Tile floors can be extremely beautiful, but they could also be a potential danger — even more so if they’re wet. However, even if they’re not wet, tile floors could play a number on you when you least expect them to.
Because of how slippery they are, these floors tend to not be the first choice of homeowners (unless they live in Florida, that is, where almost every home has tile flooring). But, if you want to install tile floors in your home, there are plenty of things you could do to make them less slippery.
Before we check out the solutions though, it’s good to know why tiles are so slippery in the first place, and what dangers they could potentially pose. So, let’s take a look!
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Why Are Tile Floors Slippery?
There could be a number of reasons a tile floor gets slippery. By default, an interior tile floor should have “at least 0.5 [COF] for all walkway surfaces under both wet and dry conditions,” according to the Global Floor Safety Network.
GFSN says that the “Coefficient of Friction (COF) is defined as the friction force opposing sliding motion divided by the force normal to the surface.” Simply put, that’s physics working its magic and making people slip on tile floors.
In other words, if your floor’s manufacturer didn’t take into consideration any specific COF, then your floors are slippery.
Also, keep in mind that any floor that is wet is increasingly more slippery. Therefore, if you have a floor that is already slippery (when dry), then you should be extra careful when it’s wet.
What Are the Dangers of Wet Tiles?
It should be pretty obvious, but the main danger of wet tiles is slipping and falling. That poses an even bigger risk for elderly people, for whom such a fall could be fatal. But, elderly folk are not the only ones who are in greater danger from wet tiles. Children, too, could fall much more easily.
Therefore, the best option is to adopt some measures to help you increase friction and make tile floors less slippery. Let’s take a look at what you could do to make your floors safer.
Tips on How to Make Tiles Less Slippery
If you want to make tiles less slippery, we have a few tips you could follow. Some of them are very simple, such as using carpets, while others require some elbow grease, such as applying an anti-slip coating. Explore all of these options, and decide which one would be the best for you!
1. Wear Slippers With Anti-Skid Soles
If you never want to worry about slipping and sliding across your tile floor, the solution is quite simple — wear indoor slippers with anti-skid soles. They are not exactly the ultimate fashion statement piece, but they will keep you safe with minimum effort.
By wearing non-slip shoes you won’t have to worry about replacing the tiles, treating them with anti-slip solutions, or installing foam pads (see below). Lucky for you, there are some very cute indoor slippers that won’t make you despise using them:
2. Place Carpets in Key Areas for an Additional Design Element
Carpets are a great design statement and can enhance the look of any place. You could place them in spaces that get a lot of traffic, and thus reduce the slipperiness of the floor in that area.
Furthermore, if you choose a carpet that matches the design of the room, it’s a win-win situation. You’re not sure what design to choose? How about one of these:
- Unique Loom’s Sofia Traditional Area Rug in gray
- Rainlin’s Minimalist Modern Indoor Shag Area Rug
- Unique Loom’s Lattice Moroccan Geometric Modern Area Rug in ivory
All of these carpets can work great on tile floors, and if you pair them with rug grippers, they will stay in place for a very, very long time.
3. Non-Slip Kitchen Mats Are a Great Carpet Alternative for Kitchens
Kitchen mats are a great carpet alternative for any kitchen. If you choose the right design, it will not only improve safety but also add to the look of that area. For instance, if you have tiles in the kitchen and around your kitchen island, mats are a great solution.
You could place a mat in key areas next to the sink and stove. Nobody will be able to tell it’s only there to keep you from slipping! If you don’t know what to choose, here are a few great options:
Such kitchen mats are specifically designed to be slip-proof and very easy to clean. So, if you’re struggling with a slippery floor in your kitchen, they are definitely a great choice.
4. Apply Anti-Slip Coating to Your Tiles
An anti-slip coating is meant to increase traction on your tiles. It is a great way to prevent them from becoming too slippery while maintaining their look. It is pretty easy to apply, and you can even do it yourself. The process is simple:
- First, you need to clean and dry the surface.
