Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!3
Sep 06, 2004 12:58 pm
For those interested in this topic, there are several liquid applications available on the market. One is from 'Resistant Surfaces Pty. Ltd.' which from memory were in Belmore NSW
Peter Clarkson - AusDesign Australia
This information is intended to provide general information only.
It does not purport to be a comprehensive advice.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!5
May 12, 2007 2:53 am
Just came across this old thread and thought I'd add a few comments for anyone else that may be interested.....
Firstly, care should be taken with the rug or mat options. These all too readily will become a tripping hazard or the mats can slip in some cases. This can make the place more treacherous.
There are anti-slip treatments for ceramic tiles. There are different companies that do it and there are generally two types. The first is a coating type sealer that contains a traction material like ground silica or walnut shell. This works well but is a nightmare to keep clean and can ultimately peel and come off in patches, making an unslightly mess.
Most treatments though are an acid treatment that chemically etches the surface of the tiles. This makes little change to the appearance of the tles, but does make the floor less slippery when wet. But again there is a real trade-off, and the etched surface will soil quicker and require more regular cleaning. Note that these treatments (the non-coating types) use hydrofluoric acid to etch the floor. This is one of the most deadly and toxic chemicals used in industry and has strict regulations for use. I wouldn't want to be doing these treatments.... its just far too dangerous!
The only other option would be stick on traction mats. There are a few companies that make a range of these.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!9
Aug 11, 2007 4:09 pm
Your advice regarding to the acid based treatment is partially correct and I would like to make some additional comments regarding to yours.
I am in this business for several years now and have a very good understanding of acid based – as well as other – anti slip treatments, after treating several tens of thousands of square meter of floors. Our company globally has treated several hundreds of thousands of square meters all over the world.
Firstly, while HF is deadly in high concentration (50 percent or more) a low concentration (4 percent or less) does the job very well and under 1 percent, it can be sold legally in Australia what we also do in a DIY kit. Higher concentrations are sold other part of the world legally, including North America and I have never heard a single incident about the retail product. You can buy much more dangerous products at your supermarket or local hardware store than a low HF based acid!
Secondly, while it is true that the surface being rougher it will be a little bit harder to clean (mop will not glide on it) it is not so hard to make a major difference while ensures that the floor now is safe and when water is the contaminant. The cleaning aspect can also be helped easily, when the job is done responsibly and the surfaces is sealed back – which it should be to prevent from staining – using a good quality penetrating sealer, which does not reduce slip resistance, but provides stain resistance.
Thirdly, generally cleaning methods which does not stop amaze me. Usual cleaning is;
* put some chemical into a bucket of water – don’t read recommended dilution when it is concentrated as more cleans better
* the mop it on then mop it off.
Now the surface is clean!
Sorry, it is not the correct way of cleaning a surface.
It is quite simple. The way I explain to people is asking them how they clean their hands. They use some chemical to remove the contaminant then the fully rinse their hand to get rid of the chemical agent they used. This is exactly how a floor should be cleaned! Without rinsing a small amount of chemical will remain – only micron thickness – which will harden and build up over time, and sooner or later even an anti slip treated floor will be slippery again. I have seen treated anti slip floor which had its anti slip quality destroyed in months, due to lack of proper cleaning. Also more chemical than manufacturer recommended ratio will NOT do a better job. The manufacturer has developed the formulation and dilution with a team of experts to ensure the most effective cleaning. They usually right and the instructions should be followed.
Regarding to the chemical free cleaning it is also possible, but you need to use steam and pressure which makes me wonder about the environmental savings.
As a last comment you mentioned that you have “I wouldn't want to be doing these treatments.... its just far too dangerous! ”.
Unfortunately the options are very limited. You can use an anti slip coating –broadcast something into the coating – which can yellow, peel off and wear off as you correctly noted. Anti slip tapes would not be to appealing aesthetically and have limited value. Anti slip strips while very effective in commercial kitchens – when oil is the contaminant etching does not work – aesthetically not very appealing. You can grind / shot blast / sand blast the surface, which is excellent as far as slip resistance concerned, but very impractical and mission impossible to clean.
You can also replace the tiles with anti slip tiles which depending on the tile for a while will give you better protection. Several of them have limited anti life, hence no warranty is given on the anti slip quality.
Having a mat is also an option as long as you are willing to clean not only the surface, but also the mat.
Any of the above alternatives are messy, expensive and very questionable. Acid etching is the recommended treatment for tiles of the ceramic tile industry to increase slip resistance . It also happens to be much cheaper and cost effective.
If you question any of these, please contact me directly or via the forum and as I am willing to back up everything, I said here.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!10
Aug 11, 2007 4:19 pm
Thanks for some interesting information.
What is your opinion on using vinegar/cloudy ammonia for cleaning tiles? We have cheap ceramic tiles in our apartment - and the thing that seems to remove the grease & dirt best is to mop with hot waterwith a splash of cloudy ammonia.
