Have you ever wondered what to put on slick stairs to make them less slippery?Exterior steps, especially wooden ones, can become slippery over time, particularly when they’re wet.

One of the easiest ways to protect against slips and falls is by applying self-adhesive abrasive strips, available at home centers, to each step.

To apply abrasive strips to steps:

  1. Make sure the steps are dry and clean.
  2. Cut the abrasive strip to length.
  3. Peel off the paper backing.
  4. Align the strip on the step about 1 inch from the nose of the tread.
  5. Press the strip down into place.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: The easiest way to prevent slips and falls on exterior stairs is with abrasive strips that you can buy at any hardware store or home center. And they come in various sizes and shapes. I prefer the kind that comes out on roll, because you can custom cut it to length.

All you need to do is stretch out the length of the abrasive tape, and then cut it with a pair of scissors. Then all you need to do is, if you look on the back, it’s got this wax paper backing.

So you just peel that off to expose the adhesive, turn it over and stick it down. You want to keep it about one-inch from the front edge—the nosing of the step. You can just eyeball it, as long as it’s close. There you go, right about one-inch—peel off the rest.

This is really sticky, so make sure you get it right where you want it, and just press it down. Now, of course, you want to put one of these on each step.

And on a wide step like this, you could put a second strip if you want. But it is really important to have it near the front edging because, of course, that’s where you step.

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Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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