Tile Slip Ratings: Explained (+ Tips to Prevent Slips)

Tile Slip Ratings: Explained (+ Tips to Prevent Slips)

Accidents happen - and in many industries, they can be catastrophic. In the world of tiling, slips can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. So how do you know if a tile is safe? The answer lies in slip ratings! Here, we'll explain exactly what slip ratings are and how to understand them so that you can ensure your surfaces are secure for everyone who will walk on it. Plus, we'll share some quick tips on preventing slips from ensuring all floors - residential or commercial - provide safety without compromising style.

What Are Tile Slip Ratings?

When it comes to tile, one of the most important factors to consider is a tile slip rating. These ratings can indicate the slip resistance of floor tiles in both wet and dry conditions and are essential for the safety of any indoor environment. Knowing what these ratings mean is crucial when choosing a new tile floor or even just making sure your existing tiles are up to code.

A high rating by a certification body can reduce the responsibility of accidents in public areas while providing peace of mind that your home or business is as safe as possible. Understanding what tile slip ratings are and how they affect you helps inform responsible decision-making that ensures everyone's safety.

Factors That Affect Tile Slip Ratings

Factors affecting tiles' slip ratings are vitally important to consider when selecting appropriate flooring for a given area. Primarily, their overall texture - whether glazed or unglazed - will have the greatest effect on their performance, as more porous and textured surfaces are less slippery than smoother ones. Additionally, tile surface composition impacts its anti-slip characteristics; glazes that contain grits and particles can create a higher coefficient of friction on the tile surface. Moreover, regular maintenance practices such as moping and waxing can ensure maximum effectiveness against slippage. Ultimately, the amount of danger posed by slippery tiles depends on choosing a suitable tile and diligently adhering to its maintenance requirements.

How Does the Testing Process Work?

The tile slip rating testing process is a series of tests conducted to determine the slip resistance of a particular tile or surface. The process typically involves running two tests on a sample of the tile or flooring. The first test, the ramp test, measures how much traction the tile has when it is pushed forward with a special machine. This can help determine just how slippery the surface is for walking and wheelchair use. The second test, called the pendulum test, measures both the dynamic coefficient (how much force needs to be applied) and static coefficient (the amount of friction present between slider and base) of friction that results as one object slides over another material, like walking barefoot over ceramic tiles. Once these tests are complete, an average slip resistance rating can be calculated for the material being tested. Understanding this information will allow business owners and property managers to keep their staff and customers safe by choosing materials with appropriate slip resistance for their needs.

Using Slip Ratings to Choose the Right Tiles

When it comes to choosing the right tiles for a project, slip ratings can be a great guide. Slip ratings refer to the amount of traction that certain tile surfaces can provide. Low ratings indicate less traction, and higher ratings offer more grip, making them suitable for flooring areas with a risk of slipping. Understanding relevant government regulations is also important when considering slip ratings for safety purposes, in residential and commercial settings.

High slip rating tiles can be styled in various colours, textures, and shapes, so they need not suffer on aesthetic grounds. Researching different types of tiles and their relative slip ratings will help homeowners ensure they have chosen the best possible option that meets their requirements.

Health & Safety

Best Practices for Minimising Slippage Risk

Minimising slip risk is essential to maintaining a safe and accident-free home. Slippage can lead to falls, injuries, and other dangerous situations. The best thing you can do to minimise slippage risk is to add additional traction to any slippery surfaces. For instance, adding non-skid treads to tile floors or adhesive strips for stairs will provide the added grip needed for safety. It's also important that you look out for worn-down spots on the floor - simply sprucing it up with a coat of sealer or paint can greatly reduce slippage risk.

Lastly, pay close attention to rugs and doormats - taking extra time to ensure they are securely placed will go a long way in keeping your space safe and secure from hazardous slips!

