For the first time ever, manufacturers of hard flooring materials have standardized criteria they can use to communicate possible areas of use for flooring based on the slip resistance characteristics of their products. ANSI A326.3 is the American National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials. The standard was recently revised to include a five-category product use classification system.
When it comes to tile and natural stone on the floor, slip-resistance is a main consideration, especially in bathrooms or industrial installations. The new method, titled the DCOF AcuTestSM, determines dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) with a sophisticated instrument called the BOT-3000, a type of tribometer specific for flooring applications.
DCOF, or dynamic coefficient of friction, is a measurement that determines how much friction there is on wet, level floors when walked upon.
The results of DCOF testing help us determine the likelihood of whether or not a tile surface could contribute to someone slipping and/or falling.
Then we can recommend the most appropriate tiles with the right slip-resistance for your project.
INTERCERAMIC PUTTING SAFETY FIRST
The DCOF AcuTest® has determined that 0.42 wet is the standard for tile that can be used in potentially wet and level applications.
Where floor tiles have a DCOF lower than 0.42, care must be exercised to ensure the tiles are not walked on while wet
DCOF Acutest was introduced in 2012 to replace the SCOF test method
Other contributing factors are used to determine if a floor is “slip resistant”
The specifier shall determine tiles appropriate for specific project conditions, considering, type of use, traffic, expected contaminants, expected maintenance, expected wear and manufacturers’ guidelines and recommendations
DCOF Product Usage Classification
The five categories outlined in ANSI A326.3 enable manufacturers to specify product use classifications for their products according to the products’ slip resistance characteristics. The chart below details Interceramic's recommended DCOF for various types of application.
Interior, Dry (ID)
≥ 0.42 dry DCOF*
Indoor shopping malls (except food courts), hotel lobbies, office buildings, showrooms, home interiors without water sources and other level areas where surface will be kept dry.
Interior, Wet (IW)
≥ 0.42 wet DCOF* (per Section 9.1) or Manufacturer-Declared
Entry foyers, public restrooms (without showers) grocery stores, “front of the house” in fine and casual dining restaurants with a closed kitchen, home interiors including bathrooms and kitchens, and other areas where floors may be walked upon when wet.
Interior, Wet Plus (IW+)
≥ 0.50 Wet Manufacturer-Declared
Public showers, interior pools decks, locker rooms, covered exterior areas, steam rooms, “front of the house” applications in restaurants with an open kitchen, and in “front of the house” applications in quick service, fast-casual, and self-service restaurants, food areas in gas stations, and other similar areas where floors may be walked upon when wet.
Exterior, Wet (EW)
≥ 0.55 Wet Manufacturer-Declared
Level outdoor living spaces including pool decks, walkways, patios and sidewalks, where such floors may be walked upon when wet (excluding ice or snow).
≥ 0.55 Wet Manufacturer-Declared
Level areas regularly exposed to automotive fluids “back of the house” fast food or family style restaurants, food preparation areas with grills or deep-fry equipment, and any area where oil, grease, and/or fats may be present so long.
*Manufacturer declared is not a standard, values declared are set by the manufacturer based on manufacturing parameters, internal quality control criteria, our experience with similar surfaces and the criteria of ANSI A326.3 standard.
Contributing Factors: the material of the shoe sole and the degree of its wear; the presence and nature of surface contaminants; the speed and length of stride at the time of a slip; the physical and mental condition of the individual at the time of a slip; whether the floor is flat or inclined; how the hard surface flooring material is used and maintained; and the DCOF of the material, how the flooring surface is structured, and how drainage takes place if liquids are involved.
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