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What Are Non-slip Porcelain Tiles?

Safety around your swimming pool is critical. And the natural stone you choose plays a crucial part in making sure you and your guests are as safe as possible. Non-slip pool surround tiles are of paramount importance when you’re selecting your swimming pool tiles as it’s critical to consider the slip resistance of the tiles used on your swimming pool surrounds.

We produce and stock the largest range of swimming pool surrounds in the UK, hand-selecting natural stone from over ten countries around the world. Managing all of our natural stone selection entirely in-house with our dedicated and experienced team, we are informed and highly knowledgeable on the safety standards of all of our natural stones.

Why Slip-Resistant not Non-Slip?

Natural stones and porcelain can undergo a series of tests, including the pendulum test and the ramp test methods. These measure the slip resistance of your tiles. Although these best practice industry standards take into consideration a number of variables including a person’s height and weight, they cannot rule out the possibility of a slip with 100% certainty. 

Understanding the level of slip-resistance a particular natural stone or porcelain tile has, however, minimises this risk of surface slips and maximises safety for you and your guests around your swimming pool area. 

At Cranbourne Stone, all our natural stones are selected with slip-resistance as a key criteria. That’s why all our natural stone’s slip resistance measures above the minimum requirement of 38 A. 

Porcelain carries a specific slip-resistance rating, known as the ‘R’ rating. We recommend selecting porcelain that has an R rating of between 10 and 11 (equivalent to 38 A in natural stone), which all of our grip finish porcelain has. All our stone is selected with slip-resistance as a core priority.

Rate Your Tile for Safety

When choosing tiles for areas that experience regular water circulation, like the surroundings of a swimming pool, it’s important to make sure your materials will be safe for use when both wet and dry. Some stones can become incredibly slippery when wet and are therefore extremely hazardous.

It is important to check the safety standards of the tiles you are considering using before starting your project. 

Natural stone is tested by adopting the pendulum (PTV) method. Pendulum Test Value (PTV) uses a mechanism designed to simulate a heel striking the floor to measure resistance against slipping. It measures the effect the friction of the ‘heel’ has on the surface of the tile and its influence on how high an angle the pendulum swings up to. The more the mechanism slows down, the greater the slip resistance, and the higher the score. The test is performed on wet and dry surfaces using bare feet. The natural stone is given an A, B or C rating, which indicates the slip potential of pool copings and surrounds.

While slip-resistant porcelain scores high on safety ranking, it should always be tested to ensure its suitability for use in both homes and commercial settings. 

The porcelain tile surface R rating is measured by observing a subject walking on an oiled surface at increased angles until slipping occurs, known as the ramp test method. The test is repeated several times with a variety of different subjects of varying sizes and weights to give an average angle in which slipping takes place. This angle dictates the tile’s R rating. The higher the number, the more slip-resistant the tile.

We recommend that an R rating of between 10 to 11 is used for areas like swimming pool surrounds or in wet rooms within the home.

Safety and Style

Achieving the perfect balance between safety and aesthetics is entirely possible. And porcelain is an excellent choice to create this safety-first and visually-appealing partnership. With its highly sustainable and slip-resistant finish, porcelain tiles are an ideal natural stone for any indoor or outdoor swimming pool project. With its wide range of colours and finishes, it can be used to fulfil any design aspiration.

Porcelain Stone

Porcelain is fairly new when it comes to external use, but it ticks all the boxes, making it a conscientious and desirable paving choice for not only swimming pool surrounds but also landscaping decking areas. Thanks to its slip-resistance properties, porcelain can withstand the great British weather too, providing a safe and durable surface that has an elegant edge finish.

It’s such a versatile material that it’s also a favourite for internal projects, whether it’s to create a beautiful bathroom, stylish kitchen or even a basement floor. So when it comes to slip-resistant porcelain, what gives it its safety characteristics and why is it one of the most sought-after natural stone choices at Cranbourne Stone

Let’s begin by understanding the basics.

What is Slip-Resistant Porcelain?

Porcelain tiles are made from a mix of natural clay and finely ground sand, which is then pressed and fired at a very high temperature, typically 1,200°C. Each design is baked onto the body of the surface of the tile, to produce natural-looking tiles, along with providing longevity and practicality. 

Porcelain tiles are more water-resistant and anti-absorbent than ceramic tiles, for example, as they’re denser and less porous. This means they are fantastic for wet areas as many porcelain tiles have grip or slip-resistant finishes. With this added texture, porcelain tiles are the safer option for areas like pool surrounds or bathrooms which are frequently wet and receive high footfall. 

Is Porcelain Safe for Pools?

