Slippery Exterior Wooden Steps & How to Deal With Them

by | Dec 10, 2020 | Blog

How to Deal with Your Slippery Outdoor Wood Stairs

Do you need an efficient way to make your wooden steps less slippery? If you have an outdoor staircase, it probably gets grimy and slick whenever there’s rain. Ice and snow make for an even worse safety issue. There is, however, a solution to prevent injury that may occur from the slippery stairs. Let’s take a look:

The benefits of wooden stairs are numerous. They are straightforward to clean and give your house an authentic look. Modern wood steps made from treated lumber also hold up really well outdoors. When they get slimy from rain though, they pose a considerable risk that makes them very dangerous. A slippery outdoor surface may make you slip and fall, due to less traction and grit.

It would be best to have an efficient way to make our steps safer and convenient year-round, since we use them everyday. You can choose any option you feel is best for you, as we’ve listed several options below for anyone inclined towards DIY home improvements. If you’re here for a fast and effective solution that doesn’t require carpentry skills, check out the Traxion product we designed just for this problem:

Traxion can be installed by just about anyone in a few minutes. Click Here to Order.

Getting Started:

You can start by simply increasing your stair traction with carpet strips or anti-slip adhesive treads for stairs. You can also apply coats of paint to the stairs that are anti-slip and will keep you safer. Just keep in mind that the paint will need to be reapplied every few years.

These non-slip coatings should make your stair surface rough, giving it more traction and ensuring you may not slip when the surface has standing water or snow. You can also put handrails to help you move on the steps if they aren’t already present. Proper railing is usually required in local building codes and it’s critical that yours are sturdy and in good condition. Your hand’s support will help you stay stable when and if you do slip. When you build your home, ensure you get a professional builder who has the knowledge and experience to build your stairs. There’s a standard way to build stairs that are safer and efficient for everyone, so step one is making sure you hire a reputable builder.

Below you will find several other methods to help you make your steps safer. The products you choose may depend on your preference and availability in your location. If you have trouble finding something nearby, keep in mind that our Traxion product is a turnkey solution that ships to all 50 States.

Stay safer by applying these concepts.

Install Carpet to Your Outdoor Stairs

It’s the most popular method people use to make their outdoor wooden steps less slippery. Carpets designed for exterior use are one of the more common solutions people use around boat launches. It can be attached to the wooden steps easily with the two methods described below. However, this solution also comes with several disadvantages. For one, it’s probably going to fade and wear out quickly on a sunny deck or patio. Another issue especially important for those looking for a marine solution is the tendency to retain moisture and rot the underlying boards. The Traxion product avoids those issues and actually helps to protect the surface of your deck. It’s made of a highly UV-resistant and durable plastic that leaves space underneath so the decking can dry out rapidly.

You can choose any of the following two options if you want to install a carpet to increase grit.

Stair Runners

As the name suggests, these are carpets that run throughout your stairs. They only cover some part of the steps leaving the other part bare. Stairs with stair runners look very authentic and breathtaking.

The stair runners also reduce noise and ensure your outdoor steps are less slippery whenever rain falls on them. They also maintain the design of your stairs. You may find washing them very cumbersome though. You will also need to replace them after some time due to wear and tear, especially on the edges.

Carpet Stair Treads

You can use carpet stair treads as other options for installing carpets. They come in individual pieces so that you can place them on separate stairs when decking. They are straightforward to use since you only need to put them on the part you step on. However, if they peel up from the stair over time, it can actually present a tripping hazard, which is yet another reason why it’s best to use a product designed specifically for this purpose like Traxion.

Here is a guide on how you can install your carpet stair tread on your deck.

  • Ensure all the steps are clean and dry.
  • Measure the stairs to give you the correct dimension to place your carpet at the center of each
  • Use carpet tape to fasten the carpets on the steps. You can also use non-skid rugs for this activity.
  • Place down and press them gently until they are well fixed.
  • Now use a staple gun with weather resistant staples to secure the carpet further.
  • Be sure to staple as close to the edge of the carpet as possible.

These carpet treads are inexpensive, and you can even use strips leftover from a past project if you have any. You can also clean them easily and remove them if needed.

Anti-Slip Adhesive Stair Treads

These are mostly used in commercial buildings. They look like thick black grip tape that prevents slipping on slippery floors. It would be best to customize the color with the look of your house. If you mix colors, your house’s curb appeal may suffer.

There are several products made by manufacturers that you can use as anti-slip adhesive treads for residential deck stairs. They are effortless to install. The process involves rolling them over the stairs and ensuring the sticky sides touch wood.

They prevent slipping by adding roughness on indoor and outdoor stairs. Their texture is rough to give enough friction to walk on them without a slip caused by wet or icy conditions. Some products are transparent, and you may not even recognize them. However, the material on these may not stand up to the elements for more than a year or two and may require frequent replacement.

Be sure your shoes have plenty of tread left on them as well and always keep safety first!!!

Anti-Slip Floor Finish

It’s a liquid paint solution that you put on your wood stairs to make them safe and non-slippery. We already discussed the pros and cons of this option a little but above, but let’s look closer at how these products are made. They are available in the form of paint or a transparent clear coating that you can put on your stairs. The layer has tiny particles that will stick to the surface, making it rough to provide grit and friction.

Most homeowners like using this type of product since it is easy to spray on and does not permanently alter the home’s appearance. They can be messy though and if you’re looking for a solution that does not alter your home, the Traxion design might work out just as well. Our product uses 6 deck screws that you’ll hardly notice if you do decide to remove them for some reason.

As we already mentioned, you’ll have to replace this paint coat over time. The small sand particles wear out, and your wood surfaces may be smooth again, making it dangerous and slippery. It will keep you safe as long as the particles are present, but it just seems like a lot of work to keep reapplying spray paint every season. You can save time by ordering Traxion today since it will last for years to come.


Slips may cause serious injuries such as broken bones or arms. In some cases, these accidents and injuries have led to deaths. That’s why we recommend Traxion to keep you and your family safe from slippery wooden stairs around the home, lakehouse, or anywhere else you’re concerned about. Keep safe by avoiding slippery outdoor exterior wooden steps with Traxion. It takes minutes to install DIY and offers superior grip and texture.

Get a grip…buy Traxion now.