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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.

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.

hex tiles

Commercial Flooring Isn’t Boring!

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the number one requirement for commercial flooring was durability. As for the look, most commercial flooring was generally inconspicuous, with muted tones and little pattern – not exactly what one would call exciting. But commercial interior design today isn’t just about choosing functional materials that can withstand heavy use. It’s also about creating a comfortable, inviting environment and projecting a cohesive image that can positively affect the overall mood of those inside it.

Thanks to ever-improving technologies in the tile industry, as well as exciting new ways of thinking about design, commercial interiors no longer have to sacrifice beauty and style in favor of durability. Here’s a look at some current tile trends that are definitely not boring!

Bigger is Better

While 12” x 24”  and 24” x 24” tile sizes have long been the norm, porcelain tiles just keep getting bigger. 24” by 48” planks (and even larger) are hugely popular and answer to the demand for tile that can handle spaciousness without making the flooring or walls look too busy. Using bigger tiles will also reduce the number of grout lines for a more seamless look. 

Many  GIO porcelain tile collections are available in indulgently large sizes. Shown here are (left) Tribeca and (right) Veneto in 24″ x 48″.


GIO_Thin 5.5 porcelain panels come in sizes as large as 39″ x 118.″ Gio_thin composite

Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes, including the timeless hexagon, emerged as a strong trend a few years ago and have remained very popular. Whether large or small, geometric forms are very flexible and can greatly impact the feel, tone, and texture of a space.

Geometry Options offers geometrically superlative selections for your every design whimsy. Shapes include hex, penny round, octagon, lantern, basketweave, and pinwheel.


geometry Options


Explore all our hexagon-shaped tile collections on our website here.

hex tiles

Patterned Tile

Patterned tiles bring character and pizzaz to commercial and residential spaces. Today’s floor tile designs feature exciting and bold patterns that are being used in new ways to create stunning interior design schemes. Whether you specify Moroccan-inspired tiles, Victorian, or modern geometric, the key to working with patterned tiles is to allow the floor to take the limelight. Check out our patterned, encaustic-look Vintage collection.

GIO Vintage Vecchio Room Scene


Porcelain wood-look tiles are a boon to commercial environments where the style of wood flooring is desired.  Thanks to the leaps and bounds made in print technology in recent years, and the choice of wood-look over real wood for a commercial environment is practically a no-brainer. With all the fabulous options available, you definitely do not have to trade high style for practical flooring that can take a beating. Click here for a look at all our fabulous wood look collections.

GIO wood-looks


Modern and Sleek

Sleek elements, meaning smooth and polished, go hand in hand with modern design.  And sleek, modern design is the name of the game in many commercial design areas today, especially in high-end retail and hospitality. Clean and serene, sleek and modern design is elegant and sophisticated in its simplicity.


GIO_Thin 5.5 in “Statuary Marble” offers a perfectly sleek backdrop for this modern setting.


GIO_Thin 5.5 in "Statuary Marble"
GIO_Thin 5.5 in “Statuary Marble” offers a perfectly sleek backdrop for this modern setting.

Cement Inspired Looks

For the rugged elegance of concrete without the stains, scratches, and headaches of concrete installation, turn to cement-inspired porcelain for your commercial projects. Ardeisa, Athena, Fusion, Progetto, and Veneto offer concrete visuals in a durable, easy-to-maintain porcelain stoneware body.

porcelain tile with cement concrete visuals

Chromatic Design

Color can tell a story, and our new Colori porcelain tile collection is here to tell yours. Check out the ultimate palette with a spectrum of options for commercial spaces.

Colori floor tile, Red 24x24 Matte Rectified



GIO brings you a carefully curated, on-trend selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Each color, size, texture, and detail you see on our website has been hand-picked from global sources based on our laser-focused knowledge of what you need to take your designs not just from good to great—but from great to extraordinary. Contact us anytime — we’re here to work with you!


GIO Looks at Tile and Sustainability on Earth Day

earth dayTile is Inherently Green

Ceramic, or porcelain, tile is inherently green and an important part of sustainable construction. The all-natural materials have a number of environmental attributes that make it a great choice for eco-conscious specifiers:

  • Because it is fired at very high temperatures, ceramic tile inherently has no VOC emissions. The resulting final product is virtually inert, with no off-gassing.
  • Ceramic tile is easy to clean and inhospitable to dust mites, mold, and bacteria.
  • Ceramic tile is non-combustible and does not give off toxic fumes when exposed to fire.

Tile and LEED® Green Building Rating Systems

Contrary to what many people believe, products themselves are not LEED certified; only buildings can be LEED certified. The products specified, however, can contribute points toward different levels of certification. Tile produced in North America can contribute to long life cycle, indoor air quality, and potentially offer regional manufacturing benefits. Credits can also be earned for recycled content, reduction of heat island effect , and construction wastes management.

Green Squared

While all ceramic tile is a green choice, tile specifiers also have the option to select products which have been verified by an independent 3rd party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1, the industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products.

Green Squared is a multi-attribute, industry-wide standard that underscores the North America tile industry’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Products bearing the Green Squared Certified logo are manufactured according to rigorous sustainability criteria that address a broad range of considerations, from extraction of the raw materials needed to reuse or disposal at the end of a product’s life. Manufacturers of Green Squared certified products invest considerable resources to ensure their facilities and manufacturing practices are socially and environmentally responsible, and to obtain third-party certification.


Revised_Final_Green_Squared_PMS Color_and_Black.aiYou can depend on GIO for your sustainable design projects because many of our products are Green Squared certified. Green Squared provides all tile producers, foreign and domestic, with a clear benchmark for designing sustainable products which can be accepted by North American green building programs.