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The tiles at my front door get very slippery when they’re wet (ie. rain or sprinkler watering). Is there anything I can do to make them not slippery?

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  • What is the coefficient of friction for the specific tile you have? AFIK tile has a rating dry and a rating wet. "The Ceramic Tile Institute identifies tile in the following three categories: Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.60 or greater (wet). Meets or exceeds general safety and health regulations, ADA and OSHA requirements. Conditionally Slip Resistant: Coefficient of friction is 0.50 to 0.59 (wet)." May 13 at 19:52

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I suspect it's contrary to your objective of having attractive tile on which to walk, but there are a number of grip-enhancing paints on the market. Many are described as driveway paint with grip or driveway paint with grit.

Other links suggest adding job-specific grit to paint and from there one could extrapolate that the same grit could be added to a clear surface treatment.

Grit embedded tape is also on the market, far less attractive than a painted surface (opinion) and subject to unsightly wear.

An additional thought popped into my alleged mind. There is a product called Never-Wet, which is a hydrophobic coating. It's marketed under the Rustoleum™ brand and available at many big-box stores and Amazon. I have a package (somewhere) but have never used it. I recall the package instructions indicating that there's a slight cloudy effect to the application on some surfaces, primarily fabrics. I suspect that would not be a problem on the tile.

As water is creating the slippery effect, perhaps Never-Wet would remove the water and therefore the slippery.

A final resort would be to hire a portable sandblaster vendor or device and remove the slippery glaze of the tile. The coloration would likely remain but become subdued. Perhaps even a floor sander or similar device would enable suitable roughness.

Never-wet

Photo from Amazon link.

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There are clear concrete sealants/coatings that can have anti-slip ingredients mixed in that can make the surface less slippery when wet. It would require continual mixing when applying so the anti-slip material won't settle out, but might be an option for you. Putting "concrete sealant ant-slip additive" into your favorite internet search engine should give you some options to consider.

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I would think any type of coatings or tape would wear off and need to be re-applied.

There are several brands of etching chemicals that could work: NevaSlip, Slip Guard, Trusty Step, Saftey Step, Slip Tech,... (list stolen from DIYChatroom.com).

Rough grinding is an option. I hope you have some spare tiles to test with.

It's a shame to mess with such a nice looking walk, but we don't want grandma falling.

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