Customized Stop-the-Slip Solutions
For Your Unique Conditions

Your Stop-the-Slip Solutions Graded:

Handi-Treads: A-

Handi-Treads are the most effective, long-lasting solution for minimizing the risk of slips and falls on specific areas of concrete ramps. Ramps are often created to offer wheelchair access to homes and buildings. Because the ramps are inclined, they encourage slips and falls and often there are areas, such as the bottom or top of ramps where transitions occur, that benefit from additional traction.

Handi-Treads work very well on concrete ramps and landings because they provide exceptional grip under the most challenging conditions. The pressure from a person stepping on the rigid raised buttons pushes away the layer of moisture, frost or up to an inch of snow, creating solid contact between the person walking and the surface of the ramp.

Installation of the aluminum Handi-Treads is simple on concrete surfaces but does require the use of concrete lags.  Unlike grit paint, there’s no need for the critical, time-consuming surface preparation. Once installed, no maintenance is required for Handi-Treads which are guaranteed to last a lifetime in non-commercial applications.

If you live in an area where it snows, you can use a snow shovel on your Handi-Treads without fear of damage to the treads. This is not the case with grit tape, rubber mats or even anti-slip paint.

The initial cost to fit a concrete ramp with Handi-Treads will be higher than less effective and less durable alternatives, but the payback will come quickly in the form of lower maintenance and a substantially longer product life. We recommend spacing the treads four inches apart, but have seen successful installations with longer intervals. 

When the value of Handi-Treads is calculated over a three to five year time frame, the investment in Handi-Treads is often the most-cost effective solution.

Total Score: A-

Effectiveness: A
Installation & Maintenance: A
Durability: A
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: A

Non-Slip Grit Tape: D

Anti-slip tape cannot be used on bare concrete because the surface can’t be successfully cleaned, and the adhesive will quickly fail as the concrete allows moisture to seep up through its surface, degrading the paper-backed tape.  Grit tape can be used on some sealed or painted concrete ramps as a short-term fix to reduce slips and falls due to rain or light frost.  Grit tape is not effective in snowy weather.

Generally speaking there is no maintenance necessary or possible with grit tape.  However, snow removal from the tape can be a real challenge as a snow shovel can quickly pull up the tape from the concrete surface. The inability to do more than brush snow off non-slip tape makes it useless once the snow becomes compacted and icy on the stairs.

The proper installation of non-slip grip tape does require a bit of effort because of the surface preparation required. It is critical that the smooth painted or sealed concrete surface be clean, dry and in good shape. Once the surface preparation is complete, installation will proceed quickly.

If a lifespan on outdoor concrete ramp of six months to a year is acceptable to you, grit tape can be an inexpensive temporary solution.

Grit Tape

Total Score: D

Effectiveness: D
Installation & Maintenance: C
Durability: F
Initial Price: A
Long-Term Value: D

Heavy Duty Rubber or Fiber Mats: C+

Heavy rubber or Waterhog type door mats can help improve traction in specific areas of concrete ramps, such as on transition areas.  Assuming they weigh at least 10 pounds, the mats are unlikely to move around, eliminating the trip risk that smaller mats suffer from.

Care must be taken when choosing a mat, however, to be sure that there is a beveled edge on the mat that won’t catch a toe and trip a user. It’s also important to find a mat that has channels or holes to allow water to drain off so that ice can’t form on top.

Installation couldn’t be easier, as you just lay the mat down in the area that’s prone to slips and falls.  Care must be taken, however, when removing snow as most mats are prone to cutting from the use of a snow shovel with a metal lip.

Depending upon thickness and quality of the material you can expect heavy-duty rubber and Waterhog-type mats to last 3 to 5 years.  The initial expense of these types of mats can range from $60 to $120.

Total Score: C+

Effectiveness: B
Installation & Maintenance: C
Durability: C
Initial Price: B
Long-Term Value: C

Grit Paint: C

Grit paint can be used to reduce slipperiness on both bare concrete and finished concrete ramps. The best anti-slip paints contain aluminum oxide or carborundum that are encapsulated in the paint to create a rough, slip resistant surface. We rate the effectiveness of grip paint very high for wet weather, frost, and light snow.

The quality of the paint used and proper application is critical to the longevity of anti-slip paint. If the concrete area where the paint is to be applied is in good shape, it is cleaned and prepared properly, and the paint is applied according to instructions, you can anticipate that grit paint will last 2 to 5 years under normal consumer traffic.

Anti-slip paints on exterior surfaces are, by and large, maintenance free. However, if you live where it snows you need to be very careful not to aggressively shovel the stairs painted with grit paint. While the epoxy or enamel coating is durable under normal foot traffic, it’s no match for an aluminum or even plastic snow shovel. Once you start to scrape away the thin paint layer covering the aggregate, the system will quickly degrade.

The cost of a high-quality grit paint can run between $60 and $120 a gallon. In addition, you’ve got the consumable cost of paint brushes or rollers, trays, sandpaper, masking tape, and drop cloths. 

Total Score: C

Effectiveness: B
Installation & Maintenance: D
Durability: C
Initial Price: C
Long-Term Value: C