Understanding the Slipperiness of Floors

There is little that is less dangerous than a slippery floor. An accident can cause injury and even death. Why then are floors slippery?

Laminate Floors

These attractive floors face many pitfalls when it comes to being slippery. Let’s start with something obvious. The footwear choice you make contributes to the overall slipperiness. Poorly selected footwear makes a slippery situation worse and certain shoes are effectively non-slip.

The major cause of floors being slippers is not cleaning them properly. This applies to other types of flooring as much as it does to laminate floors. There are several mistakes here that contribute to slipperiness.

  • Failing to mop the floor properly. Always use clean water and make sure the floor is dried properly.
  • Avoid wetting the floor too much. Too much water can soak in between the cracks in the laminate and cause swelling.
  • Cleaning substances are key. Avoid using oil-containing cleaners as this sinks into the core of the laminate and makes it more slippery. The same can be said of both wax and polish. A vinegar and water mixture can be used to deal with oil issues but must be used sparingly.
  • Not applying anti-slip. Often a floor is slippery for the simple reason that steps have not been taken to prevent it. A layer can be sprayed on and that can make all the difference.

Tile Floors

Tile floors are common in many homes and businesses. The main reason for tiles being slippery is the same as any other floor. The current condition of the surface is what makes the difference. Either they are too smooth, or there are residues like soap that make them slippery.

Tiles can also be very smooth and be slippery because of this. Tiles can be treated, however, to make them slip-resistant. They can be covered with a special acid solution that can be mopped off once it has been allowed to stand for a few minutes. This etches small invisible crevices into the tiles, and this leaves them in an anti-slip state.

Wood Floors

These floors are popular for their attractive and rustic appearance. Here, like the other floors, they must be washed regularly to avoid dirt build-up. Wooden floors are often waxed or polished, and this can result in them becoming increasingly slippery. When this happens, they need to be sanded down and refinished.


There are many other floor types we could look at, but laminate, tiles and wood are amongst the most common. Other types include vinyl, porcelain, and natural stone.

There are common reasons for slipperiness across all types of floors. All of these are related to cleaning and involve:

  • Not cleaning properly or completely
  • Not cleaning often enough
  • Poor cleaning materials, including poor cleaning products and badly cleaned tools.
  • Failing to dry floors properly after cleaning

Deal with these four issues and you will have dealt with most of the reasons for the slipperiness of floors and will have gone a long way to ensuring your floors are slip-free and safe.