Outdoor Stair Tread Options

Updated November 21, 2016

Stair treads are the material used to cover all or a portion of a stair step, and their main purpose is to create a non-slip surface. Stair treads are vital to outdoor stair safety because exterior steps are susceptible to becoming slippery as a result of rain and snow. Applying stair treads is a fairly simple process that you can accomplish in a single afternoon with a variety of stairway materials.


Rubber stair treads work well with wood steps because the treads are flat with a smooth underside that lays evenly over a step with an overhanging lip that holds the tread in place. Order the treads to accommodate the size of each step and trim off any overhanging edges of the tread. Apply an outdoor rubber adhesive to a clean, dry and smooth step and add the tread. Remove any access adhesive that makes its way out from under the tread before the glue dries completely.


Fibreglass outdoor treads are suitable for a variety of flat surfaces, including metal and wood, because this type of tread uses screws to hold it in place. Fibreglass tread is available in range of strengths with a fine texture for barefoot outdoor activity areas, such as pools, and a coarse fine for high-traffic construction foot traffic. Remove any debris from the steps, align the fibreglass tread and hold it firmly in place while drilling it into the step.


Metal anti-slip outdoor stair tread is ideal for exterior staircases in public areas because the treads are available in a range of colours, which alert pedestrians to be cautious using the stairs. Select treads that fit the outdoor stairs exactly because cutting this type of thread without the proper equipment will leave sharp or bulged edges. Create a smooth surface to apply the tread, apply a metal adhesive and secure the tread into place with screws.

Anti-Slip Tape

Applying an anti-slip tape to outdoor stairs is one of the easiest solutions to creating an exterior stair tread that is resistant to the elements. The tape works well on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, stone and concrete. However, this tread also requires the most clean surface for adhesion so clean the stairs thoroughly and allow to dry completely. Apply the anti-slip tape and press firmly, so the sealant meets the stair consistently throughout the length of the tape. Allow the bond to dry for 72 hours.

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