Glass is a slippery material, especially when wet. Therefore when you are using a glass unit as a walk on surface an additional finish should be applied to the glass in order to achieve a slip resistance.
Not sure what slip resistance you need? Read our technical article about slip resistances first.
A sandblasted finish to a walk on glass structure is the standard option. Any glass floor costed by the team at IQ will allow for this finish as standard. A full 100% sandblasted finish to a glass floor will achieve a PTV (Pendulum Test Value) of approx. 50 in wet conditions. In most projects, a PTV of over 36 is classed as a slip-resistant surface so a sandblasted surface offers a good level of anti-slip.
Sandblasted glass offers a translucent finish to the glass surface. That means that you will still achieve high levels of light transmission (most sandblasted finishes only reduce the light transmission of the glass by 10%) but the glass will offer a ‘private’ finish, meaning that you get no vision through a walk on glass unit.
In most instances, a privacy finish to a walk on glass unit is preferable to offer privacy to those using the spaces above and below the floor (think about people who may travel over the glass floor wearing a skirt or dress!).
If you are working on a project that requires transparency there are alternative options available.
You could specify a sandblasted pattern into the surface of the glass. The areas of glass that are sandblasted will offer some slip resistance whilst you achieve transparency through the non-treated section of glazing.
Sandblasted patterns can be created in many different designs as they are applied to the glass using a CNC machine. In most cases, you would look to incorporate a pattern that is uniform and repeated to ensure it does not detract attention away from the view through the floor.
You can also achieve different depths of sandblasting for various levels of translucency and slip resistance.
Ceramic Fritted Pattern
Similar to a sandblasted pattern, a ceramic fritted pattern can achieve transparency through a glass floorlight by interspersing areas of ceramic frit with transparent glass.
This type of finish is extremely hard wearing as the ceramic is baked into the top surface of the glass, thus becoming structurally bound into the glass. The areas of ceramic give you an element of slip resistance to the glazing whilst maintaining transparency. A full 100% ceramic frit would offer a PTV of approx. 60. You need to back calculate this depending on how much of the glass is covered with ceramic.
There are lots of design options available for ceramic frit patterns. You can have almost any colour of ceramic as well as any pattern. Most projects opt for a dot matrix pattern of some kind which is unobtrusive but gives a large amount of coverage (therefore a higher slip resistance).
Specialist Anti-Slip Glass
There is a range of anti-slip glasses available which have an etched/raised pattern on the walking side which generates slip resistance. The slip resistance you get depends on the type of glass you go for and this ranges from a PTV of 18 to 57 (R9 to R11).
As this is specially manufactured glass it does have a slightly reduced maximum size when compared to normal toughened glass (max usable size 2210mm x 3170mm). It is also available in a clear design or an acid etched finish for privacy through the glass unit.