The Constructor

How to Make a Concrete Floor Slip-Resistant?

Slip-resistant concrete floors

Slip-resistant concrete floors

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Concrete floors can be really slippery when they are wet or icy, especially during winters. Slippery concrete can be extremely dangerous, leading to accidents and injury. This issue is more likely to occur when the concrete floor surface is color hardened, sealed, or polished. 

The term coefficient of friction quantifies the slipperiness of a surface. Therefore, to increase the slip resistance, the coefficient of friction of the surface must be increased.

There are several ways to create a slip-resistant concrete surface, like applying anti-slip paints, additives, or silica sand. Some of the efficient ways are explained in this article.

Ways To Make Concrete Surface Slip-Resistant

1. Texturing the Concrete Surface

A freshly placed concrete floor surface can be made slip-resistant by creating texture through brooming. Brooming is done on partially dry or soft concrete surfaces. If the surface has a slope and a drain facility, the brooming is performed towards the drain. 

Brooming can be performed using concrete brooms with different configurations or an ordinary broom with stiff bristles.

Figure-1: Brooming The Concrete Surface To Give Texture

2. Rock Salt Finishing the Concrete Surface

This type of finishing is provided before the concrete has cured. The procedure involves sprinkling the salt over a wet concrete surface and smoothing it out using a trowel. Once the concrete surface is completely cured, the salt is washed away leaving a more attractive texture behind. 

Figure-2: Rock Salt Texture For Concrete Surface

3. Seeded Aggregate Finish For Concrete Surface

In this method, small stones are packed into the finished concrete surface. Once completely dried, a beautifully decorated and slip-resistant surface is obtained.

4. Anti-Slip Sealers

For already existing concrete floor surfaces, the first method employed to improve slip resistance is using an anti-slip resistant sealer. Some anti-slip sealers make the surface slip-resistant but do change the texture of the surface.  There are some penetrating sealers that work below the surface without changing the texture of the surface.

Water repellent sealers also reduce water absorption by 95% and leave the surface resistant to rain, snow, frost, etc. These sealers not only protect the surface from slippage but also from wear and tear.

5. Non-Slip Additives

If anti-slip sealers alone are not enough to achieve the required slip resistance, non-slip additives can be introduced. Non-slip additives are available in fine or coarse variants depending on the traction required for the surface.

Grit additives can be combined with these sealers and applied to the concrete surface to increase the grip. Silica, plastic grit, and other forms of clear crystal are the common grit additives used. This coating is applied to wet areas and those with heavy traffic.

6. Silica Sand

Silica sand can be applied to the wet concrete sealers to improve the slip resistance of the surface. The procedure involves applying a silica sand layer over the first coat of fresh concrete sealer. After drying, the second coat of concrete sealer is applied and finished. This method gives a small cloudy look to the surface.

7. Non-Slip Strips

Non-slip strips are stick-on strips available from hardware stores that are pasted on the outdoor concrete surfaces like concrete steps, patios, driveways, garages, etc. It is an easy and effective way to prevent slippage. 

Non-slip strips on surfaces are not aesthetically pleasing, so they are not used indoors.

8. Muriatic Acid or Hydrochloric Acid

The application of muriatic acid on the concrete surface eats away the top layer of concrete and exposes the sand aggregates within the concrete. This gives a slightly rough texture to the concrete surface.


What are the ways to make concrete floor slip-resistant?

The various ways available to increase the slip resistance of concrete surfaces are:
1. Texturing concrete surface
2. Rock salt finish
3. Seeded aggregate finish
4. Anti-slip sealers
5. Non-slip additives
6. Silica sand
7. Non-slip strips
8. Muriatic acid

How does muriatic acid improve the skid resistance of a concrete surface?

The application of muriatic acid on the concrete surface eats away the top layer of concrete and exposes the sand aggregates within the concrete. This gives a slightly rough texture to the concrete surface.

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