Are Mosaic Floors Slippery?

Are Mosaic Floors Slippery?

Perhaps you've always admired the look of mosaic tiles, but you have doubts about whether they're right for your home. "Are mosaic floors slippery?" you wonder.

There's good news about that! Some mosaic floors do a great job of reducing falls. With the right material and design, you can feel confident about installing mosaic tiles in your home. You may even be able to use mosaics in high-traffic or water-prone areas of your house.

Before you settle on a flooring style for your next home project, take a look at the benefits of mosaic tiles for slip resistance.

What Makes Tiles Anti-slip?

Sure, some types of tile are slippery. That doesn't mean that all tiles fall into that category, though. There are plenty of ways to install tile in your home without compromising on safety.

Grout Lines

For most tile installations, there's a substance called grout that goes between each individual tile. It fills the space between the pieces to reinforce the arrangement and keep out dirt and moisture.

Grout comes in a variety of forms, but it's usually a mixture of several different ingredients. It's common for grout to contain cement. There may be sand included as well.

Some types of grout are naturally rough. Sand, in particular, is good for contributing grit to the mix. Using sanded grout in your tile layout will add texture and increase the amount of traction underfoot.

Smoother types of grout may increase the slip resistance of a floor, too. That's because the grout-tile-grout pattern helps ensure texture variation across the layout.

DCOF Rating

Some tiles are naturally more slippery than others. That's because some tiles are very smooth, and others are rougher. Glazed porcelain and polished marble are examples of slicker materials. Slate and terracotta are typically more textured materials.

Experts rate the slip factor of tiles with a measurement called dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF). You can compare the DCOF rating of two different tiles to see which one provides more traction.

Tiles used in wet areas should have a DCOF measure of 0.42 or greater. In some outdoor settings, the minimum DCOF increases to 0.6 or higher.

You can learn more about DCOF and other matters related to slip-resistance in the following video:

Textured Coating

Some manufacturers produce texturized sealants that can be applied to tile floors. These finishes typically dry clear and don't significantly change the appearance of tiles. Even still, they effectively increase the grip of a tile floor and reduce the likelihood that people will fall.

Mosaic Tiles and Slip Resistance

All three of these factors — grout, DCOF rating and a texturizing finish — can contribute to a mosaic floor that's not especially slippery.

The benefit of grout lines for slip resistance is especially pronounced when it comes to mosaics. Since the individual tiles are each so small, there's plenty of grout to break up the smooth tile design. You may find that mosaics are one of the best choices for tile floors in damp areas.

For increased traction, mosaics can be arranged using tiles with a sufficient DCOF rating. Sometimes, it's easy to tell the DCOF rating of a tile variety, but not all manufacturers are forthcoming with that information. Fortunately, if you go through a tile professional, the experts will be able to help you select the right varieties.

Your mosaic floor may also benefit from the added protection of a texturized sealant. Your tile professional can provide advice about whether that's a good option for your home.

Where to Use Nonslip Tile

In rooms where the floor often gets wet, being careful about slipperiness is especially important.

The bathroom is one of the top places where you need to keep this issue in mind. It's common for bathroom floors to be covered in splashes or puddles. Slip-resistant mosaic tiles will help protect your family's safety.

The kitchen is another area where safety is a top priority. As in the bathroom, spills and splashes are common on kitchen floors.

Rain and snow can make outdoor tiles slippery. Also, because you can track the elements indoors, it's important to think about reducing slips and falls in entryways as well.

No matter what material is on them, stairs can be one of the most hazardous spots in the home. If yours are covered with tiles, it's essential to choose a variety that will reduce the chance of a fall. You should also use anti-slip tiles on any inclined surfaces or ramps.

Of course, if you have a swimming pool, whether indoors or out, be sure to use non-slip tiles in and around it, too!

For some people, focusing on nonslip tiles in those areas alone isn't enough. For example, if anyone indoor house has mobility issues or is getting along in years, it's smart to make sure all tile floors in your home are slip-resistant. Families with young kids who bustle from one room to the next may want to do the same.

Choosing the Best Nonslip Mosaic Tiles

Are mosaic floors slippery? By now, you know that mosaic patterns are naturally slip-resistant because of their many grout lines. You also know that some tile materials provide additional slip protection.

A tile professional can help you pick the safest flooring for your home. For guidance with your next anti-slip mosaic tile project, give Artsaics a call. Our tile artisans are families with a wide variety of tile styles. We'll partner with you to create a design for your home that is both safe and beautiful.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.