Although there are many different kinds of resin floors, there is a specific demand for an anti-slip version in virtually all of them. Floors can be made anti-slip by a variety of means, but most techniques include the use of an oxide or quartz at the surface to impart a texture.
We will consider the three main resin systems which are roller coatings, self levellers and screeds. Generally the thicknesses of these systems are 100 and 500 microns, 1mm to 4mm, and 6mm to 9mm respectively.
Due to the thin section of coatings, there is a restriction on the size of aggregate, and therefore the value of slip resistance, available. The size of aggregate should never exceed twice the thickness of the coating because it would be susceptible to being plucked out by sheer forces.
The installation process is simple enough, but it must always be borne in mind that the success of this system is very dependent upon correct and adequate surface preparation. Too little preparation and the coating will peel off in sheets due to lack of adhesion, too much and the texture will show through a thin coating. For this reason the installation of coatings is best left to professionals.
Once the first primer coat has been rolled down, the selected aggregate is scattered into it. Dependent upon how much anti-slip is required, the size and distribution of the additive will be varied. The choice of additive also varies from Bauxite and granite which are both exceptionally hard wearing, to marble and carborundum, which both offer decorative effects.
Once the scatter has taken place, the primer should be left to cure. A top sealer coat is then applied, and this fastens the aggregate in place. The next thickness of resin floor is the self-leveller. There are two ways of rendering this anti-slip.
Firstly, after the resin has been laid, a quartz aggregate is scattered into it until the resin is absolutely saturated in aggregate and in fact is not visible due to the volume of aggregate scattered. The method of scattering the aggregate must be in small quantities which are broadcast in a similar fashion to that used for feeding chickens with corn. No large clumps or massive hand full should be dropped in one spot, because it could completely disturb the resin leaving a bald spot on the floor.
The floor is left to cure, and then it is swept to remove all loose aggregate. All remaining aggregate is bonded to the resin, but as with the roller-coat, it is subjected to a top sealer coat to fasten the aggregate in place. The deeper section of the self-leveller enables larger aggregate to be used, and thus a substantial anti-slip profile can be achieved.
The ability to clean the floor must always be considered when selecting the anti-slip materials.
The second way of achieving anti-slip is by laying the self-leveller with a smooth surface profile, and then sealing it after it has cured, with a top coat into which a fine aggregate can be scattered. A second top-coat fastens the aggregate in place.
This system is normally used when a fine surface texture is required since only small aggregate can be used in the top sealer coat due to its thin section.
Screeds which are generally 6mm upwards normally have a heavy duty aggregate added to them as part of their natural make-up. If coarse sand is one component, then this normally imparts a good anti-slip texture to the finished screed which might need no further treatment to render it anti-slip.
Where the screeds are laid and finished with a steel trowel to a smooth finish, if anti-slip is required, it would generally be imparted by the use of a top sealer-coat with aggregate scattered in, as for coatings and self- levellers.
Flooring guru Shaun Parker has been at the forefront of resin,tiled and anti slip floors and surfaces for several years.