How to Make Outdoor Wooden Steps Non-Slip?

How to Make Outdoor Wooden Steps Non-Slip?

What if we tell you that the most slips arise from wet and uneven surfaces? Well, chances are that you may already know about this, but this guide will tell you how you can make your slippery wooden steps non-slippery.

If your home’s outdoor steps are made of material that can easily rot by water, it would be no less than a nightmare for you. Rain, snow, algae, and other slimy things diminish wood’s friction and prepare the stairs for the fall.

But luckily, there are multiple ways to turn wooden steps non-slip. It includes using anti-slip tapes, carpets, paints, and whatnot. Let’s discuss them in detail.

What Causes Steps to Be Slippery?

Naturally, the wood itself isn’t slippery. But when it is used in making outdoor steps, it becomes more prone to multiple weather atrocities, especially rain and snow. Now, when water comes in contact with wood, it rots it and takes away its texture and friction. 

Moreover, it also leads to the formation of molds, making the steps slimy. These factors lower traction between feet and step surfaces.

How to Make Outdoor Wooden Steps Non-Slip? Here Are Five Realistic Ways

Now you’ve understood what causes wooden steps to turn slippery. So, let’s discover how to make this slippery nature bid goodbye to your outdoor steps. 

Cover Them With Anti-Slip Tape

If you are looking for an inexpensive, quick, and easy way to make your stairs slip-free, anti-slip tapes will do the trick.

As the name would suggest, these weather & water-proof strips are explicitly made for turning floors non-slip and are pretty easy to install. In addition, they are composed of sandpaper (80 grit) which adds traction to the protective properties of the tape, making it more grippable

Despite being easy to install, they are not easy to replace. You will have a hard time detaching the tape from the wood, ultimately leading to ruining your wooden steps. Plus, anti-slip tapes aren’t aesthetically appealing and provide a temporary solution (6 months to 1 year) for making non-slip steps.

But if you are still not ready to bear the cost of wrapping an RV today, anti-slip tapes will give you a cost-effective option for weather-bearing your RV’s staircase.

Install Stair Carpets

Unlike anti-slip tapes, non-slip carpet treads are far more pet-paw/child-friendly, aesthetic, and non-destructive. Here’s why:

  • They have a softer yet grit finish to pull off traction without giving coarseness to naked feet.
  • They come in various designs and colors, giving your steps an aesthetic appearance.
  • Their treads come with a secure, less-adhesive, non-slip backing which you can easily detach without damaging your wood.
  • The best part is that they are washable and are easier to install.

However, their less adhesive property makes them less secure.

Paint With Grit

Though paint alone protects the wood, it won’t protect it from being slippery. So, adding grit after painting the steps can fulfill the deprived friction. Apply a generous grit coating to your painted layer, and then apply a second layer of paint to seal this grit. You can also mix grit to paint (preferably acrylic) and make your own non-slip paint.

Place Towels On Icy Steps

Even after taking all the necessary steps to keep steps slip-free, you can’t escape the snow/ice invasion. Simply place a towel on the ice-covered steps, allowing it to freeze and create a less-slippery surface on the steps. Beware of pulling the towel abruptly without using a warming agent, or it will tear.

Use an Anti-Slip Finish

If you are worried about your staircase’s aesthetics and slipping nature simultaneously, an anti-slip finish can be your next life-saving product. How? Because it’s transparent and won’t keep your wood’s natural look at bay. 

Like Rust-Oleum leak seal, it’s composed of water-based resin that adheres to surfaces, forming a waterproof, clear seal. Plus, it does last longer than other slip-free options.

But being water-based doesn’t stop it from ruining wood with cleaning agents like spirits. And, it takes ages to spray it on the entire staircase, which even requires multiple coatings at times. 

And unlike the previous options, you can’t detach the finish at all! But if you have no plans for removal, or bought a quality anti-slip finish, it’s worth going for.

Safe and Effective Tips for Non-slip Wooden Steps

You must have understood how simple it is to make outdoor wooden steps non-slip. But before employing any of the methods above, we suggest you try out these tips. Not only will they keep your wooden steps more non-slip, but they will also amplify the effectiveness of our previous ideas.

1.Keep Your Steps Clean

If you plan to make your steps non-slip without cleaning them initially, you’re missing out on the efficacy. Dirt, mold, mud, etc., will interfere with the adhesives you’ll apply, making them less effective to counter slippery wooden steps.

Simply sweep, mop, and clean steps with an all-purpose cleaner and do it routinely. Plus, remember to keep them as dry as possible.

2.Add Lightings

This tip goes for all types of steps. For example, installing LED light strips on your outdoor stairs enhances their safety and visibility and reduces the chances of falls. Above that, such lights also bring an appealing and luxurious look to stairs.

3.Install Railings

Many people skip this critical tip when installing outdoor steps and face the consequences, even after following other slip-free tips. Here’s how you can install railings to make steps safer:

  1. Measure your deck space to calculate the number of railing posts you’ll need.
  2. With a pencil, mark the locations for placing the railing posts, and check the placements of your posts.
  3. Next, mark and trim your railing bar to size.
  4. Using a drill, attach baluster connectors to secure the deck rails.
  5. Now, place each baluster over its connector and tap the top rail slightly.
  6. Lastly, add a cap rail on the top for a furnished look (optional).

You can always hire a carpenter if you find this method way too technical. 

The Bottom Line

Being the most commonly used stair material, wood gets dirty, rotten, and damaged under the sun and rain. Due to these features, outdoor wooden steps are more prone to slips. But you can always reverse or prevent this situation using our tips mentioned above, including using anti-slip tape, stair carpets, grit paint, and an anti-slip finish.

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

Recent Posts