There are various times in our lives when the safety of our flooring becomes important. It may be when we have small children learning to walk, or slippery surfaces as we get older. In addition, many businesses need to make sure the flooring they have is safe for employees and customers. Here are a few pointers on what kinds of flooring are best in those times when safety and slip resistant flooring becomes important.
Tile is the one product in the flooring industry to have a slip resistant rating. Oftentimes we have tile in areas that are exposed to moisture and the wrong kind of tile can become extremely slippery in that instance. Any tile that you purchase will have a slip resistance indicator. Sometimes the tile manufacturer will simply note that the tile is appropriate for wet areas such as bathroom and shower floors or in exterior areas. Just be sure to ask your flooring representative about that rating if you are putting tile in any area of concern!
In restaurants and businesses that have areas prone to moisture or food and grease, there are special kinds of tile specifically made to work in those areas. Quarry tile, which usually comes in 6”x 6” sizes, is a tile specially made for restaurant kitchens and other areas that can get extremely slippery. They are made in much the same way as a brick is made, with naturally slip resistant material. They are then made with an abrasive surface to make them even more slip resistant.
Wood, Laminate, LVP
All of the hard surface products that we put in our homes and offices today come in a wide range of styles and quality. Certainly some are more slip resistant than others. The main things that impact the slip resistance of hard surface flooring is the finish. The graining of the wood or the sheen of the finish can make our wood or laminate floors more or less slippery. So when shopping for new floors, it is important to keep those aspects in mind. In wood floors too, the graining and the way the wood was cut from the tree can have an impact on it’s slip resistance. Texture finishes such as hand-scraped or wire-brushed can increase the slip resistance of a wood floor. In laminates and vinyl plank flooring you an get the feel of graining that goes along with the visual of the wood. This is called embossed in register and can also help with the slip resistance of the floors.
Keep in mind – any sort of hard surface on stairs will have an increased risk for safety and falls. It is hard to keep hard surfaces from being slippery on stairs. If fall prevention is something you’re taking into consideration, we’d recommend another flooring for your stairs.
Carpet of course is generally very slip resistant as well as more padded in case of any falls. It is certainly a terrific option in living areas and bedrooms as well as on stairs when slip resistance and safety are a concern.
At Graham’s Flooring & Design we are always ready to help you get the most safe and comfortable flooring for whatever your lifestyle.