Tumbles and falls aren’t always just the bane of toddlers and seniors; sometimes it’s your floor that’s too darn slippery for everyone.
We show you how to minimise those banana peel moments with these helpful tips.
Keep your floor dry and clean
This seems like a duh, but it’s important! Obviously you would wipe up after spilling liquid but oil and grease can also build up over time from cooking grease, gunk from your hands and feet, and so on. Be sure to mop at least once a week in high traffic areas in your home.
Use the right cleaning products
You want products that emulsify the oils on your floor and remove them; water-based products simply skim the surface. Avoid products with wax, oil, or polish that will leave a film deposit on your floor – sure, they make your floors look all shiny and pretty, but the slips aren’t worth it. You can also look for cleaning agents that have ‘Slip-Resistant’ on the label.
Use a vinegar solution
Mop your floor with a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar and 2 parts warm water). This removes old residue from wax and cleaning products so you can start anew. You can even go green and replace your cleaning product entirely with this solution. Just remember to go over with a dry mop after you’re done.
Mats in areas that often get wet (near the sink, bathroom entrance, doorway) should be absorbent enough to avoid liquids from pooling. Encourage people in your home to wipe their feet thoroughly on these mats to avoid bringing residue to the rest of the house.
Non-slip pads and coverings
To be fair to floors, sometimes it’s not their fault. Walk around your home and look for areas you don’t always walk on barefoot. These could include patios you often walk on with your socked feet or the entire home if you’re in the habit of wearing house slippers.
Avoid falls by investing in non-slip pads, cork or rubber flooring, or even a nice rug or carpet. They’re not all ugly! Many pads these days come in fun prints and patterns that can seamlessly blend into the overall design of your home.
Another at-risk area? Stairs and steps. How often have your guests (and you, yes) stumbled over an elevated doorway only to slip on the door mat? You can also stick textured tape or treads to the edges of your stairs and steps to avoid embarrassing stumbles.
Remove old, inferior finishes
Your hardwood floors might currently be covered with cheap, inferior coatings or these coatings might have been applied with poor workmanship, leading to all that slipperiness. The only solution here might be to strip and refinish your floors with quality products. Talk to your contractor first; he might suggest you simply machine scrub to remove surface films instead.
Matte finish for hardwood floors
If you’re going hardwood, talk to your interior designer about your finish options. Low sheen, matte finishes – those with a lustre of 1-20% – tend to be less slippery than glossy, shiny ones. The good news is that matte finishes have become trendier in recent years since we’re all about authenticity and rawness now. Plus, they hide dirt, grease, and other imperfections better.
You can find anti-slip treatments at your local hardware store; these are often made specifically for different types of floors like hardwood, marble, tile, and so on. Read the instructions carefully as applying a coat that’s too thin or too thick can also minimise the product’s effectiveness.