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How does nonslip flooring work, and why do you need it?

Slips are a common workplace hazard, so businesses have long become accustomed to installing nonslip flooring to minimise workplace accidents. For example, Liverpool hosts a wide array of restaurants and hotels, and spills can easily happen in a busy commercial kitchen. In such an environment, it’s not just water you need to worry about; there’s also the possibility of foodstuffs and cooking oils to be concerned about. In an industrial environment, meanwhile, lubricants may leak from machinery and cause a slipping hazard.

Unlike household flooring, which typically has a smooth, glossy finish, nonslip flooring has a textured surface to increase the friction between the feet and the floor. This basically allows people to maintain contact with the floor despite the presence of liquids. Depending on the viscosity of the liquid, the floor texture may need to be rougher to compensate. For example, oil typically has a higher viscosity than water at room temperature, so you would need a rougher surface.

Nonslip flooring comes in different forms for various applications. For swimming baths, saunas, and wet rooms, for example, nonslip tiles can be used. These feature a stone-like texture that provides more grip in wet environments than their traditional glossy counterparts.

Vinyl flooring has progressed immensely in recent years and managed to shake off the cheap image of traditional “lino”. Vinyl flooring can now match almost any option in terms of appearance and quality, and you can find heavy-duty, nonslip versions that can withstand the impacts, high foot traffic and temperature variations of a commercial environment.

The benefits of nonslip vinyl flooring include being:

• Able to cut it to fit any shape, because it generally comes on a roll
• Easy to clean and maintain good hygiene standards
• More cost-effective than other solutions

In general, vinyl flooring is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens, because it can be made watertight by sealing the edges and joints with silicone. Some heavy-duty options may even be suitable for wet rooms or certain industrial environments.

There are also ways to add a nonslip coating to existing floors. Resin flooring, for example, generally involves coating an existing surface with resin and then adding a nonslip coat over it. This coat usually uses coarse sand, glass beads, or an embedded aggregate to increase the roughness of the final surface. Nonslip floor paints, which are usually mixed with aggregate, also work on a similar principle.

While nonslip flooring has traditionally been aimed at preventing workplace accidents, there is a growing awareness that the home can be just as hazardous, if not more so. If you imagine a typical Liverpool home, there may be spills in the kitchen or bathroom, or the decking outside may be soaked from last night’s downpour. These can make accidents inevitable, especially if you have dogs or kids under your feet as well.

Fortunately, many manufacturers of nonslip flooring now accommodate the domestic market. These are often made to the same high safety standards but are available in a wider range of styles and patterns to cater to different tastes.

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