How to Make Wood Stairs Non-Slip – 4 Easy Methods

how to make wood stairs non-slip

Wood stairs are a beautiful and delightful addition to any home; they’re easy to clean and very functional. However, wood stairs are very slippery; a single wrong step could send you crashing down.

To prevent this, you need to make wood stairs non-slip and the best way on how to make wood stairs non-slip is by installing carpets from top to bottom of your staircase or placing anti-slip strips on each stair.

There are several ways to stop your wood stairs from being slippery, which will be discussed below; opt for the one that suits you and your household best.

Read: How to redo carpeted stairs

How to Make Wood Stairs Non-Slip

Transparent Anti-Slip Strips

Transparent anti-slip strips can be installed on both outdoor and indoor stairs. Its transparency enables you to see your beautiful, finished wood stairs even after installing the anti-slip strips.

Some products even include a roller for installation, which removes any air bubbles from the strip, enabling it to blend in perfectly well with the rest of the stair tread.

Not only can these strips be used both on indoor and outdoor steps, but they can also be used on surfaces other than wood. However, you may find it difficult to remove these strips should you ever want to discontinue using the strips.

Some users have also complained that these strips do attract dirt, which impairs the transparency of the clear strip and affects the appearance of the wood stairs.

Read: Can you use vinyl flooring on stairs?

Stair Carpet Strips

Carpet strips are quite similar to adhesive strips but are simply rectangles of carpets cut to fit the size of a standard tread.

Stair carpets strips, however, come with a backing that is neither glue nor adhesive; this prevents damage caused by adhesive to your wood stair treads.

Carpet strips can also serve the purpose of a carpet stair runner, which runs the length of your steps. Stair carpet strips are available in different designs and various sizes and usually come with a tacky backing that holds the carpet in place.

These strips are best suited for indoor use, and you don’t have to worry about it damaging your wooden stairs, even after taking them out.

Some homeowners, however, complain about stair carpet strips tending to slip, negating the very reason they were installed in the first place.

You might also find it difficult to keep the carpet strips in place depending on the type of finish on your stairs.

Read: How to lay carpet without a knee kicker

Abrasive Adhesive Tape

This is a rough tape that can be placed on the treads in stairwells. This anti-slip tape adheres securely to your stairs and provides an effective non-slip surface.  Abrasive adhesive tape is actually sandpaper – 80 grit – with an adhesive backing.

Adhesive tape is weatherproof and can be used both indoors and outdoors without it peeling off. Although it is water-resistant, this adhesive tape should not be placed in areas that experience constant moisture, such as a pool deck.

After placing the anti-slip tape on wood stairs, you may find it difficult to remove because the adhesive backing is not kind to wood floor finishes, and sometimes it strips off the wood finish alongside when it is removed.

This tape is best for a workplace or industrial space with wooden stairs because of its look, feel, and flexibility.

Read: Pros and Cons of laminate floors on stairs

Stair Runners

A stair runner is a length of carpet that covers the entire length of your stairs, from top to bottom. It is used in most fancy homes or hotels, mostly as décor, but it also helps to make your stairs non-slip.

You can opt for a stair runner that resembles your existing carpet in other parts of our home and then have it cut and finished to fit the length and width of your stairs.

But installing stair runners is quite expensive because of how complicated the process gets; it needs to be fitted to your exact stair measurements – height and width.

You will need a pneumatic stapler, knee-kicker, and other tools to install a stair runner. You will need to install an underlayment first on each tread before placing the stair runner.

You can decide not to cover the entire width of a stair with the stair runner, so you can still be able to see the wood surface on either side of the carpet.

But when the runner covers most of your stairs, it is more effective in preventing slips and falls; this comes at a cost as you lose sight of the nice wood finish of your stairs.

Read: How to fix squeaky stairs


You can make wood stairs non slip with the use of non-slip tape, stair carpet strips, or stair runners. However, some of the fixes are not suitable for indoor wood stairs as they leave behind a disfiguring adhesive residue and damage the finish.

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