Slip Rating Advice

Determining Slip Resistance

At Pyro + Echo, we use Pendulum Test Values (PTV) to determine the slip resistance of our tiles.

All of our tiles are tested for slip resistance by our suppliers and then tested again, in-house, by a member of our technical team, giving you peace of mind when selecting your slip-resistant tile.

The pendulum test consists of a swinging arm with a rubber foot, which is then allowed to fall and make contact with the tile being tested. The test replicates a person's heel strike, the point at which most slips occur. There are two different rubbers used in testing, one replicates the sole of footwear, the other is a softer rubber designed to provide values relating to a bare foot.

Water is used as a contaminant in order to measure the slip resistance of tiles in both wet and dry environments and the results are then recorded. The tests are carried out in accordance with BS7976-2:2002 and UK Slip Resistance Group guidelines.

Pyro Echo Slip Rating Advice 2

The higher the Pendulum Test Value the higher the level of slip resistance. Customer safety is our top priority when we test for slip resistance, which is why we have chosen to use pendulum testing as our measurement method.

There are many benefits to PTV testing:

  • It is the preferred test method of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and the TTA in the UK
  • It is used extensively as the standard in the UK for commercial projects
  • It provides results in both wet and dry conditions

Other types of testing

You may see 'R' values quoted elsewhere, which is the value given from ramp testing to record slip resistance of a tile. There are 2 tests methods used for ramp testing, one (DIN 51097) where the operator is barefoot and the contaminant is soapy water, and the other (DIN 51130) where the operator wears rubber-soled boots and the contaminant is engine oil. It works by inclining a ramp covered with the flooring of choice and inclined a degree at a time until someone walking on the ramps slips.

Based on the angle of slip, the rating is given for the tile. These standards are extensively used across Europe. However, there are several disadvantages to ramp testing:

  • Ramp testing uses oil or soap solution as a contaminant, whereas water is more commonly implicated in slip accidents
  • They are not suitable for evaluating dry surfaces
  • They are unsuitable for use in assessing the effectiveness of cleaning regimes
  • They cannot be used for testing already installed floor tiles

What classifies a tile as slip resistant?

During testing, the Pendulum machine will record results for each tile in wet and dry environments, simulating footwear and barefoot conditions. The higher the recorded value, the lower the slip potential. The following table represents the pendulum test values and how that translates to slip potential.

PTV Slip Potential
0 - 24 High
25 - 35 Moderate
36+ Low

While all tiles have some slip-resistant properties and can be categorized into low, moderate and high slip potential, at Pyro + Echo we only classify a tile as slip-resistant if it has achieved a PTV of 36+ in both footwear and barefoot wet conditions.

This means that these tiles have low slip potential, to give you peace of mind when specifying.

A value of 36+ is regarded as a slip-resistant tile and indicates a probability of 'one in a million' of slip on a horizontal surface. However, the PTV may be affected by the installation and maintenance processes due to the following factors:

  • Abrasive action of the grouting process
  • Build-up of residues
  • Incorrect application of sealant

It is important that tiles are cleaned and maintained correctly to ensure that slip-resistant values are maintained over time.

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