The 10 Best Outdoor Non Slip Stair Treads

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This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in December of 2017. Installing a sturdy railing isn’t the only way to ensure your outdoor stairway is a safe place. With these nonslip treads, you’ll make it easier for people, including senior citizens and children, to navigate the steps without slipping or taking a tumble. Made to stand up to all kinds of weather, many of these options look stylish enough to enhance the decor of your porch or deck as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Bungalow Waterhogs

2. LifeGrip Traction

3. Handi-Treads NSTR-191

Editor's Notes

November 05, 2020:

We made quite a few changes to this list for our latest update, removing about four items to make way for new selections. We wanted to keep the balance between thick, flexible mats that require no screws or adhesive, tape options, and heavy-duty units that can be screwed down.

When the Zicoto Clear became unavailable we took the opportunity to recommend the LifeGrip Traction, a reliable tape selection that sports a glow in the dark strip for extra visibility in low-light conditions. This is also a good choice for areas you'll be navigating at night, but be aware that they have to absorb light to function, so once the sun sets they will eventually dim unless recharged. If you're looking to add more safety features to dark areas, consider investing in some step lights or rope lights to help illuminate the space.

Also added to the ranks today is the Grip Strip All Weather, a hardy choice that can serve as a more budget-friendly alternative to the Handi-Treads NSTR-191, which is sold as a single unit and can add up quickly when outfitting an entire staircase. The Birdrock Home joins the Palos Designs Scrollwork as an aesthetically-pleasing design, while the Rubber-Cal Mats has been updated to reflect models with a circular pattern rather than diamond plate.

It's important to remember that you should regularly inspect your tread to make sure it's in place and undamaged. All of the options here are meant to withstand inclement weather, whether you're in a desert with plenty of intense sunlight or frigid, snowy conditions. That being said, even when you're getting something industrial grade, it can still degrade depending on where you place it and the climate you live in. Also keep in mind that black rubber mats can get hot in the sun and hurt bare feet and animal paws.

July 03, 2019:

Just about every trip outside tends to involve climbing or walking down some stairs. And it’s not without risk, since every year 1 million Americans suffer stair-related injuries, according to reports. Some non-slip treads will provide additional grip for feet (or paws) for extra safety, especially during rain or snow.

The Zicoto Clear joins the list in this update, as an affordable option that works indoors or out on many types of flooring, including wood and laminate. These 15 sticky strips will adhere strongly and come with a roller so you can eliminate air bubbles when you’re installing them. When used outdoors, they can be cleaned with a spray from the garden hose. (Indoors, they’ll wipe clean with a moist rag or paper towel.) They’ve been used in spots like backyard wooden bridges, which can get very slippery, as well as smooth wooden staircases. While they’ll help to prevent slipping, they don’t have a sandpaper-like finish that can be rough on bare feet as well as little hands and knees.

The Bungalow Waterhogs retains its top spot as a popular choice available in different dimensions and a handful of neutral colors. They come in a set of four and are made in the United States using polypropylene fiber, which won’t gather mildew or rot. The rubber backing is eco-friendly, consisting of 20% recycled materials. To clean them, simply shake or vacuum them to remove loose dirt. They can also be sprayed with a hose and line-dried.

Leaving the list today is the Tape King Step, which comes up short against the elements, as it can loosen and peel when hit with rain or snow.

Special Honors

Amstep Series 500 This affordable solution for keeping worn stairways safe is built to outlast ordinary treads by many years. They’re made from heavy-duty, extruded aluminum and covered with a traction-generating surface made of abrasive, nonskid particles. These components are bonded together for a solution that rivals the strength of concrete, stone, or marble. They come in a variety of lengths between four and 11 inches, as well as with beveled or flat edges.

Dino Grip Non-Slip Stair Treads A rugged option made to withstand heavy foot traffic and last for years, Dino Grip's Non-Slip Stair Treads are available in three standard sizes and cover the entire step. They offer extreme slip resistance and can be installed on almost all types of stair substrates, including steps that have suffered from surface deterioration. The bright yellow contrasting edges also makes these easy to see to prevent tripping.

Sure-Foot Reflective and Glow Stripe Business owners looking to outfit stairs and low-lit areas of the workplace should consider these treads, which exceed OSHA and ADA federal guidelines. Ideal in the event of a power outage or dark conditions, these reflective and glow nonslip treads help illuminate dark corridors and pathways to exits. They can be applied in both interior and exterior applications, are precision cut, and available in a variety of grit materials and colors.

4. Grip Strip All Weather

5. Birdrock Home

6. Slip Guard Safety

7. Palos Designs Scrollwork

8. Rubber-Cal Mats

9. SlipDoctors Tape

10. MBigM 80 Grit

The Benefits Of Nonslip Stair Treads

Since many manufacturers design them to be easy to clean, you can dirty them up to your heart's content.

