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Technical support area

We pride ourselves on supplying first class technical information and support to our customers. Here you’ll find helpful PDFs on cleaning, maintenance and installation, alongside guidelines on slip resistance, DDA and RIBA approved CPD’s. If you require additional information please contact us directly.

Accessibility and support

Understanding the Equality Act 2010 
The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Disability Discrimination Act and in general carries forward the protection that the Disability Discrimination Act provided for disabled people. The Disability Discrimination Act was repealed in October 2010.

The Equality Act requires accessible environments to be provided for disabled people, either in their place of work or for access to goods, services or facilities (public spaces). Those commissioning new buildings or adaptations to existing buildings must consider the implications of the Equality Act and their ability to provide buildings that do not discriminate against disabled people (physical or mental impairments).

Colour Reflectance (contrast) 
The Equality Act gives guidance on good visual contrast for the visually impaired between various elements of a building by the use of Light Reflectance Values (LRV).

LRV is a general term for contrast and is measured as the proportion of useful light reflected by a coloured object, floor, wall or ceiling. LRV is measure on a scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is perfect black and 100 perfect white (in reality 0 and 100 are unobtainable colours). According to NCS Colour Centre in practical terms black is approx 6 and white approx 85.

The current guidelines from Building Regulations Approved Document M on contrast are that a minimum different of 30 LRV points should be specified for adjacent surfaces to ensure that visually impaired people are not discriminated against. In specific example of ceramic tiles this difference should be between:

  • Floors to walls
  • Ceiling to walls
  • Handrails to walls
  • Sanitary fittings to walls

Visual contrast between floors and walls is important in enabling visually impaired people to assess and gauge the size and shape of a room. It is important the greatest visual contrast occurs where the floor meets the wall 
(skirting) as this gives the most accurate visual indication of the extent of the room. Where provided, skirting’s should contrast visually with the floor and be similar in colour and tone to wall surface.

Tactile Foot Braille
Recommendations from the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), the joint mobility unit of the RNIB and the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) led to the need for Tactiles to be used as warning features for stairs, ramps and platforms.

Available in 400x400x10mm format and 2 colour options the Johnson Tactile System offers compliance with not only the Equality Act requirements but also the DETR, RNIB and CAE recommendations. Specified correctly the Johnson Tactile System will ensure that any new building Access Audits will be compliant with the Access to Good and Services as part of the Equality Act requirements.

The Johnson Tactile System is manufactured to the highest technical performance standards. The surface of the Tactile products have the enhanced performance qualities of a slip resistance durundum inclusion in the surface of the tile.

The Corduroy profile is designed to warm visually impaired people of the presence of specific hazards. Such a profile is ‘Foot Braille’ and is a warning association with steps, ramps or the approach to on-street light rapid transit platforms. The Corduroy profile is an internationally accepted Tactile surface that conveys the message of hazard and implies proceed with caution.

The Blister profile is designed to warn visually impaired people of the edge of all off-street platforms. The profile consists of a series of offset, flat topped dome studs. The parallel rows of studs are designed to be installed at right angles to direction of traffic and are normally located behind the platform edge coping. Please note thatthis information is not exhaustive and requirements attime of specification must be checked

Bill of Quantity service

Our Bill of Quantity service is offered free of charge for commercial applications. They can be taken from either our own design drawings or supplied drawings and for ease of use, quantities are presented in a spreadsheet format.

To find out more please email caddesign@johnson-tiles.com.

Installation advice
For the reassurance of single source supply Johnson Tiles offer a free of charge NBS M40 specification writing service featuring the Johnson Professional range of tile fixing products for all commercial projects.

To find out more please callthe Johnson Professional helpline on 01782 524111 or email technical@johnson-tiles.com.

Cleaning and maintenance

Wall tiles.
Builders Clean

This should be undertaken prior to wall being brought into service. The builders clean removes cement and residual film left over from grouting process and is a one-off cleaning process. It is important that this is carried out professionally and thoroughly as any grout residues left behind will act as a key for dirt.

