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Wood Ramp with HandiTreads vs Aluminum Ramp

Chestnut Brown treads on wood and concrete wheelchair ramp

If you or someone you know is a homeowner with a wooden ramp, stop what you’re doing and this article – it may just save a life. 

The fact of the matter is that if you’ve got a wooden wheelchair ramp that lacks a non-slip surface, you’re facing a slippery situation. “Saving a life” sounds like melodrama but it doesn’t take much for an outdoor ramp to become hazardous. Fret not! We’ve got your back with a cost-effective solution that keeps safety a top priority – HandiTreads.

How to Keep Ramps Helpful, Not Hazardous

Navigating a slippery ramp can be nerve-wracking whether you’re an able-bodied walker, or in a wheelchair. The probability of slips and falls is real (check out last month’s article on the topic if you need confirmation), making it crucial to find a reliable, non-slip solution for your ramp. Every season brings its own challenges when dealing with outdoor wooden infrastructure. 

In winter it’s ice, snow, and sleet; in spring it’s April showers and the debris of May flowers; come summer and you’re dealing with unexpected thunderstorms soaking the lumber, and in autumn it’s all too easy to fall and slip on the onslaught of rotting dead leaves. Add the natural decay of wood that happens over the course of years due to moisture, fungus, and insect activity and with your ramp, you have yourself not a helper, but a hazard. 

Even if the surface of your wood ramp is starting to go, it doesn’t mean it’s time to tear it down and start fresh. We know that many who make use of accessibility infrastructure in their homes are on fixed incomes, and cannot afford to start anew. This blog dives into the cost comparison between retrofitting your existing wood ramp with HandiTreads versus opting for a modular aluminum ramp with a built-in non-slip surface. 

Aluminum Ramps

If money is no object, the safest most durable ramp will be the modular aluminum ramp. Modular aluminum ramps are often designed with non-slip surfaces making them safe in most weather conditions. Unfortunately, they also come with a hefty price tag, starting at several thousands of dollars. For many homeowners, this expense is more than they can afford.

An aluminum wheelchair ramp is an excellent solution

Aluminum ramps do offer some unique benefits. For one, investing in a modular ramp can give you an extremely customized solution to your or your loved one’s unique needs. Part of the process of purchasing a modular ramp is working with a ramp specialist who often visits your home, takes specific measurements, designs, and specifies the components to make up the ramp.  Unless you’re especially handy, you will need to have a contractor come out to your home and install the ramp pieces as designed.   

But, if you already own a wooden ramp that is sturdy but slippery, is it really worth it to rip it up and put in a modular aluminum ramp that’s got a non-slip surface? Is there a more budget-friendly alternative to make your wooden ramp safe?

HandiTreads: A Cost-Effective Retrofitter

Enter HandiTreads – your budget-friendly, slip-resistant savior. For a fraction of the cost of a new modular aluminum ramp, you can retrofit your existing wooden ramp with HandiTreads Non-Slip Ramp and Deck Treads. These aluminum treads come in three package sizes:

Single Treads: $18.50 each

4-Pack: $70 (saving 5%)

10-Pack: $160 (saving 10%)

Based on our research, the average wooden ramp needs about 10-20 aluminum treads in order to retrofit to match appropriate safety standards. This calculation accounts for installing a HandiTread every other plank. Before tax, that comes down to a range of $160 to $320, averaging at around $240. That’s far cry from the multi-thousand dollar task of getting an aluminum ramp installed. And of course, this figure will be different for every single ramp – some may need much fewer treads, and some may need more. The bottom line is that retrofitting with HandiTreads will be cheaper, meaning you won’t be pulling from the vacation fund any time soon.

The HandiTreads Advantage

HandiTreads offer a permanent solution to slip and fall hazards on ramps, outdoor decks, patios, and landings. These no-rust, aluminum treads boast a patented raised button surface designed to grip your shoes or feet, providing instant traction. Installing them is a breeze – just use the color-matched screws included with the treads, and you’re good to go.


Worried about the weather? HandiTreads Ramp & Deck Treads have you covered. Their non-slip surface excels in various conditions, including rain, sleet, snow, dirt, ice, or fallen leaves. Unlike other anti-slip products, you can even use a snow shovel to clear off deep snow without damaging the treads. Plus, the treads come in four popular deck colors – Chestnut Brown, Java Brown, New England Gray, and Obsidian Black – ensuring they’ll match or complement your wooden ramp.

Stair and Ramp Treads - 4 decor colors

While other so-called solutions may be tempting – grit tape, grit paint, and rubber mats can appear to be so much cheaper than HandiTreads – do not be fooled. While such non-slip interventions may work famously for ensuring safety indoors, the outside world is its own ballgame with different rules and considerations. Most tape-on products won’t make it through the winter, as they’re prone to being ripped off by snow shovels and the like. And while grit paint may be a great choice for inside, outside factors like sun exposure and moisture may make each coating’s lifespan rather paltry in comparison to our metal treads. And, while rubber mats may seem like a cost-effective solution, they provide very little safety against slip-and-falls when wet. By investing in HandiTreads, you’re ensuring safety without the need for replacement after a single season, saving you money in the long run.

Once installed, HandiTreads do not require any further maintenance or replacement and are backed by a lifetime residential warranty. You’ll be able to count on HandiTreads to keep your loved ones safe on your wheelchair ramp for many seasons and years to come.

Safety First, Budget Smart

In the battle of wood ramp retrofitting, HandiTreads emerges as the cost-effective hero. Whether you opt for the aluminum ramp alternative or the paint solutions, safety is paramount. However, with HandiTreads, you not only ensure a secure path for wheelchair users but also keep your budget intact.

Don’t let a slippery ramp compromise safety. Choose HandiTreads – because a secure pathway should never come at the cost of your peace of mind or your wallet.

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