Are there standards for residential shower floors?


Shower Floor Selection - Are there written specifications or standards for residential shower floors? I am only concerned with product recommendations for residential applications.


ANSWER - There is no industry standard that says what type of ceramic tile can be used on a residential shower floor. There are some ADA recommendations and some city codes for public areas that say you should have a slip resistant surface for a shower wet area. There is little agreement on what is suitable, but it is normally accepted to have an average Coefficient of Friction rating of .6 per ASTM C1028 or DCOF minimum of 0.42  per ANSI A137.1 for wet and dry surfaces.

Rules of thumb: The more textured the tile the more slip resistant - the more slip resistant the more dirty the floor gets and the more maintenance required.

The smaller tiles 2" x 2" or smaller have more grout joints and are more slip resistant. A slip resistant tile is not slip proof. Good Luck!

4 thoughts on “Are there standards for residential shower floors?

  1. Ellen Peterson says:

    I just ordered Hudson Hex 1″ mosaic tiles for a shower floor. Now I’m wondering if that is smart. The coefficient number on the tile is 0.180, but I’m sorry to say that means nothing to me – my brain does not compute. Should I reconsider the tile for the floor? Will it be too slippery when wet to be safe for a senior citizen?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      0.18 does not sound like a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) value or a Static Coefficient of Friction (STCF) value. It is too low. It may be a European R value, R18 is outside of the normal values. Maybe what you have is a R13 which is the normal high number.

      Some people will use small tiles that have smooth surfaces on their shower floors as it is easier to maintain. It is assumed that small tiles with lots of grout joints will be more slip resistant, which is likely to some degree, but there is no data substantiating that opinion.

      No tile is slip proof. There are many factors that go into why someone slips and their physical condition and mental state can be factors. So it is best to always have a shower mat in addition to having a slip resistant floor.

  2. Les Sternberg says:

    How can I determine if the floor tiles in my shower are slip resistant? Currently, the floor is comprised of 2×2 TGL 85/200 tiles.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      “Slip Resistance” is a relative term. There is no such thing as a slip proof floor. Anyone can slip or fall from any type of floor. It has to do more with the individuals physical capabilities, what they were doing, and the current condition of the floor.

      Slip resistance in the flooring industry is actually measuring the texture of the tile or other flooring surface. The more texture the floor has the more slip resistant it will tend to be (there are exceptions as too much texture can lead to slips or falls).

      The more texture the floor surface the more it will tend to pick up dirt, the more frequent you will have to clean the floor, and the more effort it will take to clean the floor.

      There are floor tiles that meet the minimum ANSI A326. 3 Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) of 0.42 that is considered slip resistant for interior level floors in wet areas, and that do now require a lot of extra maintenance to maintain them.

      Regarding a “2×2 TGL 85/200 tiles” I am not sure what that means. I am going to assume it is a 2×2 inch mosaic tile. Mosaic floor tiles tends to be more slip resistant because you a lot more grout joints that creates a break in the tile surface and might be even more slip resistant if it has sanded grout in the joint. Of course the tile surface should still meet the minimum DCOF of 0.42 .

      What is most important in keeping a floor tile slip resistant is to keep it maintained properly. The floor has to be clean and cleaned properly so there are no contaminates that can make the tile floor more slippery.

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