Understanding Slip Resistance Categories

When helping work on a bathroom design in Palm Beach, there are many factors we want to consider. One of the most important is a question of practicality: how slip resistant does your floor need to be? 

Today, we’re going to explain the categories listed in the TCNA’s ANSI 326.3. We hope this helps you choose a safe floor material that’s suited to your purposes.

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Why These Categories Are Important 

According to CNA Insurance, “falls among adults are the most common cause of TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury].” Furthermore, roughly half of all slip-and-falls occurred in areas that did not have adequate DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction) measurements. 

Suffice it to say, it’s very important to get the right floor for your needs. A slippery residential floor endangers you and your loved ones, while a slippery commercial one can endanger many people over time and cause insurance liability issues. 

A trustworthy tile supplier should always have a good idea of how slip resistant their tile is. That said, having strict classifications is useful for ensuring that everyone’s on the same page. It also makes it clear what you should or shouldn’t expect from the material you select. 

The ANSI 326.3 is non-binding; if manufacturers want, they don’t have to abide by these categorizations. However, many of them do so, and the TCNA makes it as easy as possible for manufacturers to be transparent about their flooring’s capabilities. 

Manufacturers can use several different methods to internally determine the slip resistance of their flooring material. If they don’t have the capability or want additional information, they can also make use of TCNA’s Product Performance Testing Laboratory. 

The Categories 

The ANSI A326.3 divides slip resistance into five categories: 

  • ID (Interior, Dry) 
  • IW (Interior, Wet) 
  • IW+ (Interior, Wet Plus) 
  • EW (Exterior, Wet) 
  • O/G (Oils/Greases) 

These categories break down generally how you would expect: ID flooring is designed for indoor areas with minimal-to-no water exposure, while EW flooring is designed for outdoor areas that are expected to get wet. 

The trickiest distinction is probably the difference between IW and IW+. The former is designed for floors that will get wet regularly, though they’re unlikely to get wet constantly (e.g., kitchen floors, grocery store floors). The latter is designed for floors that are designed to get wet constantly during use (e.g., shower floors, locker room floors). 

O/G is a specialty category designed for car shops, commercial kitchens, and any other flooring that needs to withstand exposure to oil or grease. 

Can Proper Slip Resistance Eliminate Slip and Falls? 

While floors made with the right level of slip resistance can significantly reduce the likelihood of slip and falls, they cannot eliminate the possibility.  

There are many different factors working in conjunction with one another that ultimately determine the probability and severity of a fall. These factors include shoe material, floor drainage, and the condition of the person who’s slipping and falling.

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Trying to Figure Out Your Bathroom’s Design in Palm Beach? 

D&B Tile has you covered. For decades, we’ve been operating tile stores in the South Florida area, forming partnerships with high-quality suppliers and volunteering in the local community. 

Whether you have any questions you’d like us to answer or you’re ready to request a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re always happy to help home and business owners find the tile that’s perfectly suited to their needs.