How do we make tiles non-slip?

It’s our number one priority: making sure our family is safe, our patrons, our clients. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is through non-slip tiles. Unfortunately, many of us don’t pay enough attention to the floor we’re walking on until we have an accident.

Tiles are non-porous, which is why they’re such a good surface for areas prone to getting a bit wet, like bathrooms and kitchens. Unfortunately, this non-porous nature also makes them dangerous; water sits on the surface, preventing our feet from finding traction and causing us to slip.

To protect our patrons, our business, our loved ones and ourselves, we need to make tiles non-slip. As with most things in our modern world, there’s more than one way to go about it, and it can be difficult to know which non-slip treatment is best.

At TileSafe, we’ve developed our own method that provides a high level of grip, lasts years and has no downtime. As you’ll see, it holds significant benefits over alternative treatments.

Here’s how it works.

The Process

The process we use to make tiles non-slip is completed in a single session without any downtime. Here’s a breakdown of the stages involved.

  1. The first thing we do is test the slip resistance of the floor. We use industry standard British Pendulum and an ASM slip meter.
  2. After the tests, we thoroughly clean the floor to help with the chemical application.
  3. We then apply a chemical treatment that puts microscopic pores into the surface of the tile.
  4. We use a different chemical to neutralise the surface and take a new set of slip-resistance measurements. If the surface hasn’t achieved the desired non-slip level according to Australian safety requirements, we repeat the process until it does.
  5. With our treatment, you can walk on the area as soon as we’re finished. It’s not a sealant, so there’s no drying time.

How does our treatment make tiles non-slip?

Our treatment to make tiles non-slip works on the aquaplane theory, like car tyres and wet roads. The chemical we use to treat the tiles creates microscopic pores in the surface, providing channels for the water to drain away. This significantly increases the slip resistance of the floor without making any visible changes. The surface remains easy to clean and the treatment lasts years.

The benefits of our non-slip treatment

  • Our treatment hardly makes any visible alteration to the tile, so you can have the look you want and the safety you need.
  • No drying time, so you can walk on the surface as soon as our process is finished.
  • Our treatment doesn’t make the surface harder to clean.
  • It lasts much longer than sealers; for residences, we hardly ever have to re-treat the surface.

How long does the treatment take?

This depends on two factors. One, obviously, is the size of the area to be treated. The second factor is how many treatments it takes to reach the desired slip resistance. As we always say, no two tiles are the same, and there’s no way of telling how many treatments a given tile will take. Some only need one treatment, while others can take up to five.

It’s important to note that we charge only by the metreage, not by the time, so the price is the same no matter how many treatments it takes.

How long before the floor is ready for use?

The brilliant thing about our method is that the floor can be used as soon as we’re done. We’re not using a sealant, so there’s no drying time. As soon as we’ve neutralised the chemical and cleaned the floor, you can walk on it – safely and securely.

Alternative non-slip treatments

As mentioned earlier, there are several ways to achieve non-slip tiles. Here are the alternatives, and why we think they fall short.

  • Non-slip tiles. You can buy non-slip tiles that don’t require any treatment. They usually come with a very textural surface. While they don’t require any further treatment, they do have significant disadvantages:
  • Very hard to clean.
  • The grooved surface is very pronounced and often quite sharp, which makes them uncomfortable to walk on.
  • The grooves are so pronounced that your feet have less contact with the surface than regular tiles, ironically giving you less traction.
  • Sealers contain either nylon or sand, and work on a similar theory to our non-slip treatment. Instead of altering the surface of the tile, they add another layer of coarse material to the surface so that water is funnelled away. The disadvantages of sealers are:
    • They leave behind a very coarse surface that is difficult to clean. They are so abrasive that they can actually rip a mop apart.
    • They wear down relatively fast and therefore require constant reapplication.
    • There’s a drying time involved, so you cannot use the floor for a period after application (particularly a problem for businesses such as pubs and hotels).

Get in touch with Tile Safe today

With the Tile Safe non-slip treatment, there’s no compromise; you get to keep the aesthetic appeal of the tile, it isn’t any more difficult to clean, and it lasts years. Get in touch with the Tile Safe team today and keep you and those your responsible for safe.