Cementitious Grouts
The use of a mild acid decementing solution followed by thorough rinsing will remove all but the most stubborn of cement residues.

Epoxide Grouts
It is essential that ALL residues from the grouting process are removed from the tile’s surface before the resin cures. If you don’t do this, it will become a very difficult and expensive cleaning process using gel-type epoxide removers.

Epoxide Grouts
Glazed wall tiles can be wiped with warm water to which a neutral or nearly neutral detergent has been added.

Periodic Deep Cleaning
Occasionally foreign matter may cause surface marks on tiles. If the surface mark cannot be removed with the normal cleaning procedures detailed above, other cleaning materials should be considered. It is advisable to try a small inconspicuous area first.

Paint Paint remover
Organic stains Bleach or a one-off treatment with washing soda
Rust Masonry cleaner
Rubber Abrasive powder or liquid but not on glazed tiles
Oil, fat, grease Detergent or degreasers
Mould growth Household bleach or proprietary cleaner
Tea, coffee, ink Household bleach or proprietary cleaner

Abrasive powders or cleaners should never be used on ceramic tiles.

 

Floor tiles
Builders Clean

This should be undertaken prior to floor being used. The builders clean removes cement and residual film left over from the grouting process and is a one-off cleaning process. It is important that this is carried out professionally and thoroughly as any grout residues left behind will act as a key for dirt.

Cementitious Grouts 
The use of a mild acid decementing solution followed by thorough rinsing will remove all but the most stubborn of cement residues.

Epoxide Grouts
It is essential that ALL residues from the grouting process are removed from the tile’s surface before the resin cures. If you don’t do this, it will become a very difficult and expensive cleaning process using gel-type epoxide removers.

Routine Cleaning
The regular use of detergents or other cleaning agents which are excessively acidic or alkaline could cause irreversible damage to the ceramic tile surface. Degreasing agents that contain wax, sodium silicate or other additives which leave sticky deposits and so retain dirt should be avoided. Oil residues or build-ups of wax can be removed with a proprietary wax and polish remover.

Epoxide Grouts
In normal conditions ceramic tiles require little maintenance. Un-glazed porcelain floor tiles can be maintained by sweeping and cleaning with warm water to which a neutral or nearly neutral detergent has been added. The cleaning solution should be allowed to remain on the floor for 5 to 15 minutes to allow it to penetrate and emulsify the dirt, after which it should be removed by rinsing thoroughly with clean water. It is the rinsing process which removes the dirt so the use of clean water is essential.

Mechanical Floor Cleaning
When cleaning large floor areas or areas of textured floor tiles mechanical scrubbing machines can be used – although they should not be used at over 450rpm. Rotary scrubbing machines fall into 3 categories, Rotary Action, Contra-Rotating and Cylindrical, and choice of brush is important on all three. Union brushes are suitable for light washing and scrubbing whereas Polypropylene brushes are more suitable when dirt deposits are especially heavy. The cleaning solution should be allowed to remain in contact with the dirt for 5 to 15 minutes after which a secondary scrubbing action and clean mop or suction should be undertaken to remove the dirt and solution.

High Pressure Floor Cleaning
This is not often required with modern porcelain floor tiles. While the process will not damage the tiles, care must be taken to avoid erosion of the grouting medium. Itis important to ensure that the water beam is not allowed to concentrate on the joints but is moved side to side in a continuous flowing movement avoiding joints wherever possible. Water containing abrasives or steam cleaners must NEVER be used on any ceramic tiles.

Periodic Deep Cleaning
Occasionally foreign matter may cause surface marks on tiles. If the surface mark cannot be removed with the normal cleaning procedures detailed above, other cleaning materials should be considered. It’s advisable to try a small inconspicuous area first.

Paint Paint remover 
Organic stains Bleach or a one-off treatment with washing soda 
Rust Masonry cleaner 
Rubber Abrasive powder or liquid but not on glazed tiles 
Oil, fat, grease Detergent or degreasers 
Mould growth Household bleach or proprietary cleaner 
Tea, coffee, ink Household bleach or proprietary cleaner

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For more information please call the Johnson Technical helpline on 0845 2103000 or email technical@johnson-tiles.com.

