While selecting a tile for your floor, it is indeed essential to pick a tile that is slip-resistant. This attribute of the tile can enable you to create a space that is aesthetically appealing and safe. With the right flooring, you can add a level of protection against slip-and-fall accidents.
A number of methods are employed to determine the slip resistance of a floor and to ensure that the tiles adhere to the safety standards. Some of the reliable and popular methods employed include the following:
- Wet Pendulum
- Oil Wet Ramp
Wet Pendulum method:
This method of testing involves the use of the wet pendulum friction tester device that was first developed to assess the skid resistance of roads. The device consists of a metal boot with a spring and rubber slider at the bottom. The boot slides across the surface and the height to which it can swing back indicates the slipperiness of a floor. The pendulum swings very high for a floor that is very slippery.
A floor surface can be tested by this method in wet condition. The floor can be sprayed with water and the reading for the swing of the pendulum is noted for at least five times. The average of the last three reading yields the result. An advantage of this method is that the device is portable and can be used in any location.
Oil wet ramp test:
This test offers a ramp rating which is also referred to as R rating or classification. The R rating of a floor surface is one of the most widely used terms for assessing the slip resistance. This method involves laying the tiles that need to be tested on a ramp. A lubricating oil is then applied to the surface. Testers walk up the ramp and the angle of the ramp is gradually increased. The angle or threshold of safe walking is determined. Based on the ratings, surfaces are classified as safe or unsafe. The R9 rating is considered as the lowest while the R13 rating is the most slip resistant.
Slip resistance ratings:
Slip resistance ratings are used to determine the level of slipperiness of a surface. While choosing tiles for a space, it is essential to keep the safety factor in mind. In most instances, people choose tiles based on aesthetics and often overlook the slip rating. It is important to select tiles with a slip rating that is suitable for the space in which the tiles are being installed. Most tiles have a slip rating that is determined based on the test method used. The ratings are expressed as:
- R ratings for the oil wet ramp test
- P ratings for the wet pendulum slip test
- D ratings for dry Floor Friction Test
- A, B & C ratings for the wet barefoot ramp test
The various slip ratings reflect the frictional characteristics of surfaces in different environments. As such, the method that best serves the need for an environment must be used. The ratings are reliable and indicate slip resistance, however, an R10 rating cannot be considered to be an equivalent of a P3 rating.