Sampangi of V.V. Puram writes: We enjoy your column every week. Thanks for the amount of info given. As civil engineers, can't you help bring in rules for every apartment builder that only certain kind of anti-skid tiles must be allowed in toilets and in areas where water plays a major role?

Although you may not have a direct role per se in this, you are representatives of responsible institutions where your comments make a difference to law makers. Look at the increasing fall cases at orthopaedic hospitals and other places; one is shocked with the number of people just blaming the ‘slippery tiles.'

Why can't the government bring in such rules for large housing builders that would help imbibe some good and safe practices?

Satish Salpekar, consulting Civil engineer, Vice-President (West), Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (I), answers:

You cannot generalise what kind of tiles should be used in toilets and/or wet areas for one simple reason that all may not subscribe to your ideas. Anti-skid tiles as well as glossy tiles are available in the market. The basic idea of putting tiles is to ensure easy runoff of water. Whether glossy or mat finish, tiles become slippery if the floors are not cleaned after use every day.

If the soapy material remains on the floor, it will always hold some water for a long time and shall keep the floors wet for a long durations.

Such a situation shall make the floors slippery. I have seen even anti-skid tiles becoming slippery because the floors were not cleaned after use.

Another common reason for toilet floors becoming slippery is that adequate slopes are not created on these floors, as a result of which water remains on them for long durations, making them slippery. This can be called bad workmanship.

If the slopes of toilet floors are not adequate, you can ask the builder to set right the situation. There are IS codes/National Building Code for slopes, which need to be adhered to.

Keywords: real estate