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Understanding Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) – Updated (2022)

Tile Council of North America

Floor slip resistance is an important safety measure that all tile specifiers must be aware of when specifying flooring materials. We are concerned about slip resistance in areas where ceramic tile floors can become slippery in both residential and commercial applications. The measurement that relates 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 actually means.

A Short History of DCOF

Prior to 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 referred to as 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.

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 if 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. The ANSI A326.3 standard for measuring the DCOF is now the only ANSI standard for measuring floor traction.

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 serve as a guide to 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.

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.

Gray is the New Beige. And the New Black. And the New White, too.

Claystone floor and wall tileGoogle “gray” and “design trends” and you will find that gray is the new everything. Black, beige and white are what you call foundational colors. If gray is being touted as the the new beige, white and black, then suffice it to say, gray is superfoundational. It is truly an exceptional color to design with–and for good reasons.

Why Gray Works

Versatile

Gray is a versatile neutral, working beautifully with all decorating styles and in all settings from traditional spaces with dark woods and classic elements to ultra modern spaces with sleek stainless steel, glass and lucite. Gray can be casual or elegant, depending on the design elements and accessories you choose. 

Dramatic

Gray is more dramatic than its beige counterparts. Gray can create a bolder statement without shouting, offering depth to subtle colors and causing bold tones to pop. It works beautifully with other shades of gray, black and white, as well as with bright accent colors like aqua, yellow and pink.

Spatially Neutralizing

Gray can be used to fool the eye. For example, used on a long wall, it can make a narrow room appear more in proportion. Gray can minimize the impact of a too-high ceiling and, used monochromatically, can make a small room feel expansive.

Choosing the Right Gray

Gray can be warm or it can be cool. Cooler shades of gray have blue or green undertones and can make a room feel temperate and inviting on a hot day. Choosing a warm grey with red and yellow undertones will provide a feeling of warmth to a room with north facing windows.

Cool grays tend to work better with cool colors, like blue and aqua, but the right shade of cool gray can be stunning with some warm colors. Warm grays are a little more forgiving with cool coolers if the warm undertones are more prominent.

How to Use Gray

Gray is an excellent choice as a main color in a scheme. It’s a great backdrop for accent colors, making a stylish statement as wall colors, floors, furniture and window treatments.

As an accent, gray works great texturally, such as in a stone fireplace surround or a nubby fabric. Gray is a wonderful in striped or printed fabrics and it’s also perfect for breaking up large expanses of other colors.

Gray is not the dull and boring institutional color anymore; it’s the hot new neutral, and it’s here to stay.

Fresh Looks for Wall Tile – Product Recommendations from GIO Tile

Porcelain wall tile provides lasting beauty and exceptional performance. It is well-suited to many commercial environments because it ensures many years of worry-free use. You can choose from a vast array of colors, patterns and designs to achieve a unique look and the benefits for commercial spaces are many:

  • Durable and Long Lasting
  • Hygienic and Easy to Clean
  • Stain Proof
  • Fire Proof
  • Fade Resistant
  • Odor Resistant
  • Moisture Resistant 
  • Mold & Fungus Resistant
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Cost Effective

Though any of GIO’s collections can be used for wall applications, we also offer select products created solely for vertical installations:

Retro Wall Tile is glazed ceramic stoneware available in modular sizes, ideal for creating custom patterns on vertical surfaces. With 18 different hues, from versatile neutrals to vibrant colors in bright or matte finishes, Retro wall tile can bring your projects life!

Retro by GIO

Freestyle Wall Tile offers dimensional decoration in a rainbow of cosmopolitan colors. With 10 fashion-forward hues and 22 decorative pieces, you can freely stylize any wall with these glazed ceramic stoneware tiles for a design that is uniquely you.

Freestyle wall tile

Maximus Floor and Wall Tile is a colored body tile with the look of natural travertine, but with the durability of porcelain. Available in 3 natural stone colors with natural, linear detailing, Maximus adds dramatic impact to walls as well as floors.

Maximus floor and wall tile

Linen Floor and Wall Tile is a line of rectified glaze porcelain tiles in 4 linen-look colors and versatile sizes. Add depth and texture to walls with this contemporary collection inspired by the look and feel of crisp, fashion-forward linen.

Linen floor and wall tile

Claystone Floor and Wall Tile is a colored body rectified porcelain tile that’s the epitome of modernity. Sophisticated striations and cool colors create stunning walls in sleek, metropolitan spaces.

Claystone floor and wall tile

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!