COSHH and data sheets

The Johnson Tiles technical helpline team can help with any queries you may have regarding commercial tile specifications and can provide COSHH and Product Data sheets plus cleaning and maintenance guidelines for O & M manuals.

For technical enquiries please call 01782 524111 or email technical@johnson-tiles.com

All product technical values quoted are supported by laboratory testing from our own and independent ceramic test houses. Johnson Tiles are British Standard registered and all products conform to the standards set in BS EN 14411 (formerly BS 6431).

HSE Slip Resistance Guidelines

Slip resistance
The slip resistance of a floor finish is the most important safety consideration. Effective and suitable slip resistant characteristics will reduce the likelihood of slipping, particularly for older, mobility impaired and visually impaired people.

Slip resistance of a floor depends upon many factors:

  • The roughness of the surface
  • Whether it is wet or dry when in use
  • Whether the floor finish is regularly contaminated by liquids or other contaminants.
  • The wear characteristics of the floor finish
  • Implementation of a suitable cleaning and maintenance schedule

In addition to the above there are other factors that can affect the slip resistance and performance characteristics of a floor finish, these include:-

  • Lighting and glare
  • Humidity
  • Slopes and ramps
  • Visual or acoustic distractions
  • Type of footwear worn

Where there is a change of floor material or texture there is an increased risk of slipping or tripping if the coefficient of friction values of the two materials varies greatly. This can be minimised by locating the material or finish change at predictable locations ie door or wall openings.

Slip resistant floor finishes are recommended for use in areas where safety is paramount ie entrances, ramps, stairs and landings, escape routes, commercial kitchen areas, areas adjacent to hazardous machinery or activities and areas subject to frequent wetting ie shower floors, swimming pool surrounds – this is not an exhaustive list.

Based on recommendations from the HSE, you should use floor finishes that achieve a Pendulum 4S (slider 96) of 36+ for shod foot areas,and/or a Pendulum TRL (slider 55) of 36+ for wet barefoot areas, to achieve a low slip potential environment. We personally suggest using a structured tile with Pendulum 4S (slider 96) of 40+ for external floor areas and Pendulum TRL (slider 55) of 40+ for wet barefoot areas, as good practice, due to possible slight variation from tile to tile and possible cleaning and maintenance issues.

The table below illustrates how the HSE categorise the results from the Pendulum test for both the 4s (slider 96) and TRL (slider 55).

Classification Pendulum Test Value (PTV)
High slip potential 0 - 24
Moderate slip potential 25 - 35
Low slip potential 36+

 

Maintaining slip resistance of floor finishes
The two main factors that affect the ongoing slip resistance performance of a floor finish are wear resistance and surface contaminants.

Wear resistance
Of all the floor finishes available to the commercial specifier un-glazed porcelain tiles have the greatest wear resistance. Correctly specified and installed unglazed porcelain tiles would be expected to last the lifetime  of the building. The slip resistant characteristics of an un-glazed porcelain tile are maintained with the implementation of a suitable cleaning regime.

Surface contaminants
Areas subject to expected surface contaminants should incorporate the use of slip resistant floor tiles. The degree of slip resistance changes with the predicted contaminant – for example water as a contaminant has less of an effect on slip resistance than gear oil or margarine. Further details can be found on www.hse.gov.uk

Falls in floors
Where fluid contamination cannot be avoided HSE guidance recommends that floors be laid to falls so that the majority of the contamination drains away to properly constructed outlets. The use of profiled tiles allows the contaminant to collect in the low areas whilst the high areas remain relatively dry or at least above the surface of the contaminant. The degree of slope of a fall depends upon many factors including – surface contaminant, degree of usage, affected area etc. As an example a minimum fall of 1:50 is recommended in the “Specifiers Handbook for Inclusive Design – Internal Floor Finishes” available from RIBA Bookshops:www.ribabookshops.com

Locations subject to surface contamination
Swimming pools and wet areas
Floor finishes to wet barefoot areas (showers, wet change facilities, swimming pool steps and surrounds etc) must be slip resistant when wet and have a non-abrasive surface.

