How do you find ADA Skid Resistant Tile for Accessible Bathrooms or Kitchens?

Home modifications by occupational therapist (OT) based on principles of universal design and accessibility.

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
How do you find skid resistant tile?  First what is skid resistant tile?  Skid resistance is measured via a coefficient of friction scale.

Coefficient of Friction: Wet/Dry 

The skid resistance scale is used to determine the degree of slippage on a tiled surface. While assessing different tile surfaces, wet and dry conditions along with the speed of the subject are monitored. Also, the required force to move that subject and the angle of the tiled place are considered too. The Ceramic Tile Institute identifies tile in the following three categories:
  1. Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.60 or greater (wet). Meets or exceeds general safety and health regulations, ADA and OSHA requirements.
  2. Conditionally Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.50 to 0.59 (wet). Meets or exceed general safety and health regulations and OSHA requirements.
  3. Questionable: Coefficient of friction less than 0.50 
 Click on 'Read More' Below
One important fact is that the more textured a tile is, the less slippery it is. And thats why, polished or highly polished tiles are not recommended for high traffic areas or for residential sites with children and the elderly. Also, as a rule the greater the anti-slip finish on the tile, the harder it is to keep clean. 
Click on Read More Below to finish reading post.
Now that we know what we are looking for, how do we find it? When putting in to search for skid resistant tile the results are primarily:
  • High-end tile sites that require contact for information.
  • Plastic, institutional-like tile.
  • Skid resistant surfacing agents to put onto tile surfaces.
    How do you find the tile with .6 skid resistance and above?  It won’t come up with a general Google search.

    Skid resistance isn’t something the tile industry really seems to think people are interested in but some tile suppliers are getting a clue.  On most websites there was no clear way of finding friction coefficient tile ratings.

    This is how I find tile friction coefficient ratings on websites.  (Task analysis, Susan:-)

    1. Go to website that sells tile.
    2. Navigate to tile page of website.
    3. Click on ‘ceramic tile’ or ‘tile’, basically you want to isolate your search usually there are many other items that muddy the tile water such as accessories/grout etc. you don’t want to deal with these.

    Now that you are on the ceramic tile page there is often in the left hand column ways to narrow your search.

    Easiest way to find skid resistant tile:
    ·      On the left hand side of many web pages there are usually navigation tabs to assist in narrowing your search.  Tabs such as: Price, Brand etc.  Look at all the tabs and find the tab with ‘Skid resistant or COF Ratings.’  Not all tile sites find this an important enough feature to have its own tab.
    ·      On stellar websites such as Home Depot you there is a tab down by the bottom of the options but still its there and it looks like this:
                                          Wet C.O.F. Rating
                                  .50-.59 Marginally Skid Resistant (375)
                                  .60-.79 Skid Resistant (307)
                                  .80+ Highly Skid Resistant (1)
                Click on your pick and wa-la you have many different skid resistant  
                choices.  Easy for you and easy for your clients.  Lowes doesn’t specify       
                friction  coefficients so don’t bother.  Kudos to Home Depot.

    Not so difficult just more work way to find skid resistant tile:
    ·      Again get to the tile page of the website then look under ‘Technical Specifications’ tab and if you’re lucky the company feels friction coefficients to be important and you will find your answers.
    o      Good example is the Tile Mart website:

              A more tedious way to find skid resistant tile:
    ·      Yes, go to the tile page of the website. 
    ·      Click on the tile selection you are interested in.
    ·      Then click on ‘Specifications’ or ‘Description’ and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find the friction coefficient.

    From what I’ve seen Daltile seems to be the tile that most consistently has the highest friction coefficient rating.  Well done Daltile.

    1 comment:

    Unknown said...

    Thank you so much! Very helpful!