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What Are Anti-Slip Stair Treads?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Anti-slip stair treads are designed to minimize the risks of falling while climbing up or down stairs. They do this by adding additional traction to the stair tread surface, thus minimizing the chance of slipping, especially while moving quickly or when stairs are wet. Many different varieties of anti-slip stair treads are available in a range of materials and styles. Durable textured adhesive tape may also be employed to serve the same function.

Vinyl, rubber, and metal anti-slip stair treads are all very durable and effective. They are generally designed to completely cover an existing stair and have a textured surface that will firmly grip the sole of a shoe. The exact mechanism used to enhance traction varies from model to model. Some employ rough textured surfaces; others use rows of ridges that will bite gently but firmly into the sole of a shoe or boot. Fiberglass treads rely on the natural abrasive quality of fiberglass to provide traction.

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These types of anti-slip stair treads are ideally suited for use in areas that will see heavy traffic and where they will be exposed to considerable wear and tear. They are ideal for industrial or commercial applications. The appearance of such treads may not be appropriate for use in residential spaces, however, as they tend toward the rugged and utilitarian — although these types of anti-slip stair treads can be ideal for use in outdoor spaces such as decks or patios, where slipping is a major concern, and where durability is very important.

Other types of anti-slip stair treads may be better-suited for use in purely residential spaces. Durable and attractive stair treads made of coarse carpeting or other mildly abrasive materials are available. These treads can be securely attached to the treads of hardwood staircases and can serve to prevent slipping and falling. This variety of anti-slip stair tread is not quite as durable as the more industrial models but will generally blend more smoothly with the rest of a home’s décor.

In some cases, the installation of permanent anti-slip stair treads is not an option. Adhesive tape with a rough rear surface is available for use in these situations as an inexpensive alternative. This non-skid tape can be used in any situation where additional safety is needed. It is commonly employed in the theater, where sets need to be safe enough to allow actors to move through them quickly, or by riggers setting up temporary concert venues who are not allowed to make permanent changes.

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