Flooring – Coefficient of Friction

From Architectural Systems’ Inc. latest newsletter:

Ask the Materials Expert: “What is the purpose of Coefficient of Friction testing of flooring materials?”

The ASI Expert Replies:

Static Coefficient of Friction (also referred to as COF) is used to measure the slip resistance of a particular flooring surface in order to determine whether the material is suitable for public areas under ADA and OSHA guidelines. Most often, the surface is tile or stone. The standard test used is ASTM c1028 with results reported as a number between 0.00 and 1.00 (or higher in some cases). The higher the number, the greater the slip resistance; basically, the higher the better.
Testing is usually done by the manufacturer, but can be done independently if needed. The materials are normally tested under both wet and dry conditions.  There is not a set standard for every project, but typical guidelines call for a value of 0.50 (or higher) for dry areas, and 0.60 (or higher) for areas exposed to water or liquids.
Of course, not all products tested provide the desired slip resistance. But some types of materials with a low coefficient of friction may be available–or can be treated–with finishes or products that increase slip resistance. There are several good commercial products available that can be applied on site after installation.

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