How to Prevent Slips on the 4 Most Common Types of Floors

Whether performing a risk assessment walk-through or simply evaluating the safety of your entryway, there are at least 4 unique flooring surfaces that will need to be accounted for. Certainly, there are dozens of different flooring materials out there, ranging from natural products to synthetic composites. These 4 are the most common, however, and are likely to play a role in your safety matting purchase process.

4 Floor Surfaces to Know


Concrete lays the foundation for most floors— literally. Even hardwood and tile surfaces are usually supported by a thick layer of underlying concrete. Concrete can also be a primary flooring material, which can be finished in a variety of ways. Concrete can be colored, sealed, stamped, and even buffed, depending on aesthetic desires. The risk of slip and fall varies greatly depending on the way the concrete is finished. Most dangerous are smooth surfaces, whereas stamped and textured surfaces tend to provide more grip and stability.


Hardwood floors are more common in residential spaces than commercial ones, mostly because they are more easily damaged and harder to keep up. Hardwood flooring is also a great way to increase the value of a property, which makes them popular among homeowners who begin remodeling. Many public places still use hardwood floors, however, especially retail stores, office buildings, and hotels that want to create a warm and cozy environment. Hardwood floors are sanded and sealed, making them dangerous when wet.


Tile flooring is a broad term that can encompass a number of different materials, including ceramic, stone, metal, glass, and even carpet tiles. Because so many different materials can be considered “tile,” it’s difficult to say exactly how prevalent slips and falls are on these surfaces. Like concrete, however, slip and falls are more likely when the surface of the tiles is smooth. Ceramic, metal, and glass tiles present a very real slip and fall danger, especially when wet. On the other hand, carpet tiles are textured and designed to absorb moisture, which makes them far less likely to cause a slip and fall.


Terrazzo is a beautiful flooring material that combines the use of concrete and marble to create a unique design. A base of concrete is laid, then marble chips are arranged on top. The floor is then buffed and sealed. Like concrete and hardwood, the smooth walking surface common to terrazzo floors makes them dangerous when wet.

Preventing Slips with Textured Mats

In addition to understanding the most common flooring surfaces, it’s also important to know what materials are available to help prevent accidents. Below are a list of the most common textures to know about, each of which are available in commercial floor mats.

Rubber Prongs

Rubber prongs are made of Nitrile rubber. They extend upward and away from the surface of a floor mat, making them ideal for aggressively digging-in to the under soles of shoes as people walk forward. Rubber prongs act like a toothbrush that scrapes back and forth on the surface of the shoe, cleaning away dirt and grime before visitors enter the building. Rubber also has a “squeegee” effect on shoes, wiping water away to prevent wet floors and puddles.

Polypropylene Nubs

Polypropylene is a unique material that is crush resistant and extremely durable. The most well known maker of polypropylene floor mats is undoubtedly Waterhog. These mats feature a nub-like surface texture that appears to be a “waffle” pattern. Like rubber prongs, polypropylene nubs dig into shoes and aggressively clean away dirt and liquids.

Olefin Carpet Surfaces

Olefin carpet surfaces are one of the most common in the industry. If you have ever walked across a simple carpet or logo mat, chances are good it was made of olefin carpet. Don’t let this simple material fool you—this high density yarn is spun into thick prongs that are both tough on dirt and highly absorbent.

Find Your Ideal Mats, Today!

Eagle Mat and Floor Products is a proud leader in commercial matting and accident prevention. To find the perfect mat for your home or commercial facility, contact Eagle Mat online or call a customer service agent for a complimentary consultation at 1-877-333-1018.