In this edition of the Stone & Tile Design Insider, we bring to you an industry update from the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) about the important changes to how Coefficient of Friction (COF) is now measured and reported, and what these changes mean. The article, which is entitled "Coefficient of Friction: Time is running out, don't get left behind," explains that starting in early 2014, many ceramic tile manufacturers will only report their tile's COF per the new DCOF AcuTest.SM
Additionally, the article explains that the ceramic tile standard (ANSI A137.1) now specifies a required COF of ≥0.42 for level interior tiles that will be walked on when wet. Previously, there was no required COF value in A137.1 for wet floors, although a minimum static coefficient of friction (SCOF) of 0.6 or greater, measured per ASTM C1028, was commonly specified for ceramic tiles in commercial project specifications for many years.
The article continues to explain that any individual or firm involved in the manufacture, specification, sales, installation or maintenance of ceramic tile floors should understand these new requirements which are already in effect. It details what COF and the new DCOF AcuTest are as well as explaining why the switch is taking place.
As the editor of TILE and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazines, I often work closely with the TCNA and other industry organizations, which dedicate a tremendous amount of time and effort to developing standards and creating certification programs that will benefit tile consumers. The TCNA is providing this article as a public service to spread the word about the new testing and requirements, which will be in full effect by January 2014. Being an industry publication, our staff feels it is important to assist in getting the message out about significant changes such as this.
Standards for producing and installing ceramic and porcelain tile continue to evolve and improve in order to make for better and safer designs. Associations such as the TCNA are important because without them, there would be less awareness -- which ultimately would contribute to unsatisfactory tile applications due to the wrong specification or poor installation. With standards in place, it can be ensured that manufacturers of tile and setting materials are making products that are compliant and provide instructions for installers for safe installations that will last the test of time.