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NZ Tilers Forum Anti Slip Solution For Glazed Floor Tiles

Discussion in 'NZ Tilers Forum' started by Bob Neary, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I have lately been asked about an anti slip solution in a liquid form. Now I know there are products out there, we stock one of them but do they really work? And how do they work? I just can't see how the glazing can be etched enough to provide the kind of anti slip surface that's required.
    Would be good to explain it to my customers as simply as possible thanks
  2. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    Have tried one of the etching products Bob they help a bit but you will find the surface will only be better for a short time and another go is required almost annually
  3. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Is it like a coating. Or does it actually etch the surface? I guess if you have a problem with say 20 or 30 m2 of slippery exterior tiles do you continue to pay for the treatment every so often? and even then I can't see them being behaving like a structured finish?or do you bite the bullet and redo?
    And if I recommend a so called anti slip application and later on nana bloggs slips over and breaks her hip, would I be part of the problem?
  4. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    It etches the glaze slightly (the one i used did) the floor is external and just over 30 meters have adviced removal but they are not interested ,not sure how many times it can be done before it harms the tile but if it softens the glaze then it cant be good in my eyes
  5. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah that's what I'm getting at if we recommend a redo and they go for a cheap application instead should we do the job or walk.
    You know you got to wander why anyone would sell gloss glazed or really smooth tiles for exterior install.and what about the tiler who put them down. you would think that two professionals might have said something.
  6. jay

    jay Awesome Contributor

    Think it comes down to a sale is a sale no morals ,they just don't care
    Grace's Dad likes this.
  7. Dave@BTC

    Dave@BTC Tiling Product Supplier

    To be fair I am forever trying to steer customers off all sorts of things, sometimes they just don't want to know. You can only say so much before you start thinking sod it, I've done my best, if I carry on I'll lose the Sale and someone else will tell them its a great idea and take the money. I'll dish out advice as much as i possibly can but not so much that they get fed up with it and don't give me their money.
  8. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I got an email from the manager auckland branch of Slique today. They specialize in these problems. I hope to hear from him as soon as he gets a chance. It would be good to give an appropriate solution to problems like these and still be satisfied that we have done our best for our client, ay.
  9. Blair Phillips

    Blair Phillips New Contributor

    Hi Bob, to answer your original question yes tile etching products can work. Assuming it is an etching product (rather than a coating) it works by eating into the glaze creating a rougher texture that improves grip. Most of these products are versions of Hydrofluoric acid (a very strong, very dangerous type of acid). The off the shelf products tend to be very watered down, so work OK on a glazed tile, but often would not be strong enough to etch into a full bodied porcelain. Companies like ours can purchase stronger versions of this to etch porcelains and granites.

    As always it can be complicated however. If you etch too far you can go through the glaze, and if you don't go far enough you will not get the result. The treatment will often also lighten the colour of the tile, and can certainly make the tile more difficult to clean (some more than others).

    If the surface has been "etched" it should be a long lasting solution. You cannot say permanent as studies in Australia in high foot traffic environments have proved that intensive traffic can smooth a tile's surface and make it slippery. If you need a measure of the result Safety Step can do a pendulum test and give you an OSH certified slip reading if required.

    Hope this helps...
    jay, Bob Neary and ray like this.
  10. ray

    ray Superb Contributor

    slip or not to slip that is the question i sell more polished floor tiles than none polished 70% v 30% where ever i go in the world or in the uk there are polished floors in shopping centres hotel rectpions and so on i have never been to a hotel or shopping centre where i have been told to wait while the safety car arrives to make my journey safe .some people would fall over a blade of grass .
  11. Bob Neary

    Bob Neary Tiling Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Blair thanks for you professional advice. And welcome to the NZ Tilers Forum, good to have you here.
    Your advice will be appreciated by the guys I'm sure.
    I think now that the over the counter antislip product could be inadequate in some cases like I thought but not all.
    So if mr bloggs comes in for something to fix his slippery tiles then we can sell them something that might work but if a professional is called in then there is a higher chance of success that will last longer.
  12. Jacqui

    Jacqui Auckland Area Manager - Tile Direct

    Hi guys...am new on the forum but been in the tiling industry for 7 and a half years now in sales and other roles such as importing and even had a failed tile company of my own. In that time I have learned a lot about outdoor tiles and slip resistance and tiles in general. This is not only a moral question but can potentially be legal as well. When it comes down to it, we, as the sales person have the obligation to fully inform the customer before they use any tile in their house. They need the knowledge that the particular tile they are using is suitable for the area and that it will work for them as well as being something they love. All we can do is inform the customer, what they decide to do from there on in is their problem. I, for one, would rather lose the sale and walk away from something potentially dangerous than just make the sale because I wanted to get the money, that's not fair on the customer. If someone else does it to them then that's their problem.

    Another thing to note is that a lot of the tiles that are marketed as exterior tiles and sold in NZ aren't even slip tested before they arrive in to the country and 99% of the time, the sales person isn't aware of that, so there are a lot of arguments that could be bandied around in regards to blame with the failure of anti slip tiles.

    The anti slip product you are talking about is really only effective in internal situations where Mrs Bloggs has decided she likes the look of the polished porcelain but wants something a bit safer but has already laid it. Still won't solve most of the problem but can work ok. Sorry for the rant but I have had a lot of experience with technical specs in large commercial jobs as well as residential and there are a lot of uneducated people out there! (present company excluded of course :)
    Bob Neary and jay like this.

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