Things to Think about Before Selecting Tile
When you select tile, there are a few technical things you might overlook. For instance, your favorite floor tile might be great for a dry, level surface but not the best for areas where there's an incline or ramp.
Read below to find out how Daltile determines which tile can go where.
Factors to Consider Prior to Tile Selection
- Absent an exception below indicating otherwise, ceramic and porcelain tiles should not be used in floor applications where there is a consistent surface presence of water, oil, or grease. This includes outdoor areas.
- Proper maintenance is critical. Improper maintenance and improper maintenance products can result in a build-up on the surface of the tile causing the tile to be slippery. See maintenance recommendations.
- Test Methods - there are many different test methods related to slip resistance. The tile industry uses ANSI A137.1 Section 9.6, also called the AcuTestTM. This method measures the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF). Dal-Tile Corporation recommends that customers have tile independently tested to determine if the Dal-Tile Corporation product meets the requirements of the customer's preferred test method (if other than the AcuTest) prior to product selection. Be sure to test competitors’ products under any preferred alternative method for comparison purposes. Dal-Tile Corporation does not warrant that any of its products will meet any testing parameter other than that measured by ANSI A137.1 Section 9.6.
- ANSI A137.1 requires that tiles suitable for interior level spaces expected to be walked upon when wet have a wet DCOF ≥0.42.
- No floor tile is "slip proof."
- Slippery conditions can be reduced by limiting foot traffic in contaminated conditions, use of appropriate footwear, prompt removal of contaminants, effective drainage, and proper maintenance. Installations and end use conditions can vary. The end user must evaluate the tile to be used with their specific end use conditions, maintenance program(s), and footwear selection to determine compatibility.
- Tile sizes are a factor for slip resistance in wet areas. Smaller sizes allow for more drainage through an increased number of grout joints and easier sloping. Planar variations on larger formats could result in a higher probability of standing water and increase the risk for hydroplaning.
- Polished and semi polished surfaces create a very smooth surface. Dal-Tile Corporation does not recommend polished surfaces in any areas subject to water, oil, or grease exposures.
- Dal-Tile Corporation recommends the following guidelines that shall be utilized along with a regular maintenance program:
|Slip Hazard||Example Area||Minimum DCOF BOT3000 AcuTest (Wet)|
|Dry & Level Interior||Public areas that are normally DRY, level, and contaminant free. Some examples are (but not limited to): hotel lobbies, apartments, public buildings, shopping centers (excluding food areas), hospitals, elevator lobbies, interior hallways, cafeterias, retail stores, theatre lobbies and other dry health service areas.||Any|
|Wet & Level Interior|| Level public areas that are likely to be walked on when WET. Some examples are (but not limited to): Entry foyers of hotels, offices and other public buildings, supermarkets (entry areas, food preparation, produce, or any area where water may occasionally be present), shopping center food courts, and toilet facilities, and production areas not involving oil or fats.
In addition to this ANSI category defined above, Dal-Tile Corporation also suggests using the following criteria. These are Dal-Tile Corporation recommendations for the specified floor applications and are not ANSI standards:
|Exterior Applications||Service or recreation areas involving constant water where light or no footwear is used. Some examples are (but not limited to): public showers, steam rooms, swimming pool decks, and locker rooms.||≥ 0.60|
|Pool Decking (and other wet areas with minimal footwear)||edestrian areas that could be exposed to water (excluding ice), but are otherwise reasonably maintained, where footwear is typically used. Some examples are (but not limited to): walkways, gazebos, or patio areas.||≥ 0.60|
|Oils|| Service or production areas involving oils, greases, and/or fats. Some examples are (but not limited to): automotive fluids, catering areas, areas involving deep-fry and grill equipment, other food preparation areas involving grease or oil. BOH (Back of the house) quick service or family style restaurants or delicatessens. Any area where combined grease and water accumulation may be present.
Dal-Tile recommends quarry and treaded paver products for this application.
|Ramps & Inclines||Inclined areas or ADA compliant ramps. Some examples are (but not limited to): Stairs and stair treads/nosings, wheelchair ramps, workshop bays (where no oil is present), sidewalks, and driveways where pedestrian tra c is normally present.||≥ 0.65|