Which Aluminum Non-Slip Stair Treads Are Best?

Did you know that falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death? Being exposed to the elements, outdoor stairs can create dangerous slip and fall hazards. The best way to protect yourself and your family on your outdoor stairs is to install non-slip aluminum stair treads. In this blog, we explore the different aluminum stair tread options to help you determine which solution will work best at your home.

Outdoor stairs can create hazardous slip and fall conditions, especially when exposed to environmental elements like rain, snow, ice, or mildew. With virtually every home in the United States having some sort of outdoor stairway like one leading up to a deck or even a single step leading to the front porch, fall injuries are a prevalent danger. In fact, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. In order to protect yourself and your family from slips, trips, and falls on the outdoor stairs of your home, measures should be taken to ensure safe passage. 

Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on Outdoor Stairs 

One of the most effective ways to prevent slips and falls on outdoor stairs is to install non-slip stair treads. These treads vary in material, size, cost, and effectiveness, so it is important to know which type of non-slip stair tread will work best for your home. For example, grit tape stair treads are relatively inexpensive and often the first place homeowners turn for slip and fall protection. However, grit tape treads cannot withstand environmental conditions like rain, snow, or ice. After only about 1 year of outdoor use, grit tape treads will start to peel up from the stairs and will need to be replaced. Grit treads may provide traction on stairways inside the home, but they are no match for outdoor conditions. While there are also rubber and plastic stair treads on the market, we have found that the most effective anti-slip stair treads are constructed of aluminum. 

Pros:

Aluminum stair treads are superior to most other anti-slip stair treads and solutions because they do not rust. In outdoor applications, it is vital that your non-slip stair tread does not rust when exposed to the unavoidable moisture present outside. They can withstand virtually any weather condition, and continue to provide traction in rain, sleet, and snow. Aluminum stair treads also last much longer than other non-slip stair tread options and do not require any maintenance. Most will last a lifetime, some being guaranteed to do so.

Cons:

Because they are meant to be a permanent solution, aluminum stair treads are usually more expensive in their initial investment. However, since aluminum treads are long-lasting and do not require maintenance, they end up being the most cost-effective option in the long run. Another con of aluminum stair treads is that most options available in the market today are targeted towards commercial and industrial environments; not for homes. Because they are intended for industrial use, many aluminum treads can be very abrasive and cannot be walked on with bare feet. Still, there are some aluminum stair treads on the market that provide traction without being too harsh on bare feet and are designed for residential use.

Types of Aluminum Non-Slip Stair Treads

With a variety of non-slip aluminum stair treads being only a Google search away, it can be difficult to determine which one would work best in your home. Below, we have explored 5 of the most popular non-slip aluminum stair tread options to help guide your search. 

Direct Metals Grip Strut™ Stair Treads

The Direct Metals Grip Strut™ Stair Treads function on their own, meaning they are not installed to existing stair treads. The stair treads would only be used in the new construction of a stairway. The aluminum stair treads would also need to be installed by a professional, which adds to the overall cost. The Direct Metals stair treads have an open diamond pattern that allows for the drainage of water and debris, making them perfect for outdoor use as water would not be able to sit on the treads or create a slippery sheet of ice in the winter. However, these stair treads are geared towards industrial environments and may look quite jarring if installed at your home. Moreover, the stairs open grid design requires the use of safety shoes or boots, and would not be safe for pets or children. The serrated steps would be far too rough on bare feet. While the Direct Metals Grip Strut™ Stair Treads seem to be an ideal choice for an industrial setting, they do not seem fit for use in residential applications. 