Porcelain is stunning when used for swimming pool surrounds as it gives a modern sleek and continuous finish. Porcelain not only creates a beautiful and superior finish to a project, but it is also highly durable, resistant to moss and mould, and is easy to keep clean.

It’s the perfect choice for swimming pools because of its slip-resistant properties, as well as its wide selection of available styles to choose from. 

As they say, the proof is in the pudding and what better recommendation than its use within the beautiful 5-Star Four Seasons Hotel in Dogmersfield, Hampshire.

Four Seasons updated its indoor swimming pool using a combination of the classic Waterford Cream porcelain tiles for the surrounding floor and Boston porcelain bespoke coping stones and tiles to create a classic feel that radiates style and elegance. 

Northfield Hotel in Minehead is another example of how slip-resistant porcelain is ideal for swimming pools. We worked closely with the pool builder and designer to find finishes befitting the modern, yet classic design that echoes throughout the hotel. 

To bring quality and glamour to the swimming pool, Houghton Grey porcelain tiles were selected. They offer an attractive light toned quartzite look complementing the classically styled hotel. Most importantly, they had the all-important anti-slip resistance which is fundamental on any pool project.

One of the most popular modern pool tile designs is large format, 10mm porcelain tiles in the pool tank/lining and 20mm grip slip-resistant porcelain tiles. Large format pool surround tiles, up to 1.2m, are very popular right now too.

10mm porcelain, in particular, is a great choice to line modern pools with because it combines a natural stone look with the performance of an engineered product, so you get the best of both worlds. They are resistant to both acid and alkaline-based chemicals, wear very well and are slip-resistant. So if you’re looking for safety and a rich texture, large format 10mm porcelain is a natural choice.

To further ensure safety and suitability of use in a commercial setting, we also sandblast and flame finish all of our natural stone. We also make entrance steps in a slip-resistant grip finish.

The materials you choose can have a huge impact on the final result of your pool, what tile designs you can select, and even how slip-resistant they are. 

If you’re not sure what material you want to go for, then we recommend making an appointment and visiting our on-site showroom, set in the beautiful Hampshire countryside. Or if you’d rather design your swimming pool from the comfort of your home or office, visit our interactive pool design tool, which gives you a more complete idea of what the end result will be. 

The Choice Must Be Limited, Right?

Wrong! Long gone are the days of grey, dull, boring and rough-textured slip-resistant tiles conjured up by childhood memories of visits to the public pool. Today there is a huge selection of grip finish slip-resistant porcelain to choose from. Whether it’s a modern sleek style that you’re after or tiles that look just like wood, these can be incorporated into any design with ease.

For those looking for a superior finish, the Premium range 20mm thick porcelain is the ideal choice. With its R11 slip-resistant finish and a wide variety of natural stone looking prints, it’s perfect for any interior or exterior project.  With 11 colours to choose from, ranging from the elegant Awbridge Cream to the darker shades of  Galway Grey, there is a tile befitting any style.

For a sophisticated feel, our Elegance range, complete with 20mm and 10mm porcelain also boasts an impressive R11 grip finish and offers a stylish Italian look. Whether it’s a light and airy feel or a contemporary ambience you’re looking for, this range has it all.

Our Opulence collection, comprising handpicked Italian porcelain tiles helps to make indoor projects as luxurious as possible. Our 10mm grip and honed porcelain selection means creating a modern and highly stylish look has never been easier.

Finally, for a natural organic look, our Wood Porcelain range offers the beauty of wood without the high-maintenance required to look after it. Available in both 20mm and 10mm, this Italian porcelain tile has been inspired by natural wooden planks providing a natural timber feel. From the rustic colour of Trentwood Dust to the cool finish of Holtwood Grey, choosing this porcelain tile will add a long-lasting natural look.

The great thing about porcelain is its consistent colour and texture, which creates a polished look. Each batch of tile has approximately twelve different prints to make it look more natural. Collections can have some variations, so it is recommended to order a sufficient amount for your project.

Get Professional Advice

Selecting the right product and most appealing design for your specification will save time and money further down the line. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right stone, such as:

  • Will the stone work in the environment? 
  • Will it have the properties suitable for the application – slip rating, resistance or strength to staining or wear?

Before starting any project, why not talk to us for some tips and advice?

We have a large portfolio of beautiful slip-resistant porcelain with all materials designed, cut and hand-finished to order at their premises. By using specialist machinery, quality products, and exemplary customer service, Cranbourne Stone’s dedicated team works hard to ensure all projects are completed to the highest standard.  

Producing and stocking the largest range of swimming pool surrounds in the UK, safety is our absolute priority. Contact us for more information on our extensive selection of natural stone.