Tile Standards for Improved Safety

Floors are an important part of any home, space or property and creating a safe environment is essential. Tile standards for improved safety are established to ensure that floors are properly installed and easy to keep clear of hazards. Many building regulations specify the types of tiles that must be used in order to provide an extra layer of protection from grime, water and other contaminants. The tile standards also require that tiles be laid out in a specific pattern that ensures the highest level of floor stability and structural integrity and provides the necessary skid resistance for those who walk on them. In addition, proper sealing and grouting can extend the life of your tile installation even further by preventing water seepage and general premature wear and tear. By keeping tile standards for improved safety regularly in mind, you can create an environment at home or elsewhere that is totally free from slips, falls, spills or any other mishaps.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Grades of Tile Slip Ratings

Higher slip ratings come with several advantages. First and foremost, they provide increased safety due to their better grip on wet surfaces. In addition, tiles with higher slip ratings are often more resistant to scratches and other damage caused by foot traffic and mopping. If your flooring is exposed to high moisture levels or frequent cleaning, these tiles can help protect against wear and tear over time.

On the other hand, lower slip ratings are generally less durable than higher-rated options since they tend to be softer and more prone to scratches or marks from daily use. This makes them less suitable for areas where there may be a lot of foot traffic or frequent mopping. Lower-rated tiles can be more slippery when wet, potentially hazardous in bathrooms or other spaces where water may gather on the floor surface.

Different Types of Tiles for Different Environments

There are countless tiles to use for any environment, and every type of tile brings its unique aesthetic. Tiles used in bathroom environments are usually chosen for their ability to withstand water and the bathroom's warm, damp atmosphere. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most popular options as they have strong water-resistance qualities and are easy to implement into an existing design scheme. Kitchen tiles often have to be both durable and stylish while creating an inviting gathering space. As such, natural stone or mosaic tiling provides a classic look with a textural variation that adds life and interest to the kitchen. But if you want a more traditional kitchen look, you could opt for tiles made out of ceramic or porcelain because they are non-porous and easy to clean.

Lastly, hallway tiles tend to emphasise design rather than practicality, making them quite difficult to choose. Options such as mosaics or patterned wallpapers give hallways character, while solid colour bathroom or kitchen tiles provide a neutral aesthetic that will complement other elements in your home. With such an abundant array of choices available, you'll be able to find the perfect tile for any environment in your home.

Choosing the Right Tile for Your Needs

When it comes to choosing the right tile for your children and pets, slip prevention should be the top priority. Keep in mind that certain tiles are naturally more slippery. For optimal safety, opt for textured or matte-finished tiles, as these surfaces will provide better traction for children and pets who use them frequently. Additionally, look for micro-bevelled edges to create a scratch-resistant surface, making wiping up spills easier.

Finally, consider the amount of water used in these areas, as this can affect slip resistance; brushing with a non-slip solution may be necessary where moisture is present or frequent. With the right tile choice and proper maintenance, you can avoid slips and falls safely and effectively around children and pets in your home.

Choosing the Right Underlay

When it comes to tile installation, one of the most important decisions is selecting the right underlay. This layer of specialised material will directly influence how safe and durable the flooring eventually becomes. It's a good idea to introduce an element of slip resistance when choosing a suitable underlay. This can be achieved by going for top-grade materials with a certain amount of texture or backed with non-slip coating. Your installer can also take other steps that enhance slip resistance, such as using adhesives infused with epoxy to fix the tiles into place. Ultimately, you should ask your installer about their experience in installing tiles and if they feel you need an extra layer of safety beneath your flooring. Replacing worn-out underlay regularly will keep your tile floors as safe as possible!

Speaking to a Professional

When it comes to selecting the right tile for your project, get in touch with a professional to get reliable advice and help. Hiring an experienced contractor with specialised knowledge can take your project from mediocre to exceptional. By working together with a skilled contractor, you can create a tile pattern that will last for years to come, warm up the atmosphere of any room, and showcase your unique style. Investing in quality tiles and services will give you peace of mind during every step of the process. Don't hesitate to get in touch with a professional when it comes time to make your decision – having an expert by your side takes all of the guesswork out!

Common Misconceptions About Tile Safety and Slip Ratings

Misconception #1: Slip Ratings Are All You Need to Know About Tile Safety

There is no denying that slip ratings are important in determining tile safety. However, there are other things to consider as well. For example, if you're buying ceramic or porcelain tile for a wet area, you'll want to look at its water absorption rate and anti-fungal properties. Also, keep in mind that not all tiles come with a slip rating—so if you can't find one on the packaging, do some research before purchasing.

