When you are designing or building public spaces, it’s very
important to consider the safety features of the various construction materials
used. One of the primary concerns should be to choose flooring that is slip resistant;
slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of injury in public spaces. In
addition to causing injuries to patrons, employees, or customers, a slip and fall
accident can also lead to legal action.
The most popular flooring for public spaces is vinyl. It’s
easy to see why: vinyl is extraordinarily durable, it’s cost-effective, and new
technologies have made vinyl tiles a top choice for dramatic and beautiful
design elements. Fortunately, better vinyl tile manufacturers are also using
new technologies to enhance the slip resistance of their products.
What Is Slip
Slip resistance is
defined as the performance characteristic of any given flooring material that
inhibits or prevents the loss of footing. Flooring can be considered
slip-resistant if there is enough friction present on the surface to allow a
pedestrian to traverse it without an unreasonable risk of slipping.
Technical assessment of slip resistance is determined by testing
the flooring with standard tests, although there is no single set of
measurement standards that will determine all of the factors pertaining to the
safety of a surface.
Premium vinyl tile manufacturers tend to use a series of
standard tests developed by Britain, the European Union, Germany, and North
America. The British pendulum test simulates a slipping foot moving across a
flooring material. The swinging motion of an imitation heel gives a measurable
effect under both dry and wet condition. The European Union test measures the
dynamic co-efficient of friction on dry floor surfaces and uses loaded sliders
pulled parallel to the surface of the floor. The two German tests measure
surfaces that have been coated with, respectively, motor oil and soapy water.
The second test involves the operator testing the surface barefoot. The North
American test uses an apparatus known as the James Machine to test the
co-efficient of friction under wet and dry conditions. Each of these tests
assigns a numerical value to the slip potential of the flooring material, so by
examining test results, you can easily ascertain which types of floor tiles
meet or exceed safety standards.
In order to achieve better slip resistance, premium vinyl
tile manufacturers have found that adding microscopic surface texturing and a
proprietary application method is very effective. Some of these technologies
create tiles that actually perform better when the floor is wet. One such
method is called glass bead surfacing, which uses tiny glass beads. Tiles with
this surfacing also have enhanced stain resistance and increased visual appeal.
When choosing flooring for your project, be sure to select
material that meets or exceeds slip-resistance standards. Other safety features
that you may want to consider include anti-microbial protective tiles, which
are particularly recommended for healthcare settings, such as seniors’ homes,
hospitals, medical offices, or clinics. Embedding tiny silver particles in the
top two layers of tile works to control the spread of bacteria, mould, mildew,
Innovative and imaginative vinyl tile manufacturers are
working hard to ensure that your slip-resistant flooring not only looks
beautiful, but also performs brilliantly! Contact a premium vinyl flooring
company today to learn more.