Understanding Slip Resistance Of Tiles | Updated: 2021

January 2, 2021
Sol Farahmand

When you are looking to select the best tiles for your home or for commercial purposes, you want to ensure that you pay close attention to their slip resistance. After all, when you don’t even consider this factor, you’ll be making yourself more prone to accidents.

Some of the situations or accidents that may occur when you don’t take a closer look at the slip resistance of tiles include:

  • When you are getting outside of the shower and you don’t have a mat on the floor and you accidentally slip and hit your head and get hurt.
  • If you have small kids who are running and playing around the house, you don’t want them to slip.
  • In areas for the elderly where they can fall.
  • For commercial purposes, no matter if you have a restaurant or any other type of store where people walk in from winter time. If they slip, this can lead to potential lawsuits.


While there are many other situations, we are sure that you got the picture already and you know understand the importance of looking for slip resistance tiles.


But What Is Slip Resistance After All?

In a theoretical way, slip resistance is basically the amount of force that’s required to keep an object in motion as it slides over a tile. Simply put, it serves as a useful tool to compare tiles against each other so you can see which one has more slip resistance.

Notice that this doesn’t mean that a person cannot slip on this particular tile. The reality is that it is very hard to predict what will happen because there’s a lot of other factors that affect that as well. Between the material that the shoes are made from to the speed of the stride (if someone is running), the incline or decline of the surface, if the surface is dry or wet, many factors affect slip resistance.

According to the American National Standard Institute, there is a number that is considered to be the minimum factor to look for – Dynamic Coefficient Of Friction. The value that you want to make sure that you see on a tile is 0.42. Notice that this is the minimum standard. There are higher values and the higher you go, the better it is.

But the American National Standard Institute isn’t the only government body that looks at slip resistance. In Europe, for example, they use the ISO standards but they look at things differently. Imagine that you get a tile delivered from Europe and it may only have the ISO standard. The value that you need to take a look at is the R value.

The test made in Europe is also very different. They have a person walk on a surface and this surface is attached to a ramp which increases in the incline. The value that the tile gets is based on the angle at which the person will slip and fall.


According to ISO standards:

  • The value of R9 and between 6 to 10 degrees: the tile is considered a high slip risk tile.
  • The value of R10 and between 10 to 19 degrees: the tile is considered a moderate slip resistance.
  • The value of R11 to R13 – these are very low slip resistance.


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