Acid Etch to improve slip resistance is Hazardous to Health

What is Floor Acid Etching?

To make a floor surface that may be slippery more slip resistant it is possible to use acid to etch the surface to make it rougher (in a similar way that sandpaper would make a glossy surface matt). 

The acid used is HydroFluoric Acid (HF) in solution

Unfortunately – Acid, as the name suggests, is also risky to apply as it can burn eyes and skin; affect the lungs; and is a carcinogenic (causes Cancer). This will be risky not only for those skilled in application but also a subsequent problem after application for cleaning staff because to maintain the roughness requires cleaning solution with acid mixed in with it. If this doesn’t occur, then the microroughness generated clogs up and the reason to apply it are lost.

Acid will also damage the floor surface. Floors that might be relatively quick drying before Acid Etch application, may now stay wet for longer as the water will soak into the surface like a sponge once the top coat of the surface is damaged by the Acid.

The information (copied below the links) at the following HSE websites (valid March 2023) describes the positives and the negatives on the topic of Acid Etching: -



Floor Surface Acid Etch for Non-Slip Surfaces is a health risk and damages floors