Wooster Products Alumogrit® Abrasive Aluminum Cast Stair Treads

Like the Direct Metals stair treads, the Wooster Products ALUMOGRIT® Abrasive Cast Stair Treads are also marketed for mostly industrial use. The treads are anti-slip because the aluminum is cast to have an abrasive surface, and is resistant to corrosives. The aluminum stair treads can be installed alongside new construction as well as to existing stairways. Even though the treads can be installed on existing stair treads, Wooster only provides instructions for installation with a new concrete pour. This creates a more complex installation process, meaning you would have to be able to create and pour your own concrete stairs or hire a professional to do so. The treads also have a limited application, as they can only be applied to concrete stairs. Because of their complicated and limited installation capabilities, Wooster Products’ non-slip aluminum cast stair treads do not present as the best option for homeowners with existing slippery outdoor stairs. 

Amstep Products Stair Treads

Amstep Products’ Non-Slip Stair Treads are comprised of an anti-slip nonskid formulation that is bonded to the aluminum tread base. The anti-slip surface consists of abrasive nonskid particles that Amstep Products claims will last as long as the durable aluminum tread base will. The aluminum treads were designed to provide traction in heavy foot traffic in public areas, so the treads should surely hold up in a residential application. The anti-slip surface of the treads does not absorb any liquid, which could potentially cause water to pool on the treads since there is not a clear drainage method. This could also create hazardous sheets of ice when the temperatures drop. Even though the online product listings seem geared more towards commercial or public settings, the treads can be installed on wood, metal, concrete, and stone stairs, making them more accessible for homeowners. Installation requires a power driver, screws, and anchors depending on the building material of the stairs, so homeowners will be able to install the treads themselves. The treads are available in caution shades like red and yellow, but can also be purchased in more muted tones like grey, tan, and brown. While they may not be the most chic-looking option, Amstep Products’ non-slip aluminum treads can be a good option for homeowners with slippery outdoor stairs made of wood, concrete, or stone. 

Sure-Foot Master Stop™ Tape Treads

Similar to Amstep Products, Sure-Foot offers a stair tread with an aluminum base and a non-slip surface. Sure-Foot’s aluminum stair treads get their traction from the grit tape that covers the top of the tread. The treads can be installed on a variety of surfaces including concrete, wood, and metal, making them more versatile for home use. Sure-Foot’s aluminum grit tape treads are marketed as a more commercial or public safety solution, but the grit tape surface does come in shades like black, brown, and brick red that will complement the colors of many homes. They are also much easier to install than the Direct Metals or Wooster aluminum treads, so you will be able to install them yourself. Because the grit tape surface is affixed to the aluminum tread itself and then installed onto the stairs, the grit tape will last much longer than if it were applied directly to the stair tread. The grit offers decent traction in wet conditions outdoors, but much of the traction is lost once there is a thin layer of snow or debris like fallen leaves. If you live in a location that receives snow every winter, the grit tape on Sure-Foot’s aluminum stair treads may not be enough to provide year-round slip and fall protection. If snow and ice aren’t a problem where you live, the Sure-Foot aluminum grit tape treads can be a great solution to prevent slips and falls on your outdoor stairs.

HandiTreads™ Non-Slip Stair Treads

Unlike the options above, HandiTreads Aluminum Non-Slip Stair Treads are the only aluminum anti-slip solution that is designed for residential application and guaranteed to last a lifetime in your home. The treads are constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and powder-coated. The surface of the treads features a patented raised-button design that provides superior traction in rain, sleet, snow, and debris like fallen leaves. The treads are uniquely self-cleaning as the buttons dispel water and up to an inch of snow when a shoe or foot makes contact with the tread. Unlike the industrial-focused aluminum treads, HandiTreads are comfortable on bare feet. The treads are available in four refined earth-toned shades, Obsidian Black, Chestnut Brown, Java Brown, and New England Gray, that will match or complement the color of any outdoor stairway. Like the Sure-Foot and Amstep Products aluminum treads, HandiTreads can be installed onto wood, concrete, metal, or stone steps. HandiTreads are easily installed to existing stairs using a power drill and the included color-matched screws. Because of their design, efficiency, and ease of installation, HandiTreads are an ideal anti-slip solution for homeowners who value both design and safety. 

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