Like you mentioned - we've always mopped, then rinsed the bucket and mopped again wtih just hot water.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!11
Aug 11, 2007 4:51 pm
Thansk for the welcome.
Firstly, I would like to state that I am not a chemist and also that while I may have some commercial interest, I am not here to try to sell anything just to provide information. Also our core business is surface anti slip treatment and secondarely we are involved with after care and cleaning.
You definitely use the rigt cleaning method, no problem at all.
I have heard about the vinegar cleaning in the past. My only comment would be, that it depends on the contaminant what is the right cleaning agent. I.e Oily greasy surface required alkaline based cleaner de-greaser, not a sanitiser. You can find a bit of info about cleaner / sanitisers, etc on http://www.globalsafe.com.au/maintenance_solution.php
Don't worry about the Maintenance Solution - I am not here to sell but to help - but read about how and why it works and why other thing like bleach and disinfectants do not do the job and what they are. They also refer to wikipedia.
Your combination is quite interesting, basically you are cleaning with an acid based cleaner (vinegar) and use an another acid agent (ammonia) which has strong alkalinity. Both of them in their own right can be used as a cleaning agent, altough it will depend on what surface you are cleaning and what is the contamonant you are trying to remove.
You may also want to look up a bit of info on about Vinegar and Ammonium on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia
Hope you will find this information useful and will help to answer to you question.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!12
Aug 11, 2007 10:47 pm
Its always good to have a new professional sharing his knowledge here. Welcome aboard!
Regarding your comments about hydrofluoric acid, I know it (like many other chemicals) are used regularly without known harmful affects. But it remains that this particular acid is a highly hazardous chemical. OK you may use low concentrations, but that doesn't alter the chemical character of the product. It is used (as you have confirmed) to etch ceramic surfaces. The concentration you use (however dilute) still etches. It therefor will have the same affect if anyone is exposed to it. When it contacts the skin, it keeps penetrating until it is neutralised by calcium. This means it eats through to your bones.
The fact that the act of applying the liquid onto a slippery surface (by definition) has a risk of slipping and falling means it is a highly risky business. I'm sure you use all sorts of safeguards and PPE to reduce these risks, and neutralise the acid afterwards.
I have grave concerns though, about any DIY applications of HF acid. The risks are real, and there's no way of ensuring the safety of a DIY operator.
This link gives a bit of a picture of how deadly HF acid can be... http://adm.monash.edu/ohse/documents/ha ... ality.html
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!13
Aug 12, 2007 2:15 am
I am one of the person who uses HF and have read what the largest supplier of HF (Honeywell http://www.honeywell.com/sites/sm/chemicals/hfacid/ ) provides on their website as well as various other articles all over the world about the subject,including that 1994 report you are referring to. I also would like to point out that that person has died from a very high concentration - 70 percent - of HF. What is considered "safe" - of course using proper PPE - in Oz is less than 1 percent and this is what the DIY kit contains.
While HF is a highly corrosive and dangerous chemical, it is also used stainless steel and titanium pickling, glass etching / frosting, quartz purification, feedstock for chemical derivatives, chemical milling, and rare metal processing.
It also etches various - not all - hard mineral surfaces without destroying them and making them safer to walk on when wet. It requires neutralisation and proper PPE (both of which is also supplied with the retail kit) and properly trained applicators who use a bit stronger concentration also have other personal safety equipments.
Just like all chemical this one also has to be treated with respect and needs some understanding how to use it, but I have found that there is a bit of over reaction about HF among some professionals.
I do not want to bore anyone with statistics from the Australian Safety and Compensation Counmcil's NOSI database and reports issued abut fall to the same level - vast majority is slip and fall - it states 13 .3 percent of all injuries at the work place. It is also the second largest cause of injuriy after manual handling. If anyone is interested the report is on link http://www.ascc.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/981 ... ts0405.pdf as well as in the NOSI database. The statistics also show about 10 times more injuries falls on the same level than chemical aget caused injures.
Slips and falls cost around 3 billion annually and growing with the aging population. I do not try to frighten anyone as there is no need, especially that these incidents in the vast majority of the cases are preventable.
If you - or anyone else - require any further information - statistical or otherwise - please contact me off the forum and I will reply to you directly.
This subject - HF and its dangers and benefits - are not strickly related to the base forum discussion. The only reason I have responded was to it to try to put some balance into the picture regarding to chemical remedial treatments, their suitability and limitations for floor surfaces.
Re: Slippery ceramic floor?!14
Aug 12, 2007 8:56 am
I dont' usually use vinegar and ammonia together in the same bucket. If I've been doing a lot of deep frying, typically I will mop with ammonia & hot water first. Then rinse. Then use vinegar and hot water. Most times it's just vinegar and hot water.
I don't really use any other cleaning products around the house besides vinegar & bicarb and diluted cloudy ammonia (mainly because I'm cheap and it works!)