CMC_TCNA_A326.3_Update

Tile Talk February 2022 | New ANSI A326.3 Product Classification Standard

Okay, this is kind of a big deal – seriously!  For the first time in our industry’s history, the Tile Council of North America, in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute, now require tile manufacturers (as well as other hard surface flooring manufacturers) to provide “product use classifications” based on the properties of slip resistance. 

This new and improved ANSI standard is called ANSI A326.3-2021 and was released in February 2022.

As a specifier, you will start noticing these updates in the coming months.

Tile Talk_Feb_2022_TCNA_Handbook

So why is this a big deal you ask? This monumental North American tile standard will help guide the specifier in making safer and more project appropriate decisions as it relates to the performance of the specified flooring material.  The best part – this new standard provides clear and defined slip resistant characteristics for each product use category.

Exciting huh? Thought so, let’s jump in!

To make the new standard simple and easy to understand, hard surface flooring products are classified into one or more of the five “product use” categories (see chart below).

Tile Talk_Feb_2022_ANSI A326.3_Chart

*We won’t go through all thirty-six pages of the standard, but let me at least highlight a few possible areas of use for each classification type:

 

Interior, Dry: Product shall be kept dry, level, and free of contaminants when not in use.

Possible Areas of Use: Indoor shopping malls (excluding food courts), hotel lobbies, office buildings, showrooms, home interiors without water sources.

 

Interior, Wet: Product shall have a minimum measured wet DCOF value of 0.42 or greater when tested per this standard or be manufacturer-declared for this category.

Possible Areas of Use: Entry foyers, public restrooms (without showers), grocery stores, FOH restaurants, home interiors including bathrooms and kitchens.

 

Interior, Wet Plus: Product shall be manufacturer-declared for this category based on manufacturing parameters, internal quality control criteria and manufacturer experience with similar surfaces. In addition, products of this category may require frequent maintenance to keep clean. In the absence of superseding manufacturer-declared product use classification, it is generally accepted that hard surface flooring in this category should have at least a minimum wet DCOF value of 0.50 or higher.

Possible Areas of Use: Public showers, interior pool decks, locker rooms, covered exterior areas, steam rooms.

 

Exterior, Wet: Product shall be manufacturer-declared for this category based on manufacturing parameters, internal quality control criteria and manufacturer experience with similar surfaces. In addition, products of this category may require frequent maintenance to keep clean. In the absence of superseding manufacturer-declared product use classification, it is generally accepted that hard surface flooring in this category should have at least a minimum wet DCOF value of 0.55 or higher.

Possible Areas of Use: Outdoor living spaces including pool decks, walkways, patios, and sidewalks where such floors may be walked upon when wet.

 

Oils/Greases: Product shall be manufacturer-declared for this category where oil, grease, and/or fats may be present, based on manufacturing parameters, internal quality control criteria, and manufacturer experience with similar surfaces. May require frequent maintenance to keep clean. In the absence of superseding manufacturer-declared product use classification, it is generally accepted that hard surface flooring in this category should have at least a minimum wet DCOF value of 0.55 or higher.

Possible Areas of Use: BOH fast food or family style restaurants, food preparation with grills or deep-fry equipment, and any area where oil, grease, and/or fats may be present.

 

This easy-to-understand product use category outlines distinct criteria to which each tile product is most appropriately specified. And in addition, A326.3 goes even further and gives minimum DCOF values for each product use category – this is new to the tile industry.

Like I said, we won’t have time to go through all thirty-six pages of the new and improved standard, but at least now you have a better understanding of the “product use categories” that are in full effect.

Changes will not come overnight, but the guideline is in place and will serve as the baseline for understanding and minimal industry requirements from here on out.

For more information on the new standard, feel free to download your free copy here.

 

Until next time…. Ken

*Information originally posted from tcnatile.com/ANSI_A326.3_February 2022_pdf