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    Product review: slip resistant flooring

    Geraldine Chua

    Ensuring that people will be safe from slips, trips and falls in the spaces they occupy is an important part of the design process, with designers, manufacturers, contractors and architects having to specify floor products that comply with appropriate slip resistance levels. 

    This is a product review of five flooring products following on from our article about The Goldilocks Principle of slip resistance flooring, and what the updated standards mean for architects and designers.

    Altro – Aquarius Safety Flooring

    Altro Aquarius is a 2mm safety floor suitable for both wet and dry environments, whether shoes are worn or not. It incorporates the Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR technology, which allows the floor to be cleaned with an ordinary domestic cleaner, allowing for savings in cleaning and maintenance. The product contains an integral Biocide that prevents the growth of MRSA or similar organisms.

    • Slip resistance rating: Achieved a pendulum test value of ≥36, R10 and Class B to AS/NZS 4586 for barefoot use
    • Material composition: PVC
    • Sustainability: Not given
    • Warranty: 10 year warranty; retains slip resistance for full 10 years, with an expected lifespan of 15 years
    • Possible applications: bathrooms and ensuites, student accommodation, social housing bathrooms, leisure environments like wet rooms, showers, spa baths, saunas
    • Other features: lacks pronounced surface emboss, which can be uncomfortable for some; comes in a non-sparkle finish, and offers chipped or non-chopped variants ideal for dementia sufferers and the visually impaired; highly flexible and will cove and weld easily, so easily installed in confined areas like domestic bathrooms and ensuites

    Novaproducts Global – Assurance Flooring

    Assurance is a slip retardant sheet that comes in a wide range of colours. It features QuantumGuard HP, a patented high performance wear layer with urethane aluminium oxide topcoat curved by a UV process. The product’s embossed texture provides drainage underfoot, which enhances its slip resistance properties. It is furthermore manufactured to be stain, scuff and soil resistant due to the lack of abrasive particles.

    • Slip resistance rating: slip retardant R10
    • Material composition: PVC with other secret patented components
    • Sustainability: USA Green LEEDS rating
    • Warranty and maintenance claims: easy to clean, hard wearing product
    • Possible applications: hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, toilets, corridors, kitchens
    • Other features: slip retardant in wet and dry areas; normal vinyl results for acoustic and insulation performances; fire rated to Australian standards for class 9a buildings – great results with CSIRO testing

    Charles Parsons - Kradal Floor Tiles

    Essentially a fall injury prevention flooring solution with non-slip properties, Kradal Floor Tiles are formulated using patented polyurethane technology and made up of thousands of micro-spheres that optimise the cushioning impact and provide a resilient floor surface for high traffic areas. HealthGuard antimicrobial treatment protects the floor surfaces against the development of yeasts, moulds, algae and bacteria. An additional slip resistant treatment option for Kradal Tiles, the Dr Schutz PU Sealer Antislip, can be used to form a hard-wearing sealant film of durability. The PU sealant also reduces bacterial growth because of hermetically sealed joints.

    • Slip resistance rating: Dr Schutz PU Sealer Antislip, a special 2K polyurethane-based sealer, increases slip reduction. The sealant film is classified in evaluation group R10
    • Material composition: Polyurethane
    • Sustainability: each tile contains approximately 10 per cent renewable raw materials; no plasticisers; tiles are 100 per cent recyclable and can be reclaimed, ground up and re-used in the production of new tiles when they reach the end of their life time
    • Warranty and maintenance claims: with proper care and maintenance – 10 year manufacturing warranty; PU system proven to extend lifetime of floor use and requires easy day to day maintenance, whilst being highly resistant to chemicals and disinfectants
    • Possible applications: flooring; anti-slip sealer for PVC, linoleum and rubber floorings with plain or slightly structured surface
    • Other features: performed well in durability test by CUBRO;prevents factures in elderly people during falls, as the technology optimises energy absorption on impact with the floor or ground; PU system highly resistant to chemicals; Fire resistant test to AS ISO 9239.1-2003; Acoustic test to ISO 140-8

    Fibonacci Stone – Terrazzo Stone Tiles

    Suitable for interior applications, Terrazzo Tiles from Fibonacci Stone is named as one of the safest classifications in the slip resistance handbook available from Standards Australia. The products in this range have a honed finish, and are dust and dirt resistant. When fully sealed, they are also safeguarded against spills and stains.

    • Slip resistance rating: P4 classification in accordance with AS 4586; also pass the anti-slip Oil Ramp Test, Dry Friction Test, and Wet Pendulum Test
    • Material composition: more than 75 per cent natural stone bonded with an inorganic binder (Portland cement) with pigment oxides used for colour
    • Sustainability: 100 per cent Green star rating[DW1]
    • Warranty and maintenance claims: five year limited warranty for residential and commercial use. Correctly installed and maintained, the tiles possess an average lifespan in excess of 30 years. Maintenance: regular sweeping before mopping with a proprietary PH neutral detergent or diluted methylated spirits
    • Possible applications: Flooring, walls, stairs, table tops
    • Other features: uniform colour and texture but subtle variations in pattern and tone; ideal for high traffic areas and environments

    Armstrong Australia – Accolade Safe

    Accolade Safe Plus is a new slip resistant vinyl flooring developed to meet the demand for an easier to maintain slip-retardant floor covering. It comes without impregnated silicon carbide chips that can attract and hold dirt, and increase the maintenance effort and wear and tear on cleaning equipment. The product’s embossed surface reduces aquaplaning while helping to hide subfloor imperfections.

    • Slip resistance rating: CSIRO Tested* for slip resistance to AS/NZS 4586:2009 – Wet pendulum W; Wet/barefoot ramp B; Oil-wet ramp R10
    • Material composition: homogeneous PVC slip resistant sheet vinyl floor
    • Sustainability: third party certified by EcoSpecifier and achieves GreenTag LCARate ‘Silver’ and Green Rate Level A. Meets the requirements of “Best Environmental (BEP) Practice PVC”, a trade mark awarded to BEP compliant PVC products upon application. Certification GreenTag & Best Practice PVC enables the product to contribute to achieving maximum available points under applicable GreenStar Material Calculator Credits such as Healthcare v1 & Education v1 IEQ-8 & Mat-11
    • Warranty and maintenance claims: Armstrong 15 year standard warranty applies
    • Possible applications: recommended for installation in areas subject to frequent surface moisture such as ensuites, toilets, bath and shower rooms
    • Other features: fire resistance meets requirements for flooring for particular areas within Class 2 to 9 Buildings (BCA 2014), Fire Hazard Properties C1.10-3 Floor Lining & Floor Coverings when tested to AS/ISO 9239-1; Fire resistance ISO 9239-1. Minimal acoustic benefit when fitted to a recommended substrates (may be fitted to an underlay to provide acoustic options)
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