Are shiny floor tiles more slippery?

Should I fit shiny floor tiles? Or are high gloss tiles a deathtrap?

Not necessarily, regardless of whether you are elderly or infirm, the chances of slipping on shiny floor tiles are similar to that of matt tiles.  If there is water on the floor, this can impact on the slipperiness of the tile regardless of the finish. But you need to know, that it is possible to slip on most floor tiles if you catch them at the wrong angle or speed with your feet or footwear.

Grand Canyon Copper Shiny Floor Tiles

Grand Canyon Copper Floor Tiles

Are anti-slip floor tiles the answer?

The only way to prevent slipperiness would be to purchase a specific ‘non-slip’ tile with an anti-slip R rating. It is likely however that tiles with such a rating will work out that little bit more expensive than without an R rating.  According to some customers, they can find them hard to clean because of their rough texture.

Should I be concerned about fitting shiny floor tiles?

In my humble experience, I have shiny floor tiles in both my kitchen and bathroom at home (polished porcelain) but have never slipped on either.  However, in our showroom by the office we have matt floor tiles and I have slipped on these on more than one occasion, so you just never can tell.

Capuccino Beige Shiny Floor Tiles

Capuccino Beige Floor Tiles

Customers are particularly concerned about installing shiny floor tiles in a bathroom because of the amount of water spillage.  But how many people do you know get out of the shower or bath and step straight onto the floor? Not many. The majority of us have a bath mat and this will certainly prevent any unexpected slips.

It would certainly be a shame to deny fitting shiny floor tiles in your home because of worries over slipping.  Polished porcelain floor tiles or glossy ceramic tiles will reflect light into the room and add a certain luxurious feel to the finish.  There will be little difference between a polished porcelain or a glossy ceramic tile with regard to slipperiness. If you use common sense when fitting shiny floor tiles in your home, they will look great and should not cause you any bother.

Lounge Beige 60x60 Floor Tiles

Lounge Beige 60×60 Floor Tiles

4 ways to prevent slipping on shiny floor tiles

  1. Make sure you use a bath mat in the bathroom, en-suite or shower-room.
  2. Add a doormat in the kitchen by any doors out into the garden or outside.
  3. Take caution if you have any excess water on your floor for whatever reason.
  4. Mop up any liquid spillages at once to prevent possible accidents.
Dakota Sand Floor Tiles

Dakota Sand Floor Tiles

Enjoy your shiny floor tiles and be glad that you chose to have them installed. As long as you use caution, they will keep you smiling all day long at how stunning they look.

Creative Tiles and Laminates have a wide range of shiny floor tiles, polished porcelain and glossy ceramic floor tiles.  Visit the Walsall showroom, check out the online shop or call 01922 610015 for further assistance.


About Susan

Joined Creative Tiles and Laminates as Marketing Manager in 2005. Complementing the senior management team containing 30+ years experience of fitting, flooring and customer services.
This entry was posted in Bathroom Tiles, Floor Tiles, Kitchen Tiles, Tiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Are shiny floor tiles more slippery?

  1. Vera says:

    Can polished porcelain tiles be sealed after they are already installed on the floors? Please explain.
    Thanks, Vera

    • Susan says:

      Hi Vera
      Polished porcelain tiles can be sealed after already being installed but I would also check that they weren’t already pre-sealed by the factory. If they were, any sealant you apply will not be asbsorbed and will just sit on the tiles.
      You need to apply an impregnator to the tiles and this can be applied using a roller, allow to dry according to the manufacturers instructions and then wipe off any excess. Don’t leave it too long as it will become trickier to remove the excess.
      If you have any loose spare tiles, try marking one with a permanent black marker pen in the corner and see if it soaks into the tile and cannot be removed with any porcelain cleaning products. If this is the case, your tiles definitely need to be sealed using an impregnator.

      The tiles will also need re-sealing periodically to keep this protection.

      All the best

  2. Julia Pascocello says:

    I, too, am concerned about high gloss polished porcelain tile throughout my house (not bathrooms). I have a satin white (porcelain?) tile right now. It is the pillow top surface with wide grout lines. You don’t make a distinction between polished glossy and high gloss. Is there more risk in high gloss? More than I have with my current tile? Please help!


    • Susan says:

      Hi Julia
      A high gloss tile is a glazed tile which has been fired with a glossy lacquer whereas a polished gloss tile is an unglazed tile that has been milled with a polished finish. I would say there is negligible difference between the two and it really depends on the individual tiles as to which are more slippery.

      I don’t think there would be more risk with a high gloss than compared to the tiles you already have, as some satin tiles can also be slippery. If in doubt, ask your tile retailer to check out if there is a slip rating on any tiles that you are considering as a replacement. They may also be also be able to supply you with a sample so that you can experiment at home.
      I hope this helps.

