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GripStrips vs HandiTreads Non-Slip Stair Treads

We’ve all been there – you take a step onto your outdoor stairs, ramp, or deck, only to feel like you’re testing fate on an icy slope. Slippery outdoor steps can be a hazard waiting to happen, especially during wet or wintry conditions. The good news is that there are solutions out there to make your outdoor spaces safer. In this blog post, we’ll be diving into the showdown between two popular options: GripStrips and the hometown favorite, HandiTreads Non-Slip Stair Treads.

Understanding the Need

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of the admittedly biased comparison, let’s acknowledge the shared pain point – slippery outdoor areas. Whether it’s a deck that transforms into an ice rink during winter or a ramp that becomes treacherous in the rain, finding the right non-slip solution is crucial. And don’t just take it from us: the CDC estimates that one in four adults will suffer a (potentially life-changing) fall each year, and among older adults, those numbers look much worse. 

The fact of the matter is that this is a problem that needs a solution, and with winter weather in full gear, the need for safe walking surfaces is urgent. Of course, the problem then becomes navigating the overwhelming of options available to the modern consumer. There’s no doubt that the modern age comes with its benefits in regard to commerce, but the drawback is that it’s harder than ever to make an informed decision. And when it comes to something as vital as safety and accessibility infrastructure, the penalty for purchasing a shoddy product can quickly become severe. 

Gripstrip Stair Treads
GripStrips use brittle plastic spikes to create traction that often break off after use.
HandiTreads' patented aluminum raised-button traction surface has a lifetime residential warranty.

Well, the team here at HandiTreads understands the pressures faced by consumers in making this important choice, which is why we’re here to offer a comparison between GripStrips and HandiTreads – both promising to be the heroes our outdoor spaces desperately need. GripStrips are popular and do provide increased traction in several situations.  The biggest difference between the two products is that GripStrips are made of plastic while HandiTreads are constructed of aluminum. Still, both products offer similar claims of slip prevention, so how big can the gulf between them be? Well, as with most things, the devil is in the details. 

GripStrips: The Good, the Bad, and the Brittle

Let’s start with GripStrips. The surface of these strips has small plastic spikes to enhance traction, but as with anything, there are pros and cons.

One significant drawback with GripStrips is their performance in cold weather. The plastic used becomes brittle, making them prone to breakage. Picture this – you step out onto your deck on a chilly morning, only to find your GripStrips cracking in the biting cold. Not the most confidence-inspiring scenario.

But that’s not all. The GripStrips traction spikes, while effective, pose some significant issues. Shoveling becomes a risky endeavor, as the shovel can break off the pointy spikes. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think you should have to choose between not dulling the GripStrips spikes and shoveling snow off your steps or ramps.

Moreover, GripStrips might not be the best for households with pets or those who prefer barefoot strolls. The spikes are too pointy and sharp, potentially causing discomfort or injury to your furry friends or your feet.

Another concern is the limited traction area provided by GripStrips. When it comes to creating a non-slip surface, coverage matters. Having only half the traction area means fewer points of contact for your shoes, reducing overall effectiveness.

And let’s not forget about the warranty. GripStrips do not come with a warranty. In contrast, HandiTreads offer a lifetime residential warranty, GripStrips are only meant to last a few years, requiring replacement sooner than you might expect.

HandiTreads: The Sturdy Solution with Style

Now, let’s shift our focus to HandiTreads Non-Slip Stair Treads – the contender in the opposite corner. These treads boast a range of features that make them a formidable opponent against slippery steps.

Firstly, the dimensions of HandiTreads – 3.75” wide and available in 30″, 36″, and 48″ lengths – provide ample coverage, ensuring that your steps are well-protected. This wide coverage translates to more contact points for your shoes, offering a secure grip even in challenging conditions.

make trex composite steps less slippery

HandiTreads are not just about function; they bring style to the safety game. Available in four powder-coated earth-toned shades – Java Brown, Chestnut Brown, New England Gray, and Obsidian Black – these treads seamlessly blend into your outdoor aesthetic, or provide an eye-catching contrast. Who said safety can’t be stylish?

Installation is a breeze with HandiTreads. The package includes color-matched screws, making the process quick and easy. No need for complicated setups or professional help – HandiTreads are designed for the DIY enthusiast in all of us.

But what sets HandiTreads apart from GripStrips most of all is their durability. Constructed from aluminum (as opposed to plastic), these treads feature a patented raised-button surface that grips onto your shoes or feet, providing instant traction. This design not only ensures a slip-resistant surface but also allows for the safe removal of snow using a shovel. No more worrying about breaking your tools while maintaining a safe pathway.

The lifetime residential warranty offered by HandiTreads speaks volumes about their confidence in the product’s durability. Unlike GripStrips which require periodic replacements, HandiTreads are built to last a lifetime, making them a cost-effective solution in the long run.


When it comes to making outdoor stairs, ramps, or decks less slippery, the battle between GripStrips and HandiTreads is clear. While GripStrips may offer a spiked traction surface, their limitations in cold weather, potential hazards for pets and barefoot enthusiasts, and the need for frequent replacements make them a less appealing choice.

On the other hand, HandiTreads emerge as the champions of the non-slip world. With a wide coverage area, stylish design, easy installation, and unmatched durability backed by a lifetime warranty, HandiTreads provide a reliable and long-lasting solution to slip, trip, and fall hazards.


So, if you’re tired of tiptoeing around your outdoor spaces or dealing with the constant worry of slippery steps, it’s time to invest in the safety and style offered by HandiTreads Non-Slip Stair Treads. Your steps – and your peace of mind – will thank you.

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