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Tile Slip Resistance Ratings Explained

Mark Wilkinson -

Creating a stunning home doesn't have to compromise safety, especially in areas prone to moisture. In Australia, where many homes embrace indoor-outdoor living, choosing the right tiles goes beyond aesthetics — it's about finding the perfect balance between form and function.

This guide looks into floor tile slip resistance, helping you understand the ratings and tests used in Australia, and ultimately, how to choose the right tiles for your home. 

Annangrove French Pattern Grey External Travertine Look Tile


What is a tile slip rating?

Imagine walking on a wet tile floor — a bit nerve-wracking, right? A tile slip resistance rating helps you understand the likelihood of slipping. It's a rating assigned based on tests that measure the amount of friction the tile surface provides. The better the rating, the grippier the tile, translating to less chance of a slip.

What is the Australian standard for slip resistance?

Australia adheres to the AS 4586 standard for tiles. This standard utilises a pendulum test to categorise tiles from P0 (slippery) to P5 (very high slip resistance).

Here's a breakdown of the ratings:

  • P0-P1: A good tile for indoor floors, with an easy-clean surface. They’re usually polished tiles.
  • P2: Suitable for most indoor floors, like hallways or front entrances. For example, our Silver Beach Encaustic Look Square Tile.
  • P3: A good allrounder for most indoor areas and areas that get wet, like bathrooms or the front porch. For example, our Paddington Mixed Terrazzo Look Tile.
  • P4: A grippy tile ideal for wet areas like around a pool. For example, our Hobart External Concrete Look Tile.
  • P5: An extremely grippy tile often used in specific environments like commercial kitchens. 

Floor tile slip resistance ratings & tests in Australia

As mentioned, the main test used in Australia to assess slip resistance is the Pendulum Test. Manufacturers may also use the Oil Wet Ramp Test and Barefoot Wet Ramp Test to determine slip resistance in different scenarios.

Here’s how these tests work:

  • Pendulum Test (AS 4586): This test simulates a person walking on a tile surface. A rubber foot attached to a pendulum arm swings across the tile, measuring the friction. The result is a P-value (P0-P5).
  • Oil Wet Ramp Test (Appendix D of AS4586): This test measures the angle of a lubricated inclined ramp at which a person starts to slip on the tile surface. The result is an R-value (R9-R13), with a higher number indicating better slip resistance.
  • Barefoot Wet Ramp Test (Appendix C of AS4586): This test involves testers walking barefoot on a wet, inclined ramp with the tile surface. The angle at which testers start to slip determines the classification: A (highest slip resistance) to C (lowest slip resistance).
  • Checking a floor tile's slip resistance

    So, you've found tiles that seemingly tick all the boxes. But before you bring them home, it's important to verify their slip resistance. Here's how to ensure your dream tiles also prioritise safety:

    • Ask the retailer: Reputable tile retailers will readily provide information on their products' slip resistance standards. Don't hesitate to ask! The P-value should be listed on the display or in the product description.
    • Check the packaging: Many tiles have the slip resistance rating printed directly on the packaging or box. Look for a P-value and/or R-value to determine the tile's level of slip resistance.
    • Manufacturer's website: If the information isn't readily available at the store, head to the manufacturer's website. The website will have detailed specifications, including slip resistance ratings.

    How to clean non-slip tiles

    Cleaning and maintaining your non-slip tiles is easy! Here's a simple routine:

  • Sweep or vacuum: Remove loose dirt and debris that can reduce grip.
  • Mop: Use warm water and a mild detergent or pH-neutral tile cleaner. Harsh chemicals can damage the tile surface and potentially compromise its slip resistance.
  • Rinse: Rinse with clean water to prevent residue build-up that might create a slippery film.
  • Dry: Allow the floor to air dry completely. Standing water can also contribute to a slippery surface.
  • TileCloud: Where style meets safety

    At TileCloud, we offer a wide selection of beautiful tiles with varying slip resistance ratings. Explore our collection online or at our Sydney showroom and find the perfect tiles for your indoor or outdoor renovation. Remember — a little planning goes a long way in creating a safe and gorgeous space!


    What is a porcelain tile’s slip resistance rating?

    Porcelain tiles come in a variety of finishes, and therefore, porcelain tile slip resistance ratings can vary. Some are grippy, and others can be quite slippery when wet. Always check the slip rating of a porcelain tile before purchasing it.

    Can you make tiles non-slip?

    Some topical treatments improve slip resistance post-installation. However, their effectiveness and longevity are questionable. 

    The best approach is to choose tiles with an appropriate slip rating right from the start. Another option is to invest in a non-slip or bath mat in wet areas to reduce the risk of slips.

    What is the best non-slip tile for the shower floor?

    For ultimate peace of mind in your shower, opt for tiles with a P3 rating or above (pendulum test) or an R10 rating (ramp test). These ratings indicate excellent slip resistance, even when the floor is wet and you're barefoot. Additionally, consider textured tiles for better grip underfoot.

    Mark Wilkinson
    Mark Wilkinson is the co-founder of TileCloud and Yabby, two eCommerce businesses that are shaking up the renovation industry. He oversees finance, operations, and business administration, ensuring everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. Previously, he co-founded a commercial tiling business, which ultimately led to the start of TileCloud where he was a Project Director, managing procurement, contracts, and finance. Mark begun his career with roles in project management, services management and contracts administration, which gave him a solid foundation in the construction industry. Mark holds a Bachelor of Construction, Project Management from the University of Technology Sydney. With a passion for innovation and efficiency, he continually seeks ways to enhance his businesses and the industry.