Traction is the best weapon to combat that liability
The best way to prevent slips, trips and falls is to enhance flooring traction.
Traction is influenced by something called the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction, measured with specialized instruments that determine a surface’s slip resistance to motion, like people walking across a floor.
OSHA and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) have adopted a coefficient threshold of 0.5 for general flooring safety, although many variables must be considered for any given flooring area.
DCOF of concrete, the most common industrial flooring material
Dry, unfinished concrete has a good DCOF (about 0.8) and good traction. However, unfinished concrete is not the norm in modern industrial facilities because it’s too porous, too prone to chipping and cracking, and too dark and dreary.
Unfinished concrete floors are not usually a good idea. Keeping traction top-of-mind as a factor in choosing the right finish or coating option for your needs is an excellent idea!
Two ways to improve traction on industrial floors
Option 1: Slip-resistant footwear
Slip-resistant shoes have rubber soles and tread patterns that are especially important in wet or greasy areas and for workers over 55. It’s recommended to provide or advise the use of professional, slip-resistant footwear for all employees working in the facility. It’s also a best practice to advise site visitors in advance to wear shoes with good traction to ensure their safety.
Option 2: Add texture to your flooring surface
Smooth floor finishes are slick, especially when wet or greasy.
Adding texture to a resinous floor coating, on the other hand, improves traction to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Plus, textured floors protect all people walking on your floors, not just employees wearing professional, slip-resistant footwear.
Textured flooring is especially vital in facilities with:
- Regular use of water, chemicals, lubricants, grease, oils and powders.
- High levels of foot traffic, including regular site visitors wearing normal footwear.
- Frequent tracking of snow and other slippery substances into the facility.
Texture comes from aggregates
Textured coatings do not come pre-mixed; they are custom-created by introducing an aggregate into a resinous coating as part of the application process. For high quality, long-lasting results, the process requires a thorough understanding of aggregate options, floor coating options, the amount of aggregate needed for adequate coverage, mil thickness, dry/cure times, and other factors.
For industrial facilities, the two most common and durable aggregates are sand and aluminum oxide, which will be our focus, though our flooring engineer is happy to discuss other aggregate options, such as glass beads or synthetic aggregates.
The purpose of the Texture Kit is to help you compare and assess these two popular aggregates, see various build levels, and become familiar with Painters USA as a highly qualified contractor for textured floor coatings and other concrete flooring services.
First step in assessing your floor texture needs
Now that you know a bit more about the importance of traction to avoid slips, trips and falls, and how to enhance traction on your floors, where do you begin?
How do you assess the best texture option for your floors without taking hours of time, which you don’t have, or being led down the wrong path, which you don’t want?
After years of floor project meetings, presentations, estimates, and bids, we know that the gap between needs and final decision is a wide one. It’s why you’re here. It’s why we’re here–to make your first step as painless as possible with our useful (and fun, if we do say so) Texture Kit.
The Texture Kit
What is the Texture Kit?
Our texture kit has three components, the most important being the texture bar. We like to call it a decision-support tool you can fit in the palm of your hand to assess options for adding texture (ie, traction) to your floor.
Texture Kit contents:
- Rigid texture bar featuring 6 levels (low to high) of textured coatings with descriptions of each.
- Safety-cone business card holder to remember Painters USA.
- A candy treat to enjoy as a thank you for your time.
Compare 6 texture options
Developed together with Sherwin-Williams, the texture bar features coatings with sand and aluminum oxide of different particle sizes (known as grit or screen) along with a durable hard-top option made with very fine aluminum oxide. Sand and aluminum oxide are common aggregates for industrial facilities.
Visualize and feel the difference in textures
Seeing is believing, so we created the texture bar to allow you to visualize and feel the texture differences with a side-by-side comparison in the palm of your hand.
Share it with your team
Flooring decisions should be made in collaboration with subject matter experts in operations, maintenance, safety, and any other departments involved. The texture bar will help jumpstart discussion with all stakeholders in your organization and reach a consensus.
General comparison of sand and aluminum oxide
The texture bar features sand and aluminum oxide, two of the most common aggregates used in industrial settings. Following is a general comparison:
- Good in facilities with heavy use of oils, liquids, and lubricants.
- Used in large quantities, can cover floor imperfections or shape features like rounded coves.
Cons: Tends to round off and smoothen, losing its texture over time.
Cost: $ to $$
- Good in heavy industrial facilities and marine environments.
- Very hard and durable as aluminum oxide fractures rather than wearing away with time.
- Aggressive slip resistance.
Cons: Expensive compared to sand.
Textured flooring costs vary widely, depending on aggregate and coating choices, how much aggregate is used, condition of flooring, and application method. As for cost, the final number can be justified by the added value in improved workplace safety and flooring performance.
Textured flooring benefits beyond safety
Improving workplace safety by improving traction is a primary driver of installing a textured flooring solution, yet textured flooring delivers additional advantages to help justify the cost.
Performance: Textured coatings are capable of withstanding significant amounts of abuse, especially pounding or dropping of heavy or sharp objects as the aggregate will absorb and dissipate some of the impact. And of course, anything that enhances the useful life of your floors will minimize maintenance and downtime.
Custom Properties: Coatings can be further customized for extra protection from chemical spills, antimicrobial resistance, and other properties.
Appearance: While industrial floors are mostly about durability and performance, textured floor coatings also disguise minor flaws and imperfections in the flooring substrate, and they can be customized for color, sheen, and pattern.
Why Painters USA for flooring services
Don’t let our name mislead you; we do much more than paint walls!
- Painters USA is a full-service contractor for any commercial or industrial surface preparation and coating needs.
- From ceilings to floors, inside to outside, and any surface including metal and concrete, our 40 years of cross-industry experience includes virtually every known facility type.
- As a Sherwin-Williams Platinum Certified Contractor, we deliver optimal results and full warranty assurance for all their products.
The Texture Kit is just one tool we have to help you find a path to more slip-resistant floors based on your operational environment and the condition of your facility floors. We can share what other companies in your industry or with similar operational needs have done to give you another point of reference to help you assess your options.
Will definitely use these guys again. They were fast and professional and willing to do whatever was asked without issues.
On time and asked questions prior to working to make sure everything is correct.
Good work with the team and good communication. The crew did a great job!
Take the first step on your terms
Order your Texture Kit now. It’s free, no-obligation, and it will get you started down the right path, a path you can continue with confidence when you include an expert review from our flooring engineer.
Save hours of time while getting the support you need to make your case within your organization. Quantities are limited, and the texture bar is one of the handiest decision-support tools you’ll ever get your hands on:
- See, feel, and compare different texture options for safe, hard-wearing industrial floors.
- Take it into your facility and place it on any section of the floor that needs a boost of traction.
- Share it with facility maintenance, operations, safety and other stakeholders.
After you do your own internal, self-assessment, you will be better prepared to meet with our flooring engineer, who will answer questions and review options based on your needs and environment, including important details like cleaning processes.