Maintaining slip resistance on new smooth floor surfaces

October 5th, 2018 | Stone & Tile

Slippery Tiles – What makes tiles slippery & how to fix them

There are three reasons why tiled floors get slippery.

The best thing is to take a forensic look at the situation and decide which of these three aspects are in play and then create a solution for it.

1. Tile surface

Some tiles are simply too smooth for the application. There are limited opportunities for resolution on this one.

2. Detergent residue

Detergent residue occurs extremely often. Sometimes it can be quite “invisible”, other times it displays itself as “greying” often on low corners or edges of tiles. Auto scrubber tyre tracks on tiles are also an indication. Mostly it is alkaline residue from frequent maintenance cleaning regimes. However, the chemical residue can also be acidic if an acid cleaner has been frequently used.

3. Fatty acids, oils, grease

This is also a prime cause of slippery tiles and is mostly found in commercial kitchens and sports change rooms. It is caused by incorrect cleaning products or methods being used. Sometimes the chemical makes it worse in that it partially emulsifies the fatty acids and creates a sticky surface which attracts more soiling but becomes like an ice rink when wet.

The best way to test is to clean two separate tiles

Clean one tile with Tile & Grout Cleaner Pro (alkaline) at 1:10 and the other with Tile & Grout Restore (acidic) at 1:10 and scrub briefly with two white pads. Rinse well. Assess which tile responds best to the treatment. If the Tile & Grout Cleaner Pro worked best, then fatty acids and oil is likely the issue. If Tile & Grout Restore worked best then the detergent residue is likely the issue.

In conclusion

It is important to get down to the base tile. And using the Tile & Grout Restore and Tile & Grout Cleaner Pro as mentioned above, is the best way to do it. However, on a deep clean like this, you must rinse thoroughly with clean water to ensure no residues remain.

Following the deep-clean, the tiles should then be maintained with Tile & Grout Cleaner Pro (or LF) at 1:100. If stronger dilutions are used then a separate clean water rinse must be done.

Once a month switch to Tile & Grout Restore at 1:100. This will remove any detergent residue build-up and any water salts build-up.


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