  • Should be easy to keep clean so that the slip resistance of the floor material is maintained at all times.
  • Should have a texture that is as comfortable as possible for bare feet.
  • Should be laid to falls.
  • Should incorporate flush drain covers wherever possible Should use floor finishes that achieve either category “B” or category “C” slip resistance when tested by DIN51097 Wet Ramp Test. (Category “C” has greater slip resistance than category “B” – in certain locations only category “C” is suitable).

Commercial kitchens
Hygiene and slip resistance are extremely important in commercial kitchens.  Kitchens are likely to not only receive water contamination but also wet and dry foods and oils and greases from cooking either through spillage or splashing.

Floors for commercial kitchens should provide sufficient surface roughness to create a slip resistant finish. Roughness values of over 20 microns are normally adequate (“Specifiers Handbook for Inclusive Design – Internal Floor Finishes” available from RIBA Bookshops) for areas that are frequently or permanently wet.

Floor finishes should also be easy to clean and stain resistant to maintain hygiene.

Further information on slip resistance and good practice for flooring is available from the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/slips

Surface microroughness
Testing surface microroughness with a roughness meter, is subject to on-going research and subsequently is not subject of a British Standard like the Pendulum test. However when surface microroughness data is used to supplement pendulum data, research has shown it gives a good indication of slipperiness in water contaminated environments.

Surface microroughness has limitations, and is unsuitable for measuring undulating, profiled or very rough floors. Classic examples of this are raised profile tiles such as Kerastar Discface, which a roughness meter cannot measure effectively. Further information is available at www.hse.gov.uk

Ramp Tests
The German ramp test is used to generate the DIN 51130 R ratings and DIN 51097 ABC ratings used commonly in North Europe. These tests can only be carried out in a laboratory, so does not allow in-situ testing of materials.

R Ratings (DIN 51130) - This is a shod foot test which uses oil as a contaminant. These results are interpreted into 5 groups, R9 to R13. R9 being the slipperiest and R13 being the least. Please note: R9 is not suitable for areas requiring slip resistance. The are no such categories as R1 - R8.

ABC Ratings (DIN 51097) - This a wet barefoot where a soap solution is applied as a contaminant, the results from this test are placed into three categories:

  • Class A - Dry areas including dry changing areas, dry barefoot corridors
  • Class B - As A plus pools surrounds, communal showers, pool beach areas, wet change areas
  • Class C - As A and B plus pool surround inclines, walk through pools, Jacuzzi floors and seats, inlined pool edges and steps

R and ABC rating have generally been used to assess product suitability in the UK. However this is changing dramatically in accordance with recommendations from the HSE with the preferred test method being the Pendulum test.

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CPD - Continuing professional development (CPD) presentations

Johnson Tiles technical team is able to provide design and architecture practices with RIBA credited CPD throughout England, Scotland and Wales. CPD presentations of the following CPD's are available on request:

The correct use of Ceramics in Swimming Pools and Leisure Facilities
CPD type: Seminar
This seminar looks at the use of ceramic tiles both as lining and as a decorative feature, covers the correct specification for specific areas to satisfy BSI recommendations and Health and Safety regulations.

Specifying Ceramic Wall Tiles for Architect Designed Buildings
CPD type: Seminar
This seminar offers an introduction and difinition of ceramic wall tiles followed by an explanation of the installation and fixing of ceramic wall tiles. The second part examines the features and benefits of ceramic tiles and wall covering: the issues of maintenance and architectural services are also covered.

Slip Resistance - Specifying Floors that are Fit for Purpose 
CPD type: Seminar
This seminar covers:

  • Slip risks associated with floor applications.
  • Causes of slip on a floor.
  • Explanations of the physical tests available.
  • Aftercare to maintain optimum slip resistance of a floor.

Presentations last approximately one hour and are generally held during the lunch period so they won't impend on the working day. CPD's can be arranged at a time and date convenient to you.

For more information or to book your CPD call 01782 524111 or email technical@johnson-tiles.com