It should come as no surprise that stairways pose serious hazards for anyone travelling across them. Though most of us have become quite skilled at going up and down stairs, all it takes is a minor slip or misplaced footing to result in a catastrophic fall. The National Safety Council ranks stair-related falls as the second leading cause of accidental injuries, causing more than one million injuries and a disheartening 12,000 deaths each year. This is where non-slip stair treads can provide a major advantage. And with over 60% of stair-related falls happening within a person’s own home, taking extra safety precautions around stairways is a wise choice for all involved. Whether your staircase is located in a residential, industrial, or commercial establishment, you should provide protection in the form of rubber stair treads. The injury in question could be a sprained ankle or a fatal fall, but stairway accidents of any kind can be easily prevented by increasing slip-resistance on the surface of each step. Non-slip stair treads are a unique type of product designed to do just that. Made from rubber and specially shaped to fit around steps, stair mats are an affordable and convenient way to increase safety for those traversing on your stairway.
Non-Slip Stair Treads
Whether your staircase is residential, commercial, or industrial, it can greatly benefit from having anti-slip treads installed. Non-slip stair treads are a unique product that is made from rubber and specially designed to fit onto stair-steps. Though they are simple, rubber stair mats are the perfect safety precaution for any staircase, as they can both prevent slips and protect the sensitive sub-steps from possible damage. The primary function of rubber stair treads is to improve safety, and this is mostly achieved through the durable elastomers that they are made from. Rubber stair covering is typically made from recycled or reclaimed rubber materials, which primarily come from discarded vehicle tires. This rubber is a durable blend of synthetic elastomers, able to withstand intense physical conditions. The strength of the material is passed down to recycled rubber products such as non-slip stair treads, resulting in a product that is as durable as it is protective.
Non-slip stair treads can be installed on virtually any staircase, regardless of its size or location. Because anti-slip treads are made up of synthetic rubber compounds, they offer intense durability and resilience that allows them to withstand most physical conditions. Consider the fact that recycled and reclaimed rubber primarily comes from vehicle tires. To perform effectively, tires must not only be resilient, but weather-resistant as well. Consequently, you can expect recycled rubber products to hold up under all the same conditions that tires would. Non-slip stair treads made from recycled elastomers show resistances to abrasions, impacts, moisture, ozone, UV rays, and virtually any outdoor weather conditions. This allows rubber stair treads to perform well just about anywhere, as they cannot be easily damaged by moisture, weather conditions, or physical abuse. The material is non-permeable and leaves no opportunity for the growth of microbial nuisances like mildew and mold, allowing the mats to perform excellently as either indoor and outdoor stair treads. The rubber also offers very mild chemical resistance so that the stair mats can be cleaned with most common household cleaners. However, caustic cleaners such as bleach should be avoided, as strong chemicals will quickly cause the outdoor stair treads to degrade.
Unlike traditional flooring materials, rubber processes a very high coefficient of friction. Higher friction means the stair mats have an inherit “push back” or traction gain that occurs when someone presses their weight against the surface of the steps. This helps to maintain grip and prevent slips, even when the non-slip stair treads become slick with moisture. Some rubber stair covering is even designed with traction-enhancing surface textures to take slip-resistance even further. These protruding designs, such as diamond-plate and coin-top stair mats, increase slip-resistance by providing additional points of contact for shoes to “grip” onto. Extra contact points consequently means the non-slip stair treads have more opportunities to “push back” against the shoes, enhancing traction in multiple areas simultaneously. If footing is lost in one area, the rubber stair treads still makes contact at several other points, ensuring that stability is never entirely lost.
While slip-resistance provides protection on the surface of the rubber stair covering, the material itself protects the sensitive staircase below. The thick rubber of the non-slip stair treads provides an incredible degree of floor protection to extend the life of your sub-stairs. Traditional flooring types such as hardwood, concrete, and ceramic tile may look nice, but they are also notoriously fragile. Such floorings can be expected to chip and crack over time, and this damage can happen even more quickly if you frequently transport equipment up and down the staircase. Traditional floors are difficult to repair and expensive to replace, so you are undoubtedly better off shielding your steps with a set of rubber stair treads. Rubber absorbs potentially harmful movements such as impacts and abrasions, distributing them across the surface of the stair mats to reduce the amount of stress exerted on the sub-steps below. In this way, the anti-slip treads act as a protective barrier, taking on any physical abuse so that the sub-stairs don’t have to.
Another unique safety feature provided by non-slip stair treads is the products’ shape. Rubber stair covering can be installed on any staircase, whether it is residential, commercial, or industrial, and stair mats come in a few different sizes to accommodate the all of different types of steps. Regardless of which you are dealing with, all rubber stair treads include a short lip that is designed to latch around the edge of the step. The non-slip stair treads taper in thickness at the point of the lip, providing extra protection at the step’s corner. The lip usually extends about 1.5”-2” down, securely fitting the anti-slip treads around each step. This helps to maximize step coverage, as well as ensuring a stable stepping surface at all times. For extra security, adhesive can be used in installation for both temporary and permanent applications.
But of course, adhesive is not always necessary. Unlike many other flooring products, rubber stair treads are incredibly easy to install by yourself, and they can be used virtually anywhere. Many people do not formally “install” non-slip stair treads at all, but rather place the mats onto the steps and trust in rubber’s inherit grip to prevent them from slipping out of place. In many cases, the natural traction gain provided by rubber is more than enough to keep the non-slip stair treads in place. However, if your particular staircase is prone to moisture or located outdoors, you may want to consider using a simple adhesive such as double-sided carpet tape. Carpet tape offers reliable stability, but it can also be removed easily without causing damage to sub-surfaces. This form of installation is excellent for indoor and outdoor stair treads alike, and it works well for both temporary and permanent use.
There is no reason that any staircase should be left unprotected. Non-slip stair treads provide protection for both the stairway and for anyone who travels through it, and they are very easy to install and maintain. Rubber stair covering is the ultimate protective surface and it enhances the overall safety of its environment. Any staircase can benefit from the slip-resistance, sub-floor protection, and outdoor durability provided by rubber stair treads. Whether you choose to use them as indoor or outdoor stair treads, temporary or permanent—non-slip stair treads are a reliable way to maintain stairway safety.