How To Put Grip Tape on Slippery Stairs

Holding grip tape

If you use tile on your flooring for stairs in your home, chances are, there is a tendency for the flooring to get slippery when wet. This is dangerous. People may seriously get injured and you may end up with an expensive negligence lawsuit.

Avoid this problem by placing grip tape on the stairs. It’s quick and easy to do and is an inexpensive solution to a potentially expensive and harmful situation. Here’s how to put grip tape on slippery stairs.

  1. Determine the stairwell or location of the stairs that need to be treated.
  2. Count the number of steps as well as the width of one step. Multiply the width of the steps by the number of steps you have, and this will give you the total length of tape you will need.
  3. The brand 3M makes the best quality grip tape in the market. You can try other brands but check for reviews before purchasing. “Get a Grip” is another brand you can buy. Get the widest grip tape available, about 1 ½ inch to 2 inches wide. These tapes are available at hardware and home improvement stores. Get as many rolls as needed, based on your early measurements.
  4. If you are placing the steps in a public building, get grip tape that has yellow visibility stripes instead of plain gray strips. This will immediately draw the attention of people to the steps. This is especially helpful for seniors and very young children to help them distinguish between the steps.
  5. Clean the stairs. Sweep off any visible dirt and give the surface a good mopping, especially on the edge of the step where the tape will be placed.
  6. Start with the top step and work your way down. Place the tape near the edge of the step, but leave about a half in space or more between the tape and the edge. The tape should be placed horizontally, following the width of the step, not the depth. You may need a ruler to make sure the line is straight. Cut off the end with a cutter or sharp scissors.
  7. Use a flat brick or block of wood to press down on the tape to remove any bubbles or air pockets.
  8. Repeat the process till you reach the bottom step.

It is best to do this when there is no foot traffic. It would be highly disturbing to have people walk up and down the stairs while you are trying to work. Wait for closing time or close off access to the stairwell when you will install the grip tape. Wait a bit before allowing people to use the stairs to make sure the tape has adhered properly.

Grip tape can be used on most smooth surfaces, including tile, marble and wood flooring. However, you must still take precaution when using the stairwell, it is still best to hold on to the rail, tread carefully and not rely on the grip tape only.


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