When Should You Test Flooring for Slip Resistance?

Many building owners find themselves in trouble after a refurbishment or new build, because the flooring is unexpectedly slippery when wet. An entrance lobby, restroom, pool deck, spa, or factory floor are common locations where this problem occurs.

When should flooring be tested for slip resistance? Some architects might say, “Never.” Many lawyers might say, “After the first lawsuit has been filed.” However, many people can benefit if that lawsuit never happens.

Truth is, to avoid expensive mistakes the flooring should be skid tested four times before acceptance by the owner. Advertised slip resistance test data might be out of date or the result of wishful thinking by the manufacturer. (Usually there’s no slip resistance warranty whatsoever.) Many architects and designers tend to select flooring based on appearance, with safety not even a consideration.

The table below shows when and why the floor slip resistance tests are needed, and where they should be conducted. (Lab COF slip tests cost much less than on-site tests.) Before the first test is ordered, the specifier should ask for a true copy of the laboratory test results that the manufacturer’s slip resistance statement is based on. If not available, that’s a danger sign and might mean that a different manufacturer’s product would be a wiser selection.

Acceptance Slip Test Chart

What minimum wet slip resistance is most appropriate for a given area depends on the use of that area. Recommendations are given in an earlier entry on situation-specific slip test standards in this blog. Following those recommendations can prevent lots of expensive and life-changing problems for years in the future. Safety Direct America can supply reliable coefficient of friction tests that are signed and stamped by a state-registered Professional Engineer. Please see The Anti-Slip Floor SuperStore at SafetyDirectAmerica.com for complete details.

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