MATERIAL: NATURAL WOOD
Few things are more beautiful than natural wood. Whether red oak stairs or pressure-treated lumber used for decking, real wood provides a warmth that other materials can’t match. Indeed, wood is the overwhelming choice for flooring, stairs, decks and ramps inside most homes and sometimes in commercial settings.
INSIDE THE HOME
When used for flooring or stairs inside the home, a hardwood like oak or maple is often chosen. To protect and enhance the wood’s beauty, a polyurethane coating is almost always applied to the stairs or floor. This clear, smooth coating is, as you no doubt know, slippery especially when you’re not wearing appropriate footwear or if the wood becomes wet.
There are a number of ways to improve the traction on polyurethane coated (or painted) wood steps and floors that don’t detract from the wood’s natural beauty. For example, Handi-Treads offers ClearGrip Treads, the self-adhesive, rubberized treads that improve traction on steps and floors while allowing the beauty of the wood to shine through.
OUTSIDE THE HOME
Wood used for stairs, decking or ramps on the outside of a home is common in just about every area of the country. There are a number of naturally weather and rot-resistant wood species that can be successfully used for outdoor structures. These wood species include cedar, redwood, mahogany and a few more exotic types like ipe and teak.
A less expensive solution to these more expensive wood species is pressure treated lumber made of pine. Pressure treated white pine exhibits the natural attractiveness of wood while being fortified by a treatment that inhibits rot and decay. With a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, pressure treated wood is an affordable solution for ramps, decks and outdoor steps.
All natural wood must be sealed from the elements through the use of a water-resistant stain, oil, or paint. Once sealed, natural wood exhibits reasonably good traction when wet, but it becomes slippery when frost, snow or ice are present.
Wood structures that are in moist climates and don’t see the sun are also likely to form algae or mold on their surface, creating a slip and fall hazard that requires special attention.
In temperate climates where there is no snow, Handi-Treads Stop-the-Slip Grit Tapes and Treads can provide extra traction on outdoor wood surfaces. However, where there’s snow, the right anti-slip solution is often Handi-Treads Aluminum Treads and aluminum stair nosings.
Use our Stop-the-Slip Configurator to find the right solution to your slip, trip or fall hazard. In less than 60 seconds we will evaluate your unique situation and offer our ranked suggestions on how to protect those around you from slip and fall accidents.