Well, actually, there’s no such thing as non-slip flooring, only slip resistant flooring which Porcel-Thin happens to ace! Here we’ll help you understand: the concept of slip resistant flooring, how slip resistance is measured, slip resistance flooring ratings, characteristics of flooring with higher slip resistances (suitable for bathrooms); and things you can do to improve the slip resistance of a bathroom floor. You’ll soon see why when shopping for non-slip bathroom flooring our porcelain tiles should be your first port of call.
There’s no such thing as non-slip bathroom flooring!
Given the right circumstances or contaminates (think water, soap and oil) any floor can present a slip hazard, which is not you want in a family home bathroom or a commercial facility. Although “non-slip bathroom flooring” and “non-slip wetroom flooring” can’t be manufactured, it’s possible to buy anti-slip flooring for bathrooms that offers resistance to slipping and a floor’s resistance to slip can be measured accurately. Architects, developers, specifiers and interior designers alike should consider slip resistance ratings first and foremost when choosing slip resistant bathroom flooring to ensure that the product they choose is suitable for use and meets safety standards
How is the slip resistance of bathroom flooring measured?
The most common methods for testing the slip resistance of flooring are:
- Ramp Test – With test values expressed as a scale, or “R” ratings, ranging from R9 (least slip resistance) to R13 (most slip resistance)
- Pendulum Test – With test results expressed as a Pendulum Test Value (PTV), ranging 0-24 (least slip resistance), 25-35 and 35+ (most slip resistance).
- ABC Test – With test results, for bare feet only in wet floor conditions such as showers and pools, categorised as A (least slip resistant) to C (most slip resistant)
The table below, where all values are given for flat floors with no gradient, shows how the tests compare with each other’s criteria:
The preferred test method for the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the test method used by Porcel-Thin to test all of their tiles, the PTV test provides more detailed results.
How can I use R ratings, PTV or ABC to choose anti-slip bathroom tiles?
Considering HSE’s suggested minimum PTV slip resistance rating of 36 for wet or contaminated shod and flat environments, flooring should have a PTV value of 45 or more (ABC test rating of C – highest slip resistance) to achieve maximum performance.
Customers should take care when buying R11 rated flooring as it’s not as straightforward as it might first seem. HSE recommends a minimum PTV value of 36 and R11 flooring, which is often sold as “slip resistant”, includes flooring with PTV values ranging 34-51. While flooring with a value of below PTV 36 doesn’t meet the HSE guidelines but would correctly rate as R11.
Any gradient in a floor reduces the slip resistance of flooring too and it’s recommended that the minimum recommended HSE slip rating of PTV 36 be increased by a factor of 2 PTV for every 1 degree of gradient in the floor.
Characteristics of suitable types of flooring for bathrooms
- All floor covering should have a minimum PTV value of 36, this includes some R11 rated types of flooring.
- For wet floors (or floors that will spend a considerable time damp or wet) a minimum PTV rating of 45 is recommended. Go higher if the floor has any gradient, such as a wet room with a gradient to a floor drain. Although technically an R11 rated floor could have a PTV value of 45 this is towards the top of the R11 ratings and therefore it’s recommended that flooring for bathrooms should be at least R12 rated – R13 rated if a gradient is present.
- Flooring with a textured surface finish will generally have a higher slip resistance when wet than that with a polished surface. This is why tiles with a polished finish should generally be reserved for use on walls.
- Floor coverings with high slip resistance and suitable for bathrooms and wet rooms include porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles and vinyl flooring with a matt, textured, riven or structured surface finish and a PTV rating of 45 or more. Although softer surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, can wear over time and this can significantly lower the slip resistance. For this reason, take note of the PEI scratch resistance rating when buying tiles as this provides a guide to its hardness and durability.
Tips for preventing slips in the bathroom
- Choose a floor covering with a PTV value of 45 or higher.
- Clear standing water and soap suds with a floor squeegee or cloth. This is particularly important for wet rooms.
- Ensure your bathroom or wet room has an extractor fan installed, management of airborne moisture is important for safety and preventing mould growth and smells.
- Fit underfloor heating as this will help to dry floors quickly with the added benefit of a nice warm floor to step on.
- Install a heated towel rail close to the shower or bath. This will prevent water being spread over the bathroom floor and allows people to dry off in the wet area.
- If the bathroom or wet room is intended for use by the elderly or people with impaired movement, consider fitting hand rails to the walls.
Why Porcel-Thin tiles are a great alternative to non-slip bathroom flooring
- All Porcel-Thin tiles are tested at our in-house facility, using the HSE preferred PTV slip resistance test.
- We publish dry and wet PTV test scores for Porcel-Thin tiles on our website – test scores can be found for most tiles on individual product pages or they can be obtained by contacting us.
- A wide range of finishes in plain, stone and wood effect tiles is offered and we provide a great choice of safe and slip resistant flooring for bathrooms.
- Porcel-Thin tiles can be used inside and outside the home, making them a great choice for all wet and high-traffic areas including: bathrooms, wetrooms, saunas, boot rooms, kitchens, entrances, patios, bordering hot tubs, and in and around swimming pools.
- The high density nature of Porcel-Thin tiles means they have a water absorption rate of below 0.5%. This means our porcelain tiles dry faster and it’s easier to clear standing water away.
- Large format and easy to work with, Porcel-Thin tiles present fewer less grout lines to trap water, soap and dirt, What’s more, they make forming gradients for wet room floors easy.
We hope this arms you with all the info you need when making a decision about anti-slip bathroom tiles for your next project. For more details, or if you have a specific slip resistant bathroom flooring question, please get in touch and we’ll let you know why Porcel-Thin’s your perfect solution.