As a flooring option, tiles are prized for their hardness and smoothness, among other benefits. However, some tiles are smoother than others and may not be as suitable for wet areas where they may become slippery.
Slip ratings have been designed to make it easy to decide whether a tile is suitable for different areas like bathrooms, kitchens, outdoors or around pools.
Please note that the following slip ratings have been developed, in accordance with Australian standards, to assist with the selection of tiles in circumstances where public 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.
Pendulum Test (P0 – P5)
The Pendulum Test measures the frictional resistance between a wet tile and a foot-shaped mass fitted with a rubber slider mounted on a pendulum arm, mimicking a standard shoe sole striking a wet tile.
Oil-Wet Ramp Test (R9 – R13)
The Oil-Wet Ramp Test involves laying the tiles on a ramp and applying lubricating oil to 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.
Barefoot Wet Ramp Test (A, B, C)
The Barefoot Wet Ramp Test involves testers soaking their bare feet then 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.
You’ll often hear about tiles having a wear rating. It’s important to choose tiles that are suitable for your area.
The surfaces of glazed and unglazed floor tiles can be subjected to surface abrasion caused by foot traffic. Wear ratings help you determine what tiles are a good match with different levels of foot traffic.
The following ratings have been developed to indicate the level of wear resistance you can expect from your chosen porcelain tiles.
Tiles with a wear rating of 0 are not recommended for use on floors.
Please note that the examples below are given as general indications only. All areas are different, and you should decide the best tile for your own circumstances.
WEAR 1: Light Duty
Tiles in areas which are walked on with bare feet without abrasive dirt (for example residential ensuites and bedrooms without direct access from the outside).
WEAR 2: Regular Duty
Tiles in areas which are walked on with soft-soled footwear or bare feet, with minimal amounts of abrasive dirt (for example residential bathrooms).
WEAR 3: Medium Duty
Tiles in areas which are more often walked on by normal footwear, with small amounts of abrasive dirt (for example residential kitchens, halls, corridors, balconies and terraces).
WEAR 4: Heavy Duty
Tiles which are walked on by regular traffic, with some abrasive dirt so that the conditions are more severe than class 3 (for example entrances, commercial kitchens, hotel, exhibition and sale rooms).
WEAR 5: Extra Heavy Duty
Tiles which are subjected to severe pedestrian traffic over sustained periods with some abrasive dirt (for example public areas, shopping centres, airport concourses, hotel foyers, public walkways and industrial applications).
Digital tile printing technology has evolved to allow multiple colour tones or designs in a particular shade – this is called unique variation. From cladding to bricks to stone and timber look tiles right through to large format slab tiles, it’s all about celebrating the intense mix of shades that emulate natural surfaces.
The following ratings have been developed to indicate the level of variation you can expect from your chosen tiles.
We always recommend you dry lay V3 and V4 tiles prior to laying to ensure you’re totally happy with the range of variation.
VO: Very Uniform Appearance
The tiles are very uniform, monochromatic in colour with little or no variation.
V1: Uniform Appearance
Differences between the pieces from the same production run (batch) are minimal.
V2: Slight Variation
Clearly distinguishable texture and/or pattern within similar colour tones.
V3: Moderate Variation
While the colour tones/design present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of all tiles, the colour tones/design on each piece may vary significantly from tile to tile.
V4: Substantial Variation
Random colour tones/design differences from tile to tile, so that some tiles may feature completely different colour tones/design from those on other tiles. This variation creates an artful and unique installation.
The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme is Australia’s urban water saving scheme. The WELS rating is a measure of a product’s water efficiency by giving it a star rating out of six. You might recognize it by the sticker:
The WELS rating measures water consumption differently depending on the product. A tap or showerhead measures water use by litres per minute of use, while a toilet is measured by litres used per flush, half-flush or average flush. For more information, please visit the Australian Government’s Water Rating website.