First of all, there is no such thing as “safety tiles” in this sense. Colloquially, the term is used, not quite correctly from a technical point of view, for tiles with a high slip resistance class and an additional displacement space.
A displacement space is prescribed by the “German Social Accident Insurance” (DGUV) for areas where a particularly large amount of “slippery media” such as water, grease and oils is to be expected. The displacement space is the volume between the walking level and the drainage level. This is where the water can drain away – so that “aquaplaning” can be prevented.
The slip resistance of floor coverings that are walked on with shoes is divided from R9-R13 into five slip resistance classes. However, the slip resistance classes do not correspond to fixed measured values. Rather, they are tested on the so-called sloping plane (according to DIN51130 ). In this process, secured test persons with standardised shoes walk on the floor coverings, which are wetted with engine oil. In the process, the responsible project manager increases the climbing angle of the test surface until the test person slips or subjectively perceives his or her gait as unsafe. The testing institutes take various measures to objectify the procedure and balance out the subjective human component. Several experienced test persons walk on the floorings and the results are statistically processed with the measured values of standard floorings that have also been walked on.
Also for barefoot used floor coverings, e.g. in bathrooms, the test is carried out on the inclined plane. The floor coverings are walked on barefoot and wetted with water instead of engine oil (cf. DGUV I207-006 (formerly BGI/GUV-I 8527 Wet areas). The classification is made according to the angle reached in the classes barefoot A, B and C.
With increasing slip-resistance class and larger displacement space, the cleaning of highly structured porcelain stoneware tiles, so-called safety tiles, becomes increasingly difficult. On the one hand, dirt collects in the coarse structures, on the other hand it accumulates on the fine-rough surface.
If unsuitable cleaning agents are used, both the appearance and the anti-slip properties of the floor coverings suffer. Aunder no circumstances should soap-containing all-purpose cleaners or conditioning cleaners be used. Together with minerals from the water, a coating of “lime soaps” forms that can only be removed with great effort.
We also strongly advise against strongly alkaline cleaners with an etching effect. Over time, such cleaners cause “glass corrosion” on the surface, which leads to rapid resoiling.
With the porcelain stoneware cleaner, haid-tec offers a highly efficient product for cleaning all porcelain stoneware coverings. With non-layer-forming high-tech surfactants, a wide range of different dirt is dissolved, minerals such as lime are kept in solution by complexing agents.
If the coarse surface profile that forms the displacement space is joined by a fine-rough surface, bristles of conventional scrubbers achieve good cleaning results only with a great expenditure of time and energy. The bristles are too coarse, do not reach the recesses and thus achieve poor mechanical cleaning performance. Even cleaning machines equipped with brushes usually do not achieve the desired result.
haid-tec offers MelaminPlusPads and PolyPlusPads two different pads with which even highly structured porcelain stoneware tiles can be cleaned effectively. Cleaning safety tiles is no longer a problem.
MelaminePlusPads are made of melamine resin foam – the same material as dirt eraser. Melamine resin is a very hard plastic in its original form. When foamed, it forms a flexible spatial structure of very fine, razor-sharp ridges that penetrate into microscopic recesses and scrape dirt off the surface like millions of fine razors. Melamine resin foam has a unique mechanical cleaning performance. The MelaminePlusPads are particularly suitable for structured floor coverings with a displacement space up to V4.
For tiles with a large displacement volume (V6 and larger), our practical experience has shown that cleaning machines with orbital/eccentric technology in combination with PolyPlusPads are particularly suitable. With their 10 mm long polyester active fibres, the PolyPlusPads reach deep into the surface profile and thus effectively loosen the dirt. The up to 3,000 smallest circular movements per minute of the orbital/eccentric machines clean coarse structures practically from all sides at the same time.
The PolyPlusPads can also be used with single-disc machines or scrubber-driers. Here it is recommended to work in a criss-cross pattern.
What should be considered when cleaning safety tiles? Our conclusion is: With the combination of an effective cleaning agent and the right mechanism – i.e. MelaminePlusPads or PolyPlusPads – you can effectively clean even highly structured porcelain stoneware with little effort and permanently maintain slip resistance.
With over 3,000 objects walked on and over 5 million square metres of floor area, David Haid is a proven expert in the cleaning of porcelain stoneware floor coverings. As an author in our haid-tec magazine „BODEN-ständig“, he shares his expertise from over 15 years of professional experience with you and provides valuable tips, especially for challenging cleaning projects.
If you have any questions, he will be happy to help you at any time and can be reached via the following channels.