Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2006, 03:36 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,099
How to correct a slippery wood floor

At my place of work, we have hardwood floors, and are open to the public. People walking around the establishment constantly remark on how slippery the floor is. I don't really notice it because we are required to wear slip-resistant shoes (it's a restaurant, and even in a normal restaurant slip-and-fall injuries are relatively common due to liquid spills etc.)

A few people have already fell but to my knowledge didn't bring lawsuits. It's just a matter of time though until one does. (it's a new restaurant that has been open just a few months)

So what can be done to make the floor less slippery? What method would be most cost-effective? I'm not a manager (yet) so I don't have the power to actually do anything about it, but I would at least like to be able to recommend to my boss that such-and-such might be a good solution (and to satisfy my own curiosity about how to solve such a problem).
Old 09-06-2006, 04:00 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,242
There are such things as anti-slip polishes available for wooden floors. I can't comment on their effectiveness.
Old 09-06-2006, 05:54 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,928
Don't use pledge. At school we used to pledge the floors for fun. It was like trying to walk on wet ice.
Old 09-06-2006, 11:37 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,115
It sounds like the entirely wrong finish was put on the floor.

There are non-slip clear wood finishes available - they generally work by having powdered quartz or similar minerals in them. Unfortunately, you'd probably need to sand the floors to bare wood and start all over as it's almost always impossible to put a new finish on top of an existing finish.

There are also coatings intended for stages and dance floors that can be applied to an existing floor finish. "Slip Nomor" is an example of these. This would be a lot more cost-effective than stripping and refinishing as there'd be no downtime - just scrub the floor, let it dry, mop the stuff on at night, and you'll be good to go the next morning. Refinishing would involve days of closed-off areas, noise and dust.
Old 09-06-2006, 01:49 PM
Tierce Tierce is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 173
Also see if you can get entrance mats to cut down on the amount of dirt tracked onto the floor, and dust-mop frequently. Used to see this problem a lot in a school gym -- the floor would be refinished every year, it would be non-slip for about a month, then gradually turn to ice again as the kids tracked dirt onto it from outside.

If your finish is already very slippery, it will probably need to be refinished. Usually that can be done without sanding down to the bare wood though. Just a "screening", enough to scuff the previous finish for mechanical adhesion, will usually do it. Consult a hardwood floor contractor, of course.
Old 09-06-2006, 01:50 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: 21 20' N 157 55' W
Posts: 6,519
There are a plethora of "wax" finishes that are non-slip, especially when water is present.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017