I have a wood staircase in my home that leads to a loft. The loft is awesome! It currently serves as the kids’ play-space which means we’re up and down the steps multiple times per day. The dilemma? The stairs are slippery! The number of times I’ve wiped out, coffee cup in hand, nearly breaking a limb, is embarrassing. A neurosurgeon once said to me that the most dangerous area of a home is the staircase. Why? Because it’s so easy to sustain a head or neck injury when you fall. This makes me especially nervous for my 3.5 year old son who often forgets to hold the railing.
For years I thought about putting some sort of traction tape or carpeting on the stairs. Not that it would completely eliminate the danger, but it would certainly minimize the risk. Frustratingly, I was never able found a product that was visually appealing. Carpet treads can be tacky and most traction tape is industrial-grade, available in the eye-catching colors of a “warning” signal – yellow, orange, or red.
Enter, 3M. I had all but given up on finding a decent fix when I stumbled upon a new 3M product, “Safety Walk Antislip Tape.” First, it works. Since installing the tape a few months ago, I haven’t slipped on the stairs, even when walking around in socks. Also, there’s a bonus: the tape is clear which means you really can’t see it unless you’re looking for it. Most safety products are purely practical and do nothing for aesthetics, but this tape both works and isn’t an eye-sore. If you have kids and wooden stairs, do this! It’s super easy to apply and could save you a trip to the emergency department. Or, at least save you from an embarrassing wipe out.
Here’s how to apply the tape:
1. Measure the length of each stair
2. Measure out the amount of tape necessary for each step and cut to size. I found a rotary cutter works best.
3. Consider rounding the edges. I traced a can from my pantry along the edges of the stair treads for a uniform rounded look. I then used scissors to trim the marking.
4. Peel and stick to stairs! Pictured below is what it would look like if you opt not to round the edge, leaving it squared. Be sure when you stick the tape to the stairs you smooth out any bubbles.
5. Done! A clear, rough, surface added to the steps so no one slips!
What do you think? Anyone else have stair safety ideas?
For anyone who has ever wiped out on a wood staircase… by Sarah Kiser, CPNP-PC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.