One of the critical factors missed by a lot of shoppers hunting for tiles is the safety of the surface and the tile slip rating. As much as 50% of our work is devoted to fixing basic bad decisions made when first researching the tiles for your new surface.
It might sound crazy because we love the work, but so much heartache and slip fall accidents would be avoided if you do some simple due diligence prior to the final decision. These poor decisions are not just made for domestic environments either, Architects Specifiers and Builders often lay tiles in Commercial settings that require one of our anti slip floor treatments before Council will provide a CO (Certificate of Occupancy). This over-site can cost thousands in delays not to mention the actual cost of the non slip treatment itself.
The simple fact is that you must confirm that the selected tile meets the Australian Standard and is therefore considered safe for pedestrian traffic in dry and wet conditions.
It is important to not just take the vendors word for granted as often he is simply restating the manufacturers sales data. Ask for a copy of the slip test results if you feel unsure, these tests should have been carried out by an accredited NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) and will carry that logo. If the tile is to be laid in an area like an entry, a public dining area or any area that may have water contamination it's imperative that the tile meets the minimum tile slip rating as set by the Australian Standard.
Don't forget ramps or any surface with a incline or decline will also require special consideration if you want to avoid issues with permits or litigation.
If for some reason you decide to move forward without these assurances then I recommend a simple but effective test you can do in the showroom to determine the relative risk of a tile.
Simply place the chosen tile on the floor ask the salesman for a glass of water and wet the tile surface, then try and slide your foot across the tile. If the tile is for a bathroom or area where bare feet will be a high percentage of traffic, then take off your shoes and socks and repeat the exercise.
This simple test will give you a clearer indication of the relative slipperiness of the tile and allow you to move forward with your decision knowing you have applied some science to your decision.
If you would like further information on the tile slip rating and why it's important please contact us at Friction Systems Australia