Slip Ratings Explained

There’s a decent chance that somewhere in your home you’ll have tiled flooring, but do you know if the tiles you installed are as safe as they could be?

Whilst it’s understandable that people choose the tiles they want to lay in their kitchens, bathrooms, or even gardens, by aesthetics alone, it’s important to realise that most floor tiles are assigned a slip rating and that you should select tiles with a slip rating suitable for where the tiles are to be installed.

When deciding on floor tiles for your project, as well as the look of the tile, it’s also important to consider the area in relation to slip potential. Areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways can be exposed to surface water contamination from splashes, shoes, and dripping coats or dogs. It should be noted here that a dog’s paws will slip easier than both a barefoot or shod foot and therefore this sometimes needs to be considered to protect our canine friends from potential muscle strains etc.

Types of Slip Tests

There is currently little guidance to slip resistance and there are various approved test methods, such as the DIN 51130 Shod Ramp Test, DIN 51097 Barefoot Ramp Test, BS7976 Pendulum, UNE ENV 12633 Pendulum, and the Tortus Dynamic Test. There is no direct comparison between these tests, which can cause some confusion when comparing a tile with a result from one test with a tile with a result from another, therefore to assist you in comparing and choosing the right type of tile for your flooring location, Tile Mountain details on its website a DIN 51130 shod slip rating for our floor tiles.

In terms of the probability of slipping, there is a difference between walking barefoot or in shoes with barefoot generally providing better resistance to slipping than shoes.

Although originally a German test method, the DIN 51130 has been an established worldwide test within the tile industry for a number of decades. The test itself consists of a platform area of the tiles over which an operator, placed in a harness, wearing rubber-soled boots, walks on the platform which has been lubricated with oil and is gradually raised at an angle, when the operator slips the angle is noted. After a number of repeat tests, the angle is averaged and is used to determine an ‘R rating’ for the tile.

The table below details the DIN 51130 Shod Ramp Test Results from R9 to R13 and the type of flooring area for which each type is suitable:

Many of our suppliers test against more that DIN 51130 and should you require information for a particular product, please email customer.service@tilemountain.co.uk

Other Slip Test Methods

DIN 51097 Barefoot Ramp

The DIN 51097 Barefoot test method is as the DIN 51130 except in this instance the lubricant used is water and the operator is barefoot. This test method is specifically designed for guidance relating to swimming pools etc. The angle achieved before slip equates to a letter rating: A, B or C and each letter is assigned to a specific area of use, as detailed in the below table:

Pendulum Tests

There are a number of pendulum tests although the main two used in the tile industry are the BS7976 and the UNE ENV 12.633 tests. As the name suggests, a swinging imitation heel is dropped from a 90o angle sweeping over the tile surface. The surface of the tile offers frictional resistance, slowing the heel and reducing the angle reached on the other side. From this a PTV (Pendulum Slip Value) can be determined. This type of test method is preferred by the HSE when investigating industrial slip accidents as the machine is portable and can be taken to site to carry out tests. The BS7976 PTV table simply rates the slip potential of the tile:

The UNE ENV 12.633.table sets a class and provides guidance as to areas of use:

So, if you’re looking to tile your bathroom or kitchen then you want to opt for floor tiles with an R11 rating such as Icarus or Maddox. For multi-use areas such as living spaces that flow into dining areas, R9 rated tiles will suffice but you might want to plump for some R10 rated tiles like our Doblo Matt Light Grey or Carrara Gloss.

For those of you out there who are business owners about to kit out a commercial premises you might want to take a look at our Doblo Rock, and Grange Grey Matt floor tiles  – they’re R11 rated and will not only ensure slips are avoided but are also incredibly stylish and durable too!

If outdoor tiles are more your thing then our Portico range of large format porcelain tiles all have slip ratings of R11 and above, making them ideal for patios, verandas, outdoor kitchens, and even poolside areas.

If you require any further information about slip ratings or advice on which tiles to choose for your project, give our friendly customer services team a call on 01782 223822 and they’ll be happy to help.

Here at Tile Mountain, we not only have a huge range of tiles to suit every purpose, we also have a wealth of tiling knowledge gained from over 30 years in the tile industry, (which we’ll do or best to share with you across these very pages).

Whether you’re looking for the perfect tiles for your next home improvement project, are searching for some style inspiration, or simply need a bit of help and advice, you’re in the right place.