Tile Slip Ratings

So what is an R number exactly? Why is a tile rated with A, B or C? What does it all mean? Tile Slip ratings can be quite confusing so we’ve aimed to explain the different tests and how the information can be used to help you decide which tiles may be best for your project or application.

It's important to understand that the surfaces of glazed and unglazed porcelain vary in resistance to slipping when exposed to differing moisture levels and there are various slip rating tests and ratings that apply.

Ramp Test for R Ratings – DIN51130 & DIN51097

The Ramp Test is a test method for slip resistance of a tile and it generates an R-value - the values range from R9 to R13.

This table summarises a German National Standard test method DN51130 which is for shod foot where an individual walks on a wet surface wearing cleated safety boots whilst being held in a harness. The angle of the ramp is adjusted and whilst doing so the degree at which the individual slips is the R value.

Slip AngleWet Slip RiskSuitable For
R96-10 degHigh RiskDry Areas
R1010-19 degModerateAreas kept mostly dry
R1119-27 degModerateCan be occasionally wet
R1227-35 degLow RiskCommercial Wet Areas
R1335 degLow RiskVery Wet Commercial Areas

An additional layer of ramp testing – DIN 51097 is in wet and barefoot conditions with the same angles repeated. This should be considered where tiles are being used around swimming pools, wetrooms, or any other place footwear would not be worn.

ADry barefoot areas (domestic use, kitchen, living rooms, bathroom)
BPool surrounds & showers
CCommercial pools, jacuzzi’s & gym showers

Pendulum Test

The Pendulum CoF test replicates the motion of a slipping foot and the tiles in response to that motion. The value generated is called the PTV or Pendulum Test Value. It’s a different way of testing slip resistance, however, it’s values can be directly compared to the results of the previous two tests.

R-Value (Shod Foot)PTV
ABC - Value (Bare Foot)PTV

The different tile slip ratings and values are not necessarily black and white and for domestic applications they can be interpreted to suit specific applications and needs or a particular setting.

So a couple of examples that might help:

A Wetroom Floor

Because in a wetroom a user is standing on wet tiles in soapy conditions, it’s important to select a tile that is safe to stand on with bare feet. If we look at all the above rating information, the minimum tile we might consider could be an R10 A+B - however, these tiles are not generally labelled anti-slip - perhaps more of a natural finish.

It is also important to consider who is using the wetroom, so are they less able, elderly or children? If so you may decide to opt for a higher rating eg an R11 or above and a C rating. So, our Docklands collection for example is rated R11 A+B+C and called Soft Antislip or if there is an even greater concern of slipping then an R12 A+B+C Antislip rated tile could be considered.

External Patio

Running tiles from inside to out to create a seamless flow is another good example. Inside you may opt for an R9 or an R10 A+B tile. The Soft finish in our Metro collection is an R10 A+B and makes this tile suitable for dry areas so perfect for living, kitchen, dining areas. The collection also has an R12 A+B+C rated matching tile for outside.

Our Antislip Soft All-in-One collections are all available in an R11 A+B+C rating. Based on the tables above, that makes them suitable for an exterior domestic patio or even a swimming pool area (aswell as inside areas). The Soft Antislip finish means they are easier to keep clean than an R12 A+B+C rated tile. However, again it is important to also think about who is using the space ie children, elderly people, someone less able? Is the area outside likely to be used in poorer weather conditions or have lots of water splashing around with children running in bare feet? In these cases, you may decide to opt for an R12 A+B+C.

It’s also worth considering that antislip finishes or properties ie the additional layer of frit applied to the surface of an R12 A+B+C tile to make it antislip, brings added maintenance because of the more textured surface.

All these considerations will help you decide on the right slip rating and weigh up all the factors involved for your project.

If you would like more help with slip ratings, please do contact us.

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