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Understanding Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) – Updated

Tile Council of North America

When specifying flooring materials, slip resistance is an important safety measure that all tile specifiers must be aware of. We are concerned about slip resistance in areas where ceramic tile floors can become wet in both residential and commercial applications. The measurement related to traction and slipperiness on wet, level floors when walked upon is called the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF). DCOF testing helps determine the likelihood of whether or not a tile surface could contribute to someone slipping or falling. When it comes to choosing the right tile for an area, DCOF is a major consideration, especially when selecting tiles for areas that may be subjected to water, oil, or grease exposure.

If you are confused about the DCOF, you’re not alone. This measurement evokes questions about the methods for measuring it, what a DCOF measurement actually means, how to compare DCOF values and what the DCOF requirements are. DCOF is now the primary product performance measure used by the North American tile industry, so it’s important to understand what it means.

A Short History of DCOF

Before 2012, slip resistance, or the coefficient of friction for ceramic tile, was tested using the method specified in ASTM C1028, which provided the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF). But a new and better method for determining COF emerged, allowing project specifiers to choose the right tile for the job more easily. The new measurement, developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), is called Dynamic Coefficient of Friction or DCOF.

What’s the difference between SCOF and DCOF test methods?

While the old test method determined the static coefficient of friction or SCOF, the new testing standard determines the dynamic coefficient of friction. In the context of people walking on floors, static friction is the frictional resistance one pushes against when starting in motion. Dynamic friction, on the other hand, is the frictional resistance one pushes against when already in motion. With both types of friction, a slip can occur when you push with more force than the surface can resist. The DCOF test relates better to slips occurring while a person is walking. Additionally, the newer test method uses a slightly soapy solution (water with .05% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS) that is more slippery than the de-ionized water used with the old test.
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What is the required minimum DCOF value?  

The American National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials, ANSI A326.3, requires tile flooring products to have a DCOF of 0.42 or greater when recommended for use in a level interior space intended to be walked upon when wet. Keep in mind that not all tiles with a wet DCOF of 0.42 or greater are necessarily suitable for all projects and that this is a minimum level of slip resistance for level interior floors that are wet with water. Other situations, such as standing water, oil, grease, or other slippery substances, may require higher DCOF numbers. Specifiers must also consider the type of use, traffic, expected contaminants, expected maintenance, expected wear, and manufacturer’s guidelines.

In addition to describing DCOF test methods of hard surface flooring materials in the laboratory and in the field, the ANSI A326.3 standard includes DCOF specifications, product use classifications*, and guidance on specifying hard surface flooring materials. This standard is intended to guide the general public, manufacturers, distributors, specifiers, architects, contractors, testing laboratories, building owners, and other businesses and professionals.

*Earlier this year, the TCNA announced the addition of a five-category “product use classification system” in ANSI A326.3. For the first time in the tile industry’s history, the TNCA, in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute, now requires tile manufacturers (as well as other hard surface flooring manufacturers) to provide “product use classifications” based on the properties of slip resistance. The ANSI A326.3 standard for measuring the DCOF is now the only ANSI standard for measuring floor traction.

GIO Architectural Tile + Stone is committed to the simplification of tile and stone specifications. Our products are marked with DCOF ratings presented in a clear fashion so you can easily identify the technical characteristics you require.

Bringing the Indoors Out

 

GIO Thick 1.0 porcelain-paver outdoor scene

We’ve been ”bringing the outdoors in” for a while now, and outdoor living isn’t something new. Still, the pandemic experience has dramatically shifted our perceptions regarding the importance of outdoor space, compelling us to “bring the indoors out” in any way we can. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has inspired us to enjoy the outdoors in new ways.

Once a sign of exclusivity, rooftop spaces are becoming an essential part of any well-positioned office building, hotel, or apartment building. Any restaurant that can manage to do so has some outdoor dining, regardless of climate. Churches are creating spaces to hold outdoor services and events. Business travelers, who typically held meetings in hotel lobbies or conference rooms pre-pandemic, now want to take it outside.

Commercial properties are paying closer attention to what’s needed for people to spend more time outside and to make that time just as productive as time spent inside. During Covid, everyone wanted to get outdoors because it was a safer place to be. Now, landlords, developers, architects, and property managers are observing and analyzing how users engage with the landscape to meet emerging customer needs for wellness and well-being.

So, what’s in for outside design?

Though porcelain tile options have long been available for outdoor use, porcelain pavers are fast becoming a preferable alternative to natural stone and concrete. These thick, high-tech pavers are made from the highest grade porcelain and are specifically designed for easy installation over various foundations, including grass, sand, gravel, and standard mortar installations. They are also highly durable and easy to maintain:

  • Fade-resistant in harsh sunlight
  • Impermeable, moisture-proof
  • 100% frost resistant
  • Naturally resistant to stains
  • Mold and moss-resistant
  • Easy to clean with a hose, standard household cleaners, and low-pressure washing systems if necessary
  • No efflorescence (a crystalline deposit of salts often seen on the surface when water leaves behind salt deposits)

GIO is proud to offer a beautiful line of the highest quality porcelain pavers designed to withstand the most challenging commercial environments. GIO_Thick 1.0 is a collection of 12mm thick pavers available in an extensive range of looks to suit any design scheme.

 

Sparking Joy With Office Design

As economies continue to reopen, more and more workers are transitioning from the home office back to the traditional setting.  Commercial interior design trends present innovative strategies for creating physical environments that bring people back together.

While whites and neutrals used to be standard color choices in workplace interiors, many companies are now introducing bolder color schemes in their designs, whether renovating an existing office building or acquiring new office space. Every designer knows that color and mood are inextricable. The emergence of color in commercial design may indicate the pure joy born of gathering once more in person after two long years of separation and isolation. Even if it’s just a desire to add a touch of whimsy, vibrant hues are an excellent way for designers to inspire optimism in commercial interiors.

We still love our neutrals, and we have plenty of fabulous ones to choose from, but here are some great options to consider if you are intrigued with the idea of sparking joy through color in your next commercial office design project.

COLORI

Colori is a colorful collection of porcelain primary hues — the ultimate palette with a spectrum of options.

Colori composite with red, blue, green

PASTEL

There’s nothing subtle about the shiny, saturated palette of this versatile subway tile line. Convey your distinct style with Pastel’s lush, gloss-infused hues.

pastel composite

MURAL

Mural brings the bold colors of nature to your interior design with a daring collection of polished, 24×48 tiles.

FREESTYLE

Stylize your walls with dimensional decoration in a rainbow of cosmopolitan colors in our Freestyle collection.

Freestyle composite

 

GIO is your gateway to beautifully designed, strategically selected collections of floor and wall tile sure to fit your demanding specification requirements and unique style. We look forward to working with you!