Staircases offer a charming and practical way to bring visitors up to front doors, balconies, and rooftop patios, as well as down to pools and other recreational areas. And while they add a lovely aesthetic appeal to both residential and commercial properties, there's no arguing that using them can be dangerous, especially for children and seniors. This is where nonslip treads come into play. Once you purchase a few for your steps, you'll quickly find that they have a handful of benefits.

First and foremost, stair treads serve as a quick and easy way to ramp up the safety factor of your home or business. It's all too easy to lose your footing while walking up or down stairs, which can lead to injury and sometimes death. If you think this doesn't happen often, you'd be wrong — over one million people in the United States alone visit the hospital due to injuries from staircase accidents every year. By applying a grippy, nonskid barrier between your feet and step surfaces, you drastically reduce the chance of taking a tumble. It's not just people that can get hurt on stairs, either. If you have an older dog or a puppy, he or she can lose their balance and slip. You can avoid the agony of seeing your beloved pet come into harm's way, as well as astronomic vet bills, by setting down some tread.

Outside their safety benefits, stair treads are also great for adding a bit of visual pizzazz to a space. They're available in myriad patterns and hues, so whether you're partial to pleasing plant motifs, sleek industrial models, or elegant scrolled designs, there's likely a product out there for you.

For stairs that lead to entrances, there are models that not only provide comfortable cushioning, but if they're thick enough, they can double as a place to scrape muddy boots and stamp dusty shoes before walking inside. Since many manufacturers design them to be easy to clean, you can dirty them up to your heart's content.

Choosing The Right Outdoor Treads

Once you've decided you need treads for your outdoor steps, you'll soon realize that there are a lot of options out there. Which ones are right for you will depend entirely on your personal needs, style preferences, and the climate in which you live.

Many rubber selections are cleverly designed to have open configurations that are attractive and allow water and slushy snow to drain away.

For many, the main feature treads need to have is durability, which is why so many consist of hardwearing rubber. Rubber is a great choice thanks to its water resistance and the fact that once you set it against a surface it's not prone to sliding around. That means no adhesive is necessary, although you could still secure it with screws and washers if you wanted. Many rubber selections are cleverly designed to have open configurations that are attractive and allow water and slushy snow to drain away. They're also very simple to rinse and soft enough to walk over barefoot without discomfort.

If you'd rather not have plain rubber on your stairs for aesthetic reasons, know that there are plenty of choices available that are covered in tough fibers made from polyethylene terephthalate, which is often arranged into eye-pleasing designs.

One of the downsides of rubber is that it can curl up at the corners over time. If that's something you'd like to avoid, you can opt for security tape, a very thin, textured option that sports super strong adhesive. It comes in various widths to suit different stair sizes, and you can cut it to the exact length you need, which makes it great for safeguarding ramps, trailers, ladders, and machinery, as well. This type of tread can be just as weatherproof as rubber, but it has an industrial look to it and feels very gritty, so keep that in mind.

If you have wooden stairs and want something that will last a lifetime, you might want to go the aluminum route. Aluminum does not rust and outlasts rubber and security tape by a long shot, so you'll likely only ever replace it once you've grown tired of it, and not because it has broken down. That makes it perfect for muggy climates or residences near bodies of water, since moisture tends to wreak havoc on other types of tread after a few years. You'll need common hand tools and fasteners for installation, but the process is simple and quick.

Tread Carefully

Stair treads are a great first line of defense against accidents and mishaps, but you don't have to stop there if you're truly concerned about safety. There are a few other things you can do to ensure the wellbeing of every person and pet that walks over the steps outside your property.

There are a few other things you can do to ensure the wellbeing of every person and pet that walks over the steps outside your property.

Consider obtaining a few step lights here and there. These small sources of light fit neatly on top or inside the risers between steps. They run on solar power, batteries, or electricity from a power source, and they provide much-needed visibility in low light conditions. You can supplement step lights with rope lights, which usually consist of strips of LEDs or small incandescent bulbs housed in a flexible plastic casing that protects them from the elements. You can wrap them around handrails to show people exactly where they need to grab for extra support. On top of adding another element of safety, using strategically-placed lighting is a great way to create an appealing ambiance in your outdoor space.

It's also important to keep your stairs free of trash at all times, and never use steps as a storage place. Routinely check for debris and remove it to ensure the pathway is clear, and carry out consistent inspections to make sure there are no loose rails, holes, or degradation that could pose a problem.

When supervising children, make sure they only take steps one at a time and check that their shoes are tied. You should avoid distractions like reading or checking your cell phone, as you can easily catch the tip of your shoe on a protruding step and lose your balance. Taking these simple measures and using common sense will help keep you and those around you safe.

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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