Misconception #2: Slippery Tiles Are Always Dangerous Tiles

It's easy to assume that slippery tiles are always dangerous—but this isn't necessarily true. The truth is different surfaces have different levels of traction depending on their surface texture and material type. For example, in certain circumstances, polished marble tiles may be more slippery than rough stone tiles. So while slick surfaces can certainly be hazardous if used incorrectly, they don't automatically equate to danger.

Misconception #3: All Slip Ratings Are Created Equal

Not all slip ratings are created equal; different countries have different standards for measuring the slip resistance of flooring materials. In the United States, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) creates standards for tile testing and assigns them a rating from 0-10 (with 10 being the highest). In Europe, however, tiles are rated from R9-R13 (with R13 being the highest). It's important to understand which rating system applies when shopping for tiles so that you get an accurate representation of its safety level.


What do COF Slip Resistance Ratings mean?

The term 'COF Slip Resistance Ratings' is a critical metric used in the safety industry to determine the risk of slip-and-fall accidents on particular surfaces. This rating system is internationally recognised and applies to all types of flooring, including smooth, textured, carpeted, and treated surfaces. A proper COF rating measures a floor's resistance level to the type of force applied when somebody walks on the surface. The higher the rating, the less likely you are to experience an injury from slipping. A floor with a COF rating lower than 0.50 should not be approved for use as per international standards. Knowing exactly how this rating work is essential for ensuring safety against slip-and-fall accidents in commercial buildings and public spaces.

What is a Pendulum Test?

A pendulum test in the tile industry involves assessing the slip resistance of a material. It is based on the British Pendulum Test, which involves measuring the tiles' angle when wet or dry under a standard load. The test measures the coefficient of friction when different tiles are exposed to simulated human contact like a footstep or slipping feet, which can be useful for determining how safe certain floor tiles are in public spaces. Results from this test indicate whether a particular tile may provide inadequate grip, could be hazardous for people walking over them, and can help determine if it meets general safety requirements. Although no specific standard exists across all nations, understanding and utilising the pendulum test can ensure your commercial tiles are reliable and secure while still providing aesthetic value to customers.

What is a PEI Rating?

A PEI rating, more technically known as the Plastic Equipment Institute (PEI) rating, is an index that measures the degree to which a surface can resist wear caused by foot traffic. It is usually expressed as a number on a scale between 0 and 5, with 0 signifying no wear resistance and 5 having very high abrasion resistance.Popular tile options for residential use often range between PEI 2 and PEI 4, with higher ratings ideal for kitchens, porches, hallways and other areas prone to heavy foot traffic. While tiles with a higher PEI rating are generally preferable in commercial settings or high-traffic areas at home, many people opt for decorative tiles with lower PEI ratings to create more visually appealing designs.

What does R10 Slip Rating mean?

Understanding your R10 Slip rating is essential to maintaining a safe deck or balcony. It is an important factor in helping to reduce the risk of slips and falls due to water, snow or ice accumulation, or other hazardous conditions. The R10 rating measures the coefficient of friction between the surface and bare feet, assigning a score that reflects how slippery it is. Scores are divided into four categories: low (below 0.23), medium (between 0.23-0.35), high (between 0.36-0.6) and very high (above 0.6). Depending on your circumstances, you will be required to adhere to one of these categories for safety reasons, so it's worth checking what rating you need for your environment. An R10 Slip rating will give you peace of mind to avoid potential danger from slips, trips and falls caused by slippery surfaces in outdoor areas like decks and balconies.


With a little understanding of how tile slip ratings are measured, you can confidently select the right tile for your project – whether for indoor or outdoor use, expected traffic volume, or required level of slip resistance. You can also take proactive steps to further increase the safety of your surfaces by regularly cleaning and maintaining them and using anti-slip treatments. Do you have any other tips for preventing slips on tile floors? Share them with us in the comments below! We stock one of Britain’s largest ranges of floor and wall tiles, ideal for the contemporary British home. Shop for your new tiles today and give your home the personality it deserves.

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