Porcelain tile is a popular choice among homeowners and architects alike for its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. One of the most common types of porcelain tile is polished porcelain tile, which is known for its shiny, reflective surface. However, this begs the question: is polished porcelain tile slippery?
Many people assume that polished porcelain tile is inherently slippery, but the reality is more complex. While it is true that polished porcelain tile can be slippery when wet or greasy, there are several factors that can affect its slip resistance. In this article, we’ll explore the different factors that contribute to slipperiness and provide tips on how to choose and maintain porcelain tile to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
Factors that Affect Slip Resistance
Slip resistance is affected by various factors, including the texture, finish, and coefficient of friction (COF) of the tile. COF is a measure of the tile’s resistance to slipping, and is determined by the force required to move a standardized object across its surface. The higher the COF, the less slippery the tile is.
Here are some factors that affect slip resistance:
The texture of the tile is a key factor in slip resistance. Tiles with a rough or textured surface are less slippery than those with a smooth surface. This is because the texture provides more grip and traction for the feet. However, rough or textured tiles may be harder to clean and maintain, and may not be suitable for some design styles.
The finish of the tile also affects slip resistance. Polished porcelain tile, which has a highly reflective surface, is more slippery than matte or honed porcelain tile, which has a more muted surface. This is because the polished surface is smoother and more reflective, making it easier for feet to slide. Matte or honed porcelain tile has a more textured surface, which provides more grip and traction.
The COF of the tile is the most important factor in slip resistance. The higher the COF, the less slippery the tile is. The COF is affected by various factors, including the texture, finish, and slope of the tile. Tiles with a COF of 0.6 or higher are considered slip-resistant.
Tips for Choosing and Maintaining Slip-Resistant Porcelain Tile
When choosing porcelain tile, it’s important to consider the slip resistance of the tile. Here are some tips to help you choose and maintain slip-resistant porcelain tile:
- Choose tiles with a COF of 0.6 or higher.
- Consider using matte or honed porcelain tile instead of polished porcelain tile.
- Avoid using high-gloss sealers or finishes that can make the tile more slippery.
- Ensure that the tile is installed correctly and with the appropriate slope to prevent water from pooling.
- Clean the tile regularly to remove any dirt, grease, or other substances that can make the tile slippery.
- Consider using non-slip mats or rugs in areas that are prone to getting wet or greasy.
The Bottom Line
Polished porcelain tile can be slippery when wet or greasy, but there are several factors that affect slip resistance, including the texture, finish, and COF of the tile. By choosing and maintaining slip-resistant porcelain tile, you can minimize the risk of slips and falls in your home or building. If you have any concerns about the slip resistance of your porcelain tile, consult with a professional architect or designer.