  3. Tricia says:

    I have been struggling to decide in my kitchen tiles, I REALLY like a polished porcelain and thought I had made my mind up until the ‘slippery’ thoughts came !!…we have a lot of grandchildren and I was thinking if them running around and slipping (sock soles would have to be banned!!) but then also someone said they are a nightmare to keep clean with every mark showing up ??….it will be a large kitchen area approx 15ft x 17ft ….help !….I have to decide soon, the extension is almost done

    • Susan says:

      Hi Tricia
      If you use a steam mop which is practically dry, you shouldn’t have any problems with smears or marks. I find these better than using a regular mop and bucket. Although if your tiles are completely plain, marks may become more noticeable earlier than if there is a slight pattern or mottling to the tiles. And pick something that you’re happy to live with for some time to come.

  4. Pam McCarthy says:

    Really glad I found your site. We are about to tile our kitchen floor with ivory coloured polished porcelain. They look amazing but a few sites have warned not to use them in kitchens and bathrooms. The points you made about the use of mats and wiping up water quickly makes alot of sense. One thing though, we were told that we would have to seal polished porcelain floor tiles. In your opinion is this necessary?

    • Susan says:

      Hi Pam

      Glad you found the site useful.

      With regard to sealing, yes polished porcelain tiles do need to be sealed as they are unglazed tiles. However some tiles are pre-sealed by the factory so I’d recommend asking your supplier to confirm whether sealing is required. At least then you’re covered if they give you incorrect information. If the tiles aren’t sealed, over time the tiles can show what appear to be faint water stains (anything more such as spilling red wine and letting it soak overnight might be worse, although I have no experience of this).

      My white polished porcelain bathroom tiles unfortunately weren’t sealed and they now have faint water stains. It doesn’t really stand out much and it doesn’t bother my husband in the slightest!

      Anyhow, even if your ivory coloured porcelain tiles do need sealing it is a fairly easy job to undertake, so don’t let this put you off tiling the floor with your dream tiles.

      I hope this puts your mind at rest.
      All the best

  5. Greg says:

    we found a nice tile 24inch by 24 inch for our foyer all the way in to breakfast area and kitchen but lots of people warning us that is very slippery and dangerous specially when you have people over to entertain and they walk in with wet floor if its raining or if they walk from backyard after using pool so any advise? we did like the tile very much but now we are confused its a porcelain tile polished.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Greg
      Many people have polished porcelain tiles fitted in a kitchen, myself included. Yes, they can be slippery if you are walking around with lots of water about, but that can also happen on a non polished tile too. You just need to be a bit clever with it and minimise spills on the floor.

      First off, make sure people always have footwear on. You don’t particularly want to keep soaking the tiles as polished porcelain can show water stains if left untreated so footwear is better than wet feet.
      Also make use of mats inside doorways and outside doorways too, so that you are effectively reducing the amount of wet coming in from outside.
      And of course clean up spills as and when they occur.

      Hagesan make a product that you can apply to tiles called HG Antislip. When we tried it out, it worked well with ceramic tiles but was not effective with porcelain tiles. You could possibly try this, but I’d test it out on a spare tile first in case it affects the look/finish of the tile.

      I’ve had my polished porcelain tiles for about 10 years now and can honestly say that no-one has ever slipped or fallen over in that time. I have 3 mats in total and although small do the job needed. Polished porcelain tiles look fantastic and should give you lots of pleasure.

  6. Tracy D. says:

    Thank you SO much for this article! My husband and I are having new tile put down in our home. It currently has the old 8×8 tiles and we are really excited about taking the (very expensive) plunge to getting new tile. However…after looking and looking, I kept going back to a Tesoro Provenza glossy tile and cannot find anything I like better. The ‘slip rating’ on the tile just says ADA-OSHA . It doesn’t have a number or anything so I’m not sure whether that is good or bad. But I was googling site after site about whether we should use the glossy as we certainly can’t change our minds after it’s down! Your article here has me going ahead with the glossy tile. I was just sick to think I would have to choose something I didn’t like as well because of the slip factor but after reading this, I feel better now. I just told my husband and we have installation coming next week. Thanks for pointing out that ANY tile can be slippery and that you usually have rugs and bath mats down anyway. Good article! (Especially when it’s exactly what I wanted to hear!) HAHAHA LOL

    • Susan says:

      Hi Tracy
      I’m glad to hear you found the article useful in helping you to decide on your floor tiles.
      I would be interested in finding out how you get on with them once they’ve been fitted.
      Kind regards

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