- Then, test the solution in a small area, to figure out how long it takes to dry/treat. Ideally, you want to do this in an area you don’t use frequently.
- After it dries completely (and you know the approximate drying time), you can start applying it to the entire floor.
- Use a microfiber T-mop to apply it on interior tiles, or a garden tank sprayer for the outside areas. You could also use the mop for exterior tiles, but with the sprayer, you’ll do it much faster and cover a larger surface.
- Leave the solution to dry completely, and then neutralize it with a mixture of equal parts water and baking soda.
- Finally, rinse the tiles and let them dry.
That’s it — your tiles should have a better grip after you apply the anti-slip coating.
5. Place Non-Slip Stair Tape on Each Tile or Every Other Tile
If you’re feeling crafty and have a lot of patience, you could take the time to place non-slip stair tape on each tile. And why crafty, you may ask — that’s because it requires quite a bit of work.
The tape comes in a roller, and if you want it to be perfect and achieve a seamless look, you should measure the tiles and cut the tape to fit each tile. If you want to do this on every single tile, you might need more than one roller of tape.
On the bright side, the tape is almost invisible. It won’t be noticeable over the tiles, and that is great if you want to obtain a rather seamless look.
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t have to put it on each tile. For instance, you could place it on every other tile, or only on specific tiles (such as the ones in front of the entrance door).
See also: Best Non-slip Stair Treads
6. Install Floorboards Over the Tiles
This is a solution that not only makes the tiles less slippery but replaces them altogether! Floorboards are inexpensive and they are fairly easy to install, even for complete beginners.
Here’s an article on how to install laminate over tile. There are also several useful videos that can teach you how to do it, like this one:
In short, the best way to make a tile floor less slippery is to replace it entirely!
7. Cover Slippery Tiles With Foam Pads
Foam pads are ideal for covering slippery tiles because they create a sort of cushion for the foot, thus making them a great alternative to rugs. Although they might not have the same sleek finish as tiles, foam pads can be a good solution if you have children running around and want to keep them from slipping and falling.
And in case you’re wondering if all foam pads are silly-looking, the answer is no — you can find some really sleek pads that resemble wooden floors.
8. Use Stickers to Make the Area Non-Slip and Improve Its Design
If you’re looking for a cheaper way to make tile floors less slippery, you could go for a tile overlay. What that means, basically, is that you stick fake tiles over your existing ones.
You can find some gorgeous adhesive non-slip tiles that resemble real ones, and you could never tell they’re not the actual tiles. Some of the best ones would be Alwayspon’s Vinyl Floor Sticker Tiles, which come in various colors. You can choose the type you like most, and place it over your existing tiles.
However, to ensure the durability of the stick-on tiles, it would be better to use an adhesive with them. Otherwise, floors that get a lot of traffic might cause the sticker tiles to peel off eventually.
You may also like: Best Non-Slip Shower Stickers
9. Consider Replacing Slippery Tiles With Non-Slip Tiles
As a last resort, you might want to consider replacing the slippery tiles altogether. It’s no easy feat, but it will eliminate the risk of unfortunate accidents. You could contact your contractor, and decide together on a new set of tiles that have a better COF rating.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to replace all the tiles. You could just replace them in the areas with the most traffic (such as the hallway, around the kitchen island, or bathroom).
And don’t worry — when it comes to replacing the tiles, you don’t necessarily have to remove the old ones. You could install the new ones on top of them, just like you would with floorboards.
Slippery tiles are dangerous — even more so if they’re wet. They can be dangerous for children running around, elderly folk, and even for you when you least expect them. But, don’t despair — we have the solution (or rather, solutions)! Choose one of the alternatives from the list above, and you’ll never have to worry about slippery tiles again.
You could rock some cute and comfy indoor slippers or install some non-slip tape — it doesn’t matter which option you go for, they all work. So, feel free to pick the solution you like the most, and never let a slippery floor ruin your day!