ANSI A Ceramics date back to antiquity , with clay figurines being contemporary to the cave paintings of Lascaux. Sometime later, ceramics were utilized for pottery. After humanity had grown more sedentary and civilization took hold, ceramic tiles emerged. Ceramic tile is aesthetically driven, but the placement of these mosaic or simple tiles on walls, ceilings, and floors can conceal visual obstructions that ultimately do improve the R-value of buildings.
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If you specify or buy flooring based on a minimum wet dynamic coefficient of friction of 0. Here we tell you why, and how to avoid the situation. The standard, which includes a slip resistance test procedure also known as the AcuTest, is incorporated by reference in the International Building Code , used throughout the United States and in several other countries.
The code specifies a minimum wet dynamic coefficient of friction DCOF of 0. The specifier shall determine tiles appropriate for specific project conditions, considering by way of example, but not in limitation:. They state that the possibility of a slip may be affected by:. ANSI and TCNA give no guidance as to how all of these items should factor into a higher DCOF or slip resistance, if needed, and most flooring manufacturers give no slip resistance guidelines or recommendations whatsoever.
C was withdrawn by the ASTM in since it was a very bad test that was basically responsible for thousands upon thousands of needless slip and fall accidents across the country annually by spreading misinformation about the actual real-world slip resistance of various flooring materials.
Do you duly consider all of the above 16 listed items when you specify, buy or sell flooring? Does anybody? Certainly these published lists can expose people on the buying side, and perhaps in the whole chain of supply as well, to accusations of negligence.
And negligence is something that plaintiff lawyers love to see when their client has had an expensive and debilitating injury.
How can people do a better job for themselves and the public than just looking for a minimum DCOF of 0. How much higher should it be? Should it be 0.
Just as a point of reference, American and European slip resistance test standards require that a basketball court floor have a dry coefficient of friction of 0.
For instance, a hotel bathroom should have a minimum wet PTV of 20 measured using a soft rubber slider to simulate bare feet or soft shoe bottoms. Restrooms in offices and shopping centers, where people might be moving faster, should have a PTV of 35 or higher.
That higher minimum also goes for bathrooms in hospitals and aged care facilities, because the people involved there are at high risk. Communal shower rooms should have a minimum wet PTV of 40, and swimming pool ramps and stairs leading into water should have at least Those are typically barefoot areas, but there are also many standards for indoor areas where shoes are worn: building entries PTV of 35 or higher , commercial kitchens 45 , balconies, verandas, roof decks, cold storage walk-in freezers 40 , etc.
There are safety standards for other outdoor areas as well. Does this system make more sense than a one-size-fits-all minimum such as 0. The pendulum test instrument used in this situation-specific test has been testing floors involved in actual real-world slip and fall accidents in the United Kingdom since the s, so the research into these safety standards are unparalleled with any other instrument or test method.
A tile with wet DCOF of only 0. This usually results in a lower DCOF for the same tile. The same instrument, the BOTE, is used for both tests. ANSI B We do this floor slip resistance testing work for commercial buildings, major cruise ship companies, tile vendors, attorneys, and many others. For more information see SafetyDirectAmerica. George Sotter at
Floor slip resistance is an important safety measure that all architects must be aware of when specifying flooring materials. In general, architects are concerned about slip resistance where floors can become wet from water such as on ceramic tile in bathrooms or from grease and oils such as in commercial kitchens or garages. The coefficient of friction COF is the measurement of a surface's frictional resistance. Essentially, this number tells you how slippery a surface is. A COF of 0 zero means that there is no friction between the two surfaces. Therefore, for slip resistance purposes, a higher number means the surface is less slippery when tested.
Does ANSI Tile Spec A137.1 help protect you from liability for slipping accidents?
After years research, the tile industry has now passed a new standard for measuring and method for testing Dynamic Coefficient of Friction. This new standard is just pending publication in a few weeks. The standard stipulates the use of the BOT by Regan Scientific, with a rubber sensor and a slightly soapy solution of. Historically, many people who specify tile including architects, designers and developers would reference ASTM C and a measurement once referenced by ADA of. This method of testing for friction lacked enthusiasm by many as it was inconsistent in measure, failed to test friction in motion and lacked industry guidance as to whether the. A number of years ago the ADA retracted its recommendation of.
Floor Slip Resistance: SCOF vs DCOF
If you specify or buy flooring based on a minimum wet dynamic coefficient of friction of 0. Here we tell you why, and how to avoid the situation. The standard, which includes a slip resistance test procedure also known as the AcuTest, is incorporated by reference in the International Building Code , used throughout the United States and in several other countries. The code specifies a minimum wet dynamic coefficient of friction DCOF of 0. The specifier shall determine tiles appropriate for specific project conditions, considering by way of example, but not in limitation:. They state that the possibility of a slip may be affected by:. ANSI and TCNA give no guidance as to how all of these items should factor into a higher DCOF or slip resistance, if needed, and most flooring manufacturers give no slip resistance guidelines or recommendations whatsoever.
ANSI A137.1:2019 – Standard Specifications For Ceramic Tile
Ceramics is an ancient art. Dating back to 24, BC—and originally composed of animal fat and bone blended with bone ash and a fine claylike material—ceramics found a true calling as functional pottery in 9, BC. Not too far ahead, ceramic tile graced walls in the days of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. In its recent history, U.