The Best Non-Slip Flooring To Prevent Falls
While many homes enjoy the beauty of finely polished hardwood floors, shiny tile or gorgeous granite, these materials also create potentially dangerous situations. Hard, smooth flooring is very easy to slip on, especially when water has been spilled. Consider replacing these hazardous flooring materials in your home, or adding non-slip accessories to increase traction.
Slip Resistant Flooring Materials
Many homes feature hard flooring in some portion of their interior. Tile, marble, vinyl or linoleum are often placed in the same rooms as sinks, showers and bathtubs, increasing the chances of slipping. The kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are frequent areas for slips and accidents, due to poor footing on slippery flooring and/or water spills. Try installing some of these flooring materials in your home to help protect against dangerous falls:
- Textured linoleum, offering more traction and reduced potential for slipping than entirely smooth linoleum.
- Consider installing carpet wherever possible. While it is not ideal for the bathroom, but using bath mats and properly airing out the bathroom will keep carpets from staying wet and growing mold.
- If you like stone floors, try slate, a rough though beautifully colored stone that does not become slippery, even when water is spilled on it.
Slippery Floor Treatments
If you do have particularly slippery flooring in your home, but don't wish to replace it, various sprays and lacquers can be applied to increase the floor's slip resistance. Consider one of the following options for your home:
- Anti-slip sprays and paints can be purchased from companies like the National Slipfix Company, and are applied to tile, ceramic, porcelain, unfinished concrete and some types of marble and granite. The spray or paint is applied directly to the flooring, after having been thoroughly cleaned. Left to sit for approximately 15 minutes, the spray or paint is then washed away, leaving a coating of anti-slip coverage over the flooring. Though the treatment will need to be reapplied over time, it is a less expensive option for slip resistance over replacing existing flooring.
- Companies like Interstate Products offer aerosol epoxy sprays for homes, which come in convenient, one-step, premixed cans. Simply spray the epoxy formula over bathtubs, showers, stairs, garages or patios to create a synthetic grit, reducing the slippery surface of your flooring.
Another simple way to prevent slips and falls in the home is to purchase anti-slip accessories for your flooring, rugs and mats. Inexpensive and simple to install, non-slip accessories can help prevent serious accidents, all without renovation or labor. Some of the best slip resistant accessories include:
- Rubber or foam stickers can be placed on the underside of bath mats and rugs in the kitchen, laundry room or on patios to prevent them from moving or sliding when stepped on. This can dramatically reduce the risk of slipping and falling when walking in these areas.
- Bathtub liners are another easy and inexpensive way to prevent slipping, and can be purchased at most home improvement, drug and grocery stores. The rubber inserts are placed at the bottom of the bath or shower, and instantly cover otherwise slippery materials like tile, ceramic or other smooth bathroom flooring materials.
- Anti-slip tape works well on stairways or other narrow areas in need of non-slip accessories. Available in rolls like regular tape, non-slip tape is rough, providing traction wherever placed.
- Larger anti-slip step and walkways pieces act like enlarged pieces of non-slip tape, and work well to cover the entire step, rather the just the edge.
What To Avoid
One of the best ways to avoid slips, falls and other accidents around the home is to prevent them all together. If you are purchasing a new home, and are considering remodeling or specifically installing slip-resistant flooring, be sure to avoid the following flooring options:
- Smooth, ceramic tile
- Smooth linoleum
- Smooth stone
Creating an accident free home begins with eliminating slip-inducing flooring like smooth stone and tile, and replacing it with smarter, safer options. Carpet, slate and textured flooring give extra protection against otherwise slippery floors. For added security, try installing anti-slip tape, step pieces and bath mats to fully protect against the dangers of falling on slippery floors.