What is non-slip flooring?
Non-slip flooring is another very broad category that can include just about any floor applied to make a surface less slippery. Just about every style of flooring will have non-slip varieties and resin flooring is certainly no exception.
An important distinction we like to make when discussing non-slip flooring relates to the description of “anti-slip flooring” or “increased slip resistance” as opposed to “non-slip”. Unless you can guarantee the floor prevents slips and falls in every scenario, “anti-slip flooring” is perhaps the more accurate description of what can be achieved at the end of the day. We’ll stick with non-slip flooring for the purposes of this discussion because it’s the more common term, but it’s something to keep in mind.
What are our top non-slip flooring tips?
- Non-slip standards - there are currently two popular tests for measuring slip resistance. By far the most common reference is to the Oily Ramp Method, which is a laboratory test gauging sureness of footing by producing the well-known “R” rating (from R9/light anti-slip to R12 or 13/aggressive anti-slip). The other is the Wet Pendulum Test, which is used as the Australian Standard (AS) for field testing of existing surfaces (“Z” rating/very high slip risk to “V” rating/very low slip risk).
The key differences are summed up by two sets of words above – oily and wet, laboratory and field. When you’re talking about an “R” rating, you’re talking about a measurement made in a laboratory using an inclined, oily surface with the aim of replicating that in the field with a slip-resistant floor (Note - there’s no way of actually confirming this once applied). The Wet Pendulum Test, on the other hand, has more to do with the field. Portable equipment is used to take the readings on any part of a floor, new or old, and assess the slip resistance at that point when the surface is wet.
What can be taken from all that? Well, perhaps the main message is that the two standards aren’t interchangeable and non-slip flooring plans need to consider what standard is more appropriate.
- Lasting non-slip floors - like any floor, planning is extremely important for non-slip flooring. A major consideration is the conditions the floor will be exposed to during service. Will heavy traffic wear the non-slip profile smooth? Will the impact from dropped items need constant repair or replacement?
The hardness of the particle used in epoxy non-slip floors will have a big say when answering these questions. For non-slip floors exposed to heavy machinery traffic, particles at the high end of the Mohs hardness scale will deliver superior performance, i.e. aluminium oxide and carborundum at 9 rather than sand at 6-7. For clear, stir-in non-slip on decorative floors, glass beads wear much better than polymer particles and two coats instead of one will also provide greater wear resistance.
- Cleaning - floor maintenance is often overlooked, however it’s absolutely vital considering a non-slip floor clogged with gunk isn’t much use to anyone. The challenge comes when more aggressive slip resistance (R12+) is required. A mop will be torn to shreds very quickly here, so other cleaning options need to be explored. Coving should also be considered because of the role it plays in keeping non-slip floors clean and hygienic at the floor/wall junction.
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