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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    38

    Default Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    So I am trying some new design for the custom showers I am building these days. One feature I started putting in showers is a linear drain. They look great and allow me to use larger floor tiles because I only have one or two sloping sides in the shower.
    But I think I may have a problem. With the larger tiles (13x13) in this example, I didn't think of the fewer grout lines I would have on the floor and my tile setter is concerned that the tile is too slick when wet. I tested it out once we got the shower valve installed and it's a toss up, but to ensure my clients don't slip when they first use the shower I am thinking that I will use an acid to etch the floor tile. I am using slip tech and have talked with the owner of the company about the installation method and it seems pretty straight forward.

    I was just wondering if anyone had used this product or a similar product to slip proof tile.

    Any tips?
    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    There are several such treatments on the market, and each has its own performance spec. Architects and designers - when they are aware of the need for slip resistance - try to specify tiles that rate .60 or more when tested according to ASTM C1028. Whatever material you use, ensure that it can attain such a value after treatment. It is highly unlikely that the manufacturer can guarantee this value on the tile you install unless the manufacturer has tested its treatment on THAT particular tile. Even then, the value as tested may only apply to the test samples - not the tiles you installed.

    You should also keep in mind that any material that etches the surface of a tile will also produce a tile surface that is more difficult to clean than the original. As well, treated tiles often show marks (such as those made by the treads on a wheelchair) that would not be a problem on the original tile surface. As well, such treatments will change the color and light-reflecting properties of the tile to which they are applied.

    The only way for you to determine if the treatment you want to use is acceptable to your customer is to test it on a mock-up and get the approval of your customer. To test the slip resistance of the treated tiles, you will need to send off samples to a qualified test lab for a C1028 test.

    Finally, do not make the huge mistake of telling your customer that the treatment will make the tiles non-slip. This will guarantee - if there is a slip-and-fall accident and it goes to court - that you will be held liable. There is no such thing as non-slip in the tile industry for that very reason.

    When clients ask me to recommend a "slip-resistant" etching material or treatment, I, instead, have them select a tile that is appropriate for the application. To protect yourself, make sure you obtain a written statement from the tile manufacturer that the tiles you intend to install have been tested for use in a shower or wet area.

    Finally, if your customer insists on a tile that you have confirmed is not appropriate for wet area use or has not been tested for such applications, and you agree to install the tile, you might consider talking to your lawyer first about a waiver to isolate you from liability.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    thanks for the info. I tested a floor tile and it definitely changes the finish (giving it a lighter look) but the slip resistance is great reduced. After studying the tile manufacturers specs the wet floor tile is rated at a .5 to .59. I am going to take the test tile to the owners and discuss the options, but recommend that the floor tile be treated to make the tile floor more slip resistant...not non-slip. Thanks for the advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    portland, maine
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

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    Last edited by mike maines; 10-26-2012 at 12:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    The acid etching went very well. I used a 10:1 ratio and taped off the stainless metal linear drain. I used a cloth rag to "mop" the floor surface tile and washed the tile with water for a few minutes after the application process. There was almost no color change in the tile and the floor has much more grip to it. The clients were very happy in the fact that they said they couldn't see a difference in the wall tile and the floor tile. I will post some pics when I get them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, Fire Island
    Posts
    5,376

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    Shawn - I'm looking to do this to a ridiculously slippery kitchen floor soon. Just wanted to confirm - "Slip Tech" was the brand?
    Francois


    Truth is just one man's explanation for what he thinks he understands. (Walter Mosley)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Acid Etching Shower Floor Tile for Non-Slip Surface

    Francois...yes Slip Tech was the product I used. Make sure and test on some sample tile so you can determine the color differences. and use rubber gloves.

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