How to Make Slippery Tiles Safe

Tiles are a popular flooring option in many homes and businesses, and for good reason. Not only is there a near-endless range allowing you to achieve the look you want, but they’re also the best option for wet environments.

Their non-porous nature means they aren’t affected by water – no swelling, splitting or rotting. For laundries, bathrooms and even kitchens, there’s really no better option. However, this advantageous trait can also be a hazard: the moisture, instead of being absorbed, sits on the surface and reduces grip.

In other words, tiles can be slippery.

So how do we make use of the advantages tiles have over other flooring options while reducing the risk of falls? Let’s take a look at how we make slippery tiles safe.

Why do tiles get slippery?

It’s their impervious nature that makes them great in wet conditions – but also dangerous. Instead of being absorbed, water sits on a tile’s surface, and prevents our feet from making secure contact with the tile.

It works on the aquaplane theory, just like car tyres. When tyre tread becomes too worn, it can no longer funnel water away. The water effectively becomes a layer between the rubber and the road, lifting the tyre off the bitumen, causing us to lose control.

The same thing occurs when our feet or shoes hit wet tiles.

So how do we make slippery tiles safe? Well, as you’ll see, there’s more than one method, but none that matches ours for durability and effectiveness.

How we make slippery tiles safe

When tyres become too worn, we get a new set with tread that can effectively funnel water away. Our treatment at Tile Safe works on the same theory. The only difference is we create the ‘tread’ in the tiles. Here’s the process:

  1. We test the current grip of the tiles using British Pendulum and an ASM slip meter.
  2. We give the surface a thorough clean.
  3. Now we apply a chemical treatment which introduces microscopic pores into the tile’s surface (the tread, in other words).
  4. A different chemical is applied to stop the process, and we take another set of slip resistance measurements.
  5. If more treatment is required, we repeat step 3 as many times as necessary.
  6. Walk on your tiles with confidence!

Yep, there’s no downtime with our treatment, so as soon as we’ve achieved the desired slip resistance, you can walk on your floor. The pores that our chemical treatment puts in the tile’s surface are so small you can’t see them. It doesn’t change the aesthetic appearance of the floor, and the tiles will still be a cinch to clean.

The benefits of our process:

  • No downtime – you can use your floor as soon as we have finished.
  • The surface will still be easy to clean.
  • No noticeable change to appearance.
  • It lasts much longer than sealers.

What are the alternative treatments?

There are two alternatives to our method. One involves sealers, and the other involves non-slip tiles that come with grooves already in the surface.

Sealers use nylon or sand to create a gritty surface that provides more grip. Unfortunately, this gritty surface isn’t pleasant underfoot and it also makes the tiles hard to clean. In some cases, they can rip a mop head to pieces. They also require constant re-application and come with a significant drying time.

Non-slip tiles have grooves already etched into the surface. These grooves are very pronounced, so much so that it can be uncomfortable walking on them, especially for the elderly (these types of tiles are common in aged care facilities). Ironically, these grooves can be so pronounced that it actually reduces grip as there is less surface for your foot to make contact with. As you can imagine, the grooves also trap dirt and make the tile difficult to clean.

Call Tile Safe today and walk on your tiles with confidence

If you want to take advantage of all the good things about tiles without worrying about your or your loved ones’ (or clients’ and employees’) safety, get in touch with us today. We have extensive experience from residential to business, including aged care, pubs, hotels, businesses and homes. We know the concerns our clients have and we know how to address them.

Keep the aesthetic appeal, keep them easy to clean and – most importantly – make them safe. With the unique Tile Safe method, it’s all possible.

  • 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: