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What tiles are best to use on a Wet Room Floor?

Posted by Zena Laws on

Wet room tiles


If you are renovating a bathroom then the one key thing, we always ask our customers is “Are you using a traditional shower tray or are you going to use a wet room tray where you tile the floor?”.

There is a big difference in the approach you need to take with regards to the tiles depending on which solution you are going for.

Whilst it would be lovely just to focus on the design side from an aesthetic perspective of a wet room or bathroom tray, safety is the main thing you need to take into consideration.  Once you start considering tiling a shower tray you need to think about the surface of the tile you are putting in that environment.

So, let’s talk Slip Resistance tiles and the R-rating!


The R-Rating, used to be the go-to rating for slip resistance tiles. The R- Rating stands for the Ramp Test Rating.  Basically, someone would stand on a tiled ramp and the degree of radiant was altered until they slipped off! Fun hey!

There are two types of R-Rating tests:-

1.Shod Foot (with shoes)

2. Bare Foot

There is a different interaction depending on if you are wearing shoes or not.  A bare foot will have a better grip on a surface as it contours it, compared to someone with a flat shoe on.

The rating for a shod foot starts at R9 – this is very little slip resistance.  As the number increases, so does the degree of slip resistance.




Recommended uses


General Dry areas, such as kitchens/Hallways/domestic bathrooms with no open shower areas


Commercial Bathroom and ensuite floors, garages and basements


Areas walked on when Wet


Bare Foot rating - In this rating test, they tile the surface of the ramp and then contaminate the surface with a soapy substance and then they get someone to stand on the ramp bare foot and alter the ramp until they slip off!  In this rating, it is rated as A, B or C.



Recommended uses


Changing Rooms for home spas or bathroom floors


(A+B) Shower Floors, Swimming Pool Surrounds


(A+B+C) Sloping floors in wet areas, steps into swimming pools


By using both of those R-Rating systems together you can get the right guidance for safety.  No tile is slippy when it’s clean and dry – it’s only when a tile is contaminated with water, fat or a build of shampoo that it becomes slippy.  That is why it’s important when designing a wet room that you have a really good cleaning routine.


PTV Ratings

So just when you’ve got your head around R- ratings, the Health & Safety Executives in the UK introduced the PTV Rating (Pendulum Test Values).

In this test, a Pendulum with a rubber on the end of it slips across the surface of a tile. This is a thorough test, and the test can be done in an environment when the tiles are laid. The PTV rating is done in two ways:-

  1. In a wet condition
  2. In a dry condition

When looking at wet room floors a PTV rating of +36 has a low risk of slipping.


So, what tiles can you use on a wet room floor?


  1. Mosaic Tiles

You could use a mosaic tile.  This tile has lots of joints around the edge of the tile so your foot moulds into these joints giving you a slip resistance.   Mosaic tiles are generally sold in sheets with a mesh backing They are an easy tile to install. We have to be honest in saying mosaics for wet room floors are NOT our tile of choice. From a design perspective we feel we have moved on from the mosaic clad shower floor and there are far more aesthetically pleasing and don't look quite so1990's!  

           Mosaic tile


  1. Anti-Slip tiles

The next option is to go for a range of tiles that come in different finishes.  An anti-slip finish tile is very grippy.  It’s great for a wetroom/shower area. However, if there was no water swilling over this tile (such as the main bathroom floor) it would be hard to clean. In this case you would want to put a natural finish tile on the bathroom floor.  You wouldn’t put a shiny tile on the bathroom floor as if you step out of the shower with wet feet you would slip – you would put a natural finish tile. We would always recommend an anti-slip tile.



Patterned tiles

Our Mayfair range has a degree of anti-slip finish and has a R11 rating so it’s perfect for a wet room floor. One thing to consider when using a patterned tile on a wet room floor is how the pattern is going to work together when they cut it to go around the shower tray.  Also, you need to consider that there are different types of shower trays.


            One Way Fall                                      Two Way Fall                                      Four Way Fall

The fall is the way the water is going to flow to go down the drain. You must consider the way the tiler is going to cut into the tiles to make sure you have the fall.  If you have Four Way Fall on your tray it’s going to be more difficult for your tiler to cut into that.



If you want a patterned tile on the floor in a shower tray, then we recommend going for a one way fall tray or as a maximum a two way fall tray.


  1. Brick Shaped Tiles

Brick shaped tiles such as our Textures Brick tile look great when laid as a herringbone pattern on the shower floor.  The Textures Brick does have an anti-slip finish to it but when laying tiles in a herringbone pattern you get more slip resistance because of all the joints.  R9, R10 or PTV+36 in brick are fine to use in a wet room.




  1. No Boundaries

Finally, our new No Boundaries range is perfect to use in a wet room. The tile comes in a stone and wood effect and it has soft anti-slip technology.  This fantastic tile is smooth and almost soft to touch, with an anti-slip rating of R11 A+B+C, PTV+36.  This tile can be used in all areas to give a seamless flow but acts as an anti-slip when wet.




To sum it all up – there are 3 bathroom types:-

  1. Pure Wet Room 

This is a room where the drain is in the centre and the shower integrates. In this room always go with an anti-slip.





  1. Where you create a Wet room Zone

    This is where you have room with a wet and dry area. In the wet area you will need an anti-slip tile but in the dry area you can just use a natural finish tile (we don’t recommend a polished or glazed finish unless glazed with a matt finish).



  1. Walk in Shower tray with screen 

    In this style bathroom just make sure the tile within the shower tray floor area has adequate anti-slip properties. You can use a natural finish in the main bathroom floor area.



And finally......

How do you keep anti-slip tiles clean?

*TOP TIP: The best thing to do is to make sure your final rinse of the anti-slip tile is with clean hot water.  If you do a final rinse with a detergent in it, all it is going to do is attract more dirt to it.  Just hoover the tile and/or give it a clean with a hot bucket of water with a splash of detergent and then do a final rinse with just hot clean water.


If you need any tile design advice to get that Wet Room look why not book a Video Call or Showroom appointment with one of our designers
       or call us on 01792 439239 or check out our video online https://youtu.be/F_OBLi2FV4Q


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