Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My wife loves the idea of removing our stair carpet and putting bold/bright wallpaper on the vertical faces (risers)...
enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here
...but we're concerned that the horizontal parts (treads) would be much more slippery as plain wood, compared to carpet. With a 4yr old in the house, and my wife being so accident-prone, I think we need some sort of anti-slip.

I am not sure if it is possible to cover every single tread with a seperate piece of carpet. It might be difficult to secure the outer edge under the lip.

Perhaps paint each step, and sprinkle on sand/sugar whilst still wet? This would leave a textured surface, quite rough.

Perhaps glue thin strips of rubber along each tread?

share|improve this question

A few options.

1 - Grip/tread tape (easy/cheap but maybe ugly):

enter image description here

2 - Rubber treads (modern/industrial look):

enter image description here

3 - 'tread/grip' additive for paint (easiest to 'blend in' to decor):

enter image description here

3b - DIY 'tread/grip' additive:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
+1 for number 3, that worked well for me in the past but it is extremely uncomfortable on bare feet. – maple_shaft Jan 28 '13 at 17:49

There are web sites like SlipDoctors & Noskid that offer a clear spray that has non slip properties.

share|improve this answer
Are you affiliated with these sites? This is bordering on spam. Can you provide a more generic reference to the type of spray needed to accomplish this? – Steven Mar 16 '13 at 3:37
As Steven said above. Fix it and I'll remove the down-vote. :) – ShoeMaker Mar 16 '13 at 11:47
I just removed carpet from my steps and was looking myself for solution for slippery floors and found that there are clear looking sprays that you put on them that are non slip.I'm going to use it myself after I touch up steps. I'm sorry if I have offended someone. Don't mean to sound spamish! – Cindy in PA Mar 17 '13 at 7:38

Don't use a furniture finish formulation, floor finish formulations already include items that provide for a higher traction finish. Adding grit is the most common solution for increasing traction; but even bothering to add grit is rare. If you do opt to add grit, look into "Interdeck No Skid" which is a marine supply grit additive. There are also marine grits meant to be mixed with your existing paints. Since lots of people tend to go barefoot on their boats, marine grit additives tend to be less abrasive (and youre feet will thank you).

What is your rise and run? Often a short run will have far more impact in determining if you will slip down the stairs.

The grip / tread tape mentioned above also has clear plastic variants. A bit more aesthetically pleasing than the black item pictured; however, any kind of adhesive backed item is gong to ruin a finish below it and have a limited lifespan (determined by the adhesive backing, the cleanliness of the step prior to application, and humidity).

Bare feet and tennis shoes tend to do well on wood stairs, it is the occasionally stocking footed person (or rarely the leather soled shoes) that are really going to give concern.

share|improve this answer

I visited a house last week that had 4 grooves routed in each tread. It looked really good and definitely helped with your foot slipping. Also it is a better long term answer than a non skid paint.

share|improve this answer

I like the picture where the stairs are designed as books, what you're suggesting will turn a staircase into a real feature. But you have to think about safety first before anything else. I'd install non-slip tread nosings as paints, coatings and tape will wear quickly.

share|improve this answer
Please place the link to your website in your profile page, not in your posts. – Tester101 Feb 9 '15 at 13:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.