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Anti slip treatment for tiles

I’ve recently had a fall on our tiles and so we are considering putting the anti slip treatment on them. We’ve been told that sometimes the anti slip treatment can cause other types of falls as your foot gets stuck. So would love to know what people think we should do and did you DIY treatment or pay someone? Thanks everyone

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Hi @Lyndaprout, welcome to the community. Haven’t had any direct experience with non-slip costing in the home, but offer these thoughts.

Which room in the house…as there may be other options to applying a non-stick coating which may be difficult to remove in the future if one chooses to do so.

How long does the coating last, does it impact on ability to clean easy, can it be stripped off easily and does it discolour with time/age? Just some questions that come to mind.

Alternatives might be things like rugs, rubber mats etc. May not be as pretty, but may also be effective and maybe cheaper.

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When my mother moved into a retirement village we discovered that her duplex unit has very slippery glazed ceramic tiles on the floor in the entry, kitchen, dining, and bathroom.
I did quite a bit of research and determined that a permanent treatment that microscopicaly etched the glaze of the tiles was a good solution for her type of tile. We paid for a professional to do the tile glaze etching; the system was called Safeguard. They handled moving the furniture, doing the pre-clean etc and doing the etching. They did all of the tiled floor rooms and the tiled floor base of the shower cubicle.

Safeguard recommends the following for cleaning:

  1. Normal cleaning vacuuming/sweeping and mopping. Mop with hot water or with a WEAK solution of hot water and vinegar. Avoid detergents as these tend to leave a coating on the floor.
  2. If at any time you feel the floor feeling slightly slippery, suggest you do the following - Mix a strong detergent like Heavy Duty Cleanguard or ano other commercial grade cleaner. Mix into a clean mop bucket using hot water and spread onto the floor area and scrub with a hard bristle broom and work it in for five (5) minutes and then thoroughly wash off with clean water.

Mum’s weekly cleaners were fine with doing the normal cleaning as per step 1 above. and the regular cleaning meant that there was never any buildup of dirt or grease in the microscopic “pores” of the etch in the glaze so we never had to do step 2.

The microscopic etch approach does not create as “rough” a surface as the non-slip adhesive floor tapes that are available; and we never felt a sensation of “foot getting stuck preventing normal walking”.

Mum’s cleaners actually used two mops - one wet with the bucket of dilute vinegar & hot water solution, and one dry - so that they dried off the floor completely upon completion of mopping so Mum never had to walk on a wet floor or wait for it to dry.

It took a little while to get approval through the retirement village so we did use temporary measures to reduce risk of slips in the meantime, for example on the tiled entry floor (where your feet might be wet coming in from outside) we put down marine carpet (as used on boats) secured with double sided carpet tape.

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Assuming the only reason the fall was due to the tiles being slippery. We’ve selectively used mats and carpets. Not in work areas as feet often drag or slide as you move around benches etc.

We are very careful with footwear selection as some soles have poor grip, edges that tend to catch or in open designs a floppy fit which can cause problems.

We found with my dad and our mum (80’s-90’s), loss of strength and balance with age are also factors. Hard tiled floors would not be our choice later in life.

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Mats and rugs (ie not nailed down carpets) are trip hazards (even with ‘grippy’ under mats).

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I no knowledge of what the anti slip treatment is, so this may not be relevant, but it may be.

We re-tiled to get rid of old slippery tiles and replaced them with the highest slip prevention factor (SPF) available in tiles. We duly laid these anywhere it would get wet, such as outdoor areas, balconies etc.

The tiles look like ordinary tiles, but they have a slight gritty feel to them. And, they grip even when wet. The only problem with them is with cleaning the inside tiles. We vacuum first and then mop, but being slightly abrasive, they can not be cleaned with the normal sponge mops. The old fashioned string mops seem to work fine if applied gently.

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My understanding of non slip floor treatments are that they are effective particularly with reducing risk of falls however talk to the supplier as some have specific cleaning instructions. May need to clean with particular products (can be expensive) or clean with a brush to clear out the little etches (can be difficult if frail or elderly) otherwise over time the little grooves fill with general build up e.g… soap (and get slippery again).

Also be aware that there may be a change to the colour of the tiles especially if a darker colour.

Consider also when choosing tiles in the first place that they are non slip wet as well as dry - sometimes the larger glossy tiles look lovely but can be a skating rink when wet. Often the older fashioned small tiles can be better because the grout provides some grip.

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Our house was originally built as a retirement house. We bought it at 4 years when the retirees who built it decided to relocate to Coolum Beach Qld. It was designed for oldies and low maintenance. We are still finding thoughtful decisions.

Re this topic most of the house has terra cotta coloured highly textured tiles throughout. Replacing it anywhere would mean replacing it everywhere at $$$$$$$ so we have so far sucked up the increasingly dated aesthetics.

This tile is not the easiest to clean because it has lots of ridges and holes and creases but they are not slippery under any conditions nor do they contribute to stubbing of even sticky soles. It gets mopped every fortnight and every few years when they start looking grotty we get a professional cleaning company in.

A few years ago we tried to find a few replacement tiles and the design as well as colour were ‘retired from market’ more than a decade ago. It seems everything on the market today is dominated by appearance and not so much by function if we use this topic as an example. Since reading this topic I have a new appreciation for the ‘wisdom’ of the tiles.

solution of hot water and vinegar is recommended for Safeguard product that microscopically etches the glazed surface of tiles