Well-rounded industry experts are always aware of quality practices in every corner of the marketplace. Whether it’s production or safety standards, knowing and understanding the hierarchy of priorities within the flooring industry distinguishes good business from great business. Within that need-to-know hierarchy, DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) sits in a crucial position.
Back in 2012, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) created the DCOF measurement, which is intended to mitigate the risk of slipping on a projected surface. This test measures the amount of pressure needed to keep an object in motion while it goes over a tile surface. Part of the reason this new standard was put in place was to imitate real life circumstances as opposed to robotic or unrealistic ones.
That’s the current landscape for DCOF in floor tile, in a nutshell. To really understand it in a more cohesive way, we are going to dive a little deeper. After all, the more you know, the more valuable your perspective as a professional is.
Using a portable, measuring device, testers can measure the friction on a tile surface that has sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) on it. This is done because SLS is common in everyday cleaning agents, thus creating a real-life circumstance. Friction is measured, recorded, and repeated throughout a space to ensure the highest level of safety that is currently available.
Legalities surrounding safety and liability have everything to do with why DCOF standards are so importants for architects, tile creators, and interior designers. Dubbed the “gold standard” for measuring coefficient of friction in tile, a DCOF rating is not just on the list of priorities for designers. It’s at the top of that list.
SCOF (static coefficient of friction) is defined a bit differently than DCOF in that it refers to the stationary position of an object on a wet surface as opposed to a moving object. While the DCOF standard focuses on measuring the pressure from mobile objects, SCOF focuses on the pressure from static ones. An interesting fact to note here is that neither DCOF or SCOF measurements are linked to the makeup of a tile alone; it is the tile surface coupled with different shoe soles that compose this unique standard.
Last but not least, it must be said that DCOF ratings cannot completely eliminate slips or falls. However, TCNA has made it the unmatched industry standard for those who want to offer quality tile flooring.