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Understanding slip ratings

Understanding slip ratings

If you're anything like us, you likely began your search for the perfect floor tile with a particular aesthetic idea in mind. Perhaps it's a clean and contemporary timber look floor you're seeking, or maybe an antique stone effect, or even variegated terracotta.

As you'll no doubt be aware, we at Marlborough are huge advocates for porcelain floor tiles. After all, those within our collections are not only beautiful, but also practical: frost proof, strong, capable of being used with underfloor heating, and completely stain resistant - unlike real timber or stone.

One final aspect to consider before making your selection is the slip rating of your tiles. This is particularly important when it comes to areas such as swimming pool surrounds, bathrooms and wet rooms, hallways and kitchens, which are frequently exposed to surface water from spills and splashes, wet shoes and damp dogs!

Office dog and apple of Jamie's eye, Acer, pictured here on our terracotta-effect porcelain floor Andalucia small brick tiles, in Seville.

What is a slip rating?

You may have noticed that each of our porcelain floor tiles has a slip rating code. Simply put, slip ratings exist to describe how slip-resistant a particular tile is, and to help you identify how suitable that product will be for your space.

Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of official guidance available about slip resistance. Rather, there are several approved testing methods, which unfortunately do not directly compare to one another.

At Marlborough, we favour the DIN51130 Shod Ramp Test. Originally a German test method, this established test has been used globally across the tile industry for decades. To conduct the test, a platform area of tiles is created, on which an operator stands, safely kitted out in a harness and rubber soled boots. The platform is lubricated with oil and gradually raised at an angle. When the operator slips, the angle is noted. After a number of repeated tests, an average angle is taken, determining the 'R rating' of the tile.

Below, we detail each of the DIN51130 Shod Ramp Test results, and describe the spaces for which each type of flooring is considered most suitable.

R9 Anti slip rating | Best for dry indoor use

These tiles are best used in dry, internal spaces such as dining rooms and living areas and have a smooth surface texture. If you choose to use tiles rated R9 in a bathroom, we recommend that you use a bath mat and take extra care, particularly when getting in and out of the shower.

R10 Anti slip rating | Suitable for use in areas including kitchens, hallways and bathrooms

These tiles will provide minor to moderate resistance, making them most suitable for use in hallways and kitchens. Again, if you choose to use them in a bathroom, we recommend taking good care and using a bath mat.

R11 Anti slip rating | Suitable for use in areas including wetrooms, exposed balconies, patios

These tiles provide moderate resistance to slips, and are considered suitable for most interior spaces, including kitchens, bathrooms and wetrooms as well as outdoor areas such as patios.

R12 Anti slip rating | Suitable for areas including exposed balconies, swimming pool surrounds and public settings

These tiles are suitable for use in areas subject to heavy wetting. This is the minumum recommended slip rating for tiles that are to be used in business, industrial and public settings, or in instances where tiles are to be used on a sloped surface.

R13 Anti slip rating | Suitable for areas such as commercial swimming pool and spa surrounds, steps and ramps

These heavy duty tiles have a high resistance to slips and often feature deep recesses to drain liquids from their surface.

Unrated

You will notice that some of our floor tiles – often those with a polished or semi-polished surface – do not have a slip rating. While these tiles do not tend not to be as slippery as a gloss tile, they do have a smooth surface. You may wish to use them with a rug or runner, particularly if residents or visitors include pets, small children and the elderly or infirm.

French Limestone

These beautiful flagstones have a smooth surface texture and a slip rating of R9.

Weathered Oak

With their realistic, soft grained texture, planks from our Weathered Oak collection has a slip rating of R10.


Andalucia

Our very popular Andalucia collection is rated R12, and has a high resistance to slips.

Antique Stone

Available in two different finishes: Natural with a slip rating of R11, and Semi-Polished which does not have a slip rating.

Weathered Oak

With their realistic, soft grained texture, planks from our Weathered Oak collection has a slip rating of R10.

Kielder

Our Kielder collection comes in two finishes: Natural, rated R11, and Polished, which are unrated.

York Flags

Our York Flags have a tactile and realistic surface texture with a slip rating of R10.

Lacock

Our Lacock collection is rated R10, and is most suitable for use in hallways and kitchens.

Marlborough Oak

These honed oak-effect porcelain planks have a rating of R11, making them suitable for use in most interior spaces.

Ridgeway

Tiles from our Ridgeway collection are rated R10, making them most suitable for use in hallways and kitchens.

If you have any questions about slip ratings or about the suitability of a tile for a particular space, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help.

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House & Garden
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Period Living
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Country and Town House
Architectural Digest
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