When wet, does limestone become slick? The more expensive natural stones, such as granite, limestone, and basalt, are typically slippery when wet and should be textured before installing. This will help to prevent water from pooling on the surface of the stone.
The less expensive artificial stones, such as cements and paints, are not slippery when wet and do not need to be textured prior to installation. These types of stones can also be used in areas where water may pool on the surface of the stone (such as near fountains) because they will not get wet and become slippery.
Limestone is a soft rock made up of calcium carbonate (the same material that makes up seashells and coral). It is porous and can hold other materials within its structure. Limestone is used for paving, building structures, and even garden decorations.
This article only discusses how limestone becomes slippery when wet. Other types of stone may behave differently when wet; please see our article on this site about how different types of stone respond to moisture for more information.
Limestone is mined and processed into a smooth powder that can be used in various forms of construction.
Travertine tiles, like most glazed ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, marble tiles, and granite tiles, are slippery when wet. There are several "non-slip" coatings that may be put to natural stone tiles to improve their SCOF rating. These include polyurethane, epoxy, acrylic, and nitrile.
The non-slip coating used on travertine tiles should be selected based on how it will be maintained. If the tile is not going to be cleaned regularly, a non-slip coating that is easy to clean with warm water and soap will be needed. If the tile will be cleaned regularly, a non-slip coating that is durable so that it does not need to be re-coated often is best. Most non-slip coatings can be removed with mild detergents and water if necessary.
Natural stones such as travertine are porous and therefore require protection from moisture and other elements. A non-slip coating can help prevent accidents by providing traction when walking or standing up against a wall. The coating also helps prevent furniture and other items from being damaged by slipping on the surface.
Slippery surfaces when wet can be dangerous if you do not take precautions.
In fact, any natural stone surface finish other than "polished" will give enough non-slip traction.
Under wet and dry circumstances, the team evaluated 81 different commercial paving stone surfaces (hammered, flamed, brushed, saw-cut, honed, polished, and sand-blasted) and seven different surface finishes (hammered, flamed, brushed, saw-cut, honed, polished, and sand-blasted). Unsurprisingly, the data revealed that stones became slipperier when wet. The natural oils on your skin can accumulate on the surface of the stone, creating a layer that increases friction.
Shell stone is not as susceptible to this problem as other types of paving stones because it has a relatively flat surface with little texture. This makes it less likely to trap water and create an ice rink during rainy conditions or after it has rained recently.
However, shells do attract dirt like other types of stone, so they should be cleaned regularly if you live in a climate where this is necessary. Also, because of their thinness and light weight, large pieces of shell may be difficult to lift and move if you need to get to an underground parking garage for example.
Finally, remember that slipperiness is only one factor in determining how safe a surface is. Other factors such as height, temperature, and condition also come into play.