout haze here.

For everyday cleaning, they are just as easy to maintain as non-textured tiles. We recommend Lithofin KF Vitra-Clean with warm water and a damp microfibre mop.

Or for a home-made, everyday, tile cleaning solution try using hot water and a dash of methylated spirits. Avoid soap-based products as they can leave a thin film on the tiles that will attract more dirt.

Our Hot Tip: Cleaning is an important part of maintaining an appropriate level of slip resistance. Download our Cleaning & Maintenance guide here.

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