For years, Ripple has been our most slip-resisting texture and our best-selling product. All over the world, people trust Life Floor’s Ripple to perform where everything else has failed, and Ripple delivers.
As we completed over a thousand projects, we discovered ways that we could improve our industry-leading texture. Deeper grooves to further reduce hydroplaning. A more tactile surface that looks and feels as slip-resistant as it is. Inspired by our partners in waterparks and splash pads around the world, our designers and engineers collaborated for months to arrive at a set of prototype tiles.
These tiles were then field-tested on the Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad throughout Summer 2017. After completing the season, and passing a battery of expert-designed performance trials, the verdict was unanimous. The result is a product that not only lives up to the reputation of Ripple, but surpasses it in every imaginable way.
Introducing Ripple 2.0, or as we sometimes call it, “Gripple.” While extensive laboratory testing has proven that this is our best-performing Life Floor tile, ever, that’s not the only reason we know that we can trust it. As parents, we know firsthand that Life Floor does what we say it does, because our kids play on it, too.
Field-Testing on Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad
In developing the new enhanced version of Ripple, our research and development team wanted a true test of the texture’s (and Life Floor’s) anti-hydroplaning capabilities and durability against the normal wear and tear of public, outdoor environments. To conduct our tests this summer, we had the pleasure of partnering with the City of Bloomington in Minnesota to revamp their 1,500 square foot splash pad at Cedarcrest Park.
For a bit of context before we dive into our enhanced Ripple field testing and the city’s concerns leading up to the retrofit, this splash pad is framed by a basketball court to the east and a dry playground to the north, where kids can run to and from the splash pad. Trees border the west perimeter of the splash pad, with a parking lot to the south. This type of fenceless, public splash pad is completely exposed to the elements, including shoe and barefoot traffic from community members. As far as the original construction of the pad, the south side slants away from the drain, resulting in water pooling near the playground. Essentially, it was the perfect location for hydroplaning and durability testing.
Life Floor vs Hydroplaning
Life Floor works best when you’re walking on Life Floor. What do we mean by that? When splash pads flood and water pools on a surface, feet no-longer grip the surface of Life Floor, they hydroplane on water. (See our recent blog: Splash Pad Safety and Hydroplaning) To prevent this phenomena, we took a look at how anti-hydroplaning tires function. Anti-hydroplaning tires utilize flow-through channels and deeper treads to give water on the roads a place to move out of the way. This way the rubber hits the road, instead of spinning-out over puddles. We used this same design strategy to enhance Ripple with deeper grooves. Our best performing tile, just got better and feet are standing (not skidding) on it.
Life Floor Vs. Flow-Through Systems
Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad operates on a flow-through system with potable water. As a retrofit, the city was concerned with the slight slope of the original construction of the splash pad. The sloping surface created an area of the splash pad with pooling, stagnant water. The concern being that this caused algae growth over the previous concrete surface, making it slippery.
Our frequent visits and tests reveal that although the original slope of the splash pad still creates small pools of water, our impervious tiles remain slip-resistant under bare feet.
Life Floor vs Durability
While there are many beautiful splash pads across the Twin Cities, the Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad is unique in that the splash pad is completely open. Bikes ride over it, shoes run across it, and trees line the outer perimeter with a dry playground nearby. This means that the splash pad is covered in leaves, sticks, dirt, sand, gravel, and wood chips on a regular basis.
Now, with the summer season at an end, our development team is pleased to find that Life Floor weathers the outdoors and public spaces extremely well. Life Floor tiles remain adhered, the surface can be easily cleaned from dirt, debris, and leaves, colors appear vibrant, and our slip-resisting texture is just as slip-resisting as the beginning of the season.
Sticking To Plan: Peel & Stick Upgrade
During our field testing, we also took the opportunity to test our peel & stick upgrade. We offer the peel & stick upgrade for smaller projects, such as slide pads, where buying adhesive isn’t as cost effective. Our in-house trials have proven successful, but the splash pad testing gave us the chance to test the upgrade on a larger scale under outdoor, public conditions. So far, the peel & stick adhered tiles are indistinguishable from the traditionally installed tiles, and we’re excited to be offering more (peel & stick) solutions to stand on in the near future.
Keep an eye out for our next blog highlighting Life Floor’s Studio design process, where we also go into detail about the Cedarcrest Splash Pad’s unique geometric, gradient design.