Non-slip tiles doing job

19:45, May 07 2012
Compromise: It's a toss up between being non-slip but not too rough when it comes to pool tiling, say the experts.

The tiles at the Aquatic Centre at Marlborough Lines Stadium are as non-slip as they can be without damaging the feet of children, says the tile supplier.

The Tile Shoppe in Christchurch supplied the Italian-made Floor Gres Ceramiche tiles used at the Blenheim pools and in five other buildings throughout New Zealand.

The Tile Shoppe South Island manager Richard Nightingale said they were the recommended tile for pools, and met the relevant international standard. There have been some questions about the slipperiness of the tiles at the pools, with several falls.

Australia's CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) created the Interim Slip Resistant Guide responsible for the tile rating.

The tiles have a rating of R11 on the scale that goes to R15.

Mr Nightingale said if the tiles had a higher non-slip rating, they would harm the feet of young children. "If they were R15, they'd have no toes and no feet left. They'd be bleeding from the feet," he said.


Despite the complaints from people who have taken a tumble on the tiles, Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 chief executive Paul Tredinnick said the tiles lived up to their rating during the busy opening weekend in April.

"With over 4000 visitors, the tiles performed extremely well," he said.

Some people commenting on the Marlborough Express website suggested rubber mats or tiles with more grip should be used. However, Mr Tredinnick said the rubber mats used on the old pool were not as hygienic as tiles alone. He said he was confident the tiles would continue to perform well.

"We will get some slips, as do all pools in the world, but we'll be doing all we can to minimise these,'' he said. "The tiles are well proven in swimming pools around both New Zealand, and internationally"



Documents provided to the Marlborough Express said the test process to determine the tiles' rating involves two adults, facing downhill, moving backwards and forwards over the test surface

They increase the angle of inclination until they reach their safe limit of walking.

Their bare feet are soaked in water for at least 10 minutes before the test, and a stream of water is continually poured on the test surface during the process.

The Marlborough Express