Many homeowners make a feature of wooden stairs in their homes – taking advantage of the material’s warm and welcoming look.
Though it depends on the type of wood and your chosen design, wooden staircases can transform your hallway and give it a more traditional, classic or modern appearance.
The only downside to wooden stairs is their smooth, polished surface can be slippery for people and pets.
To help ease your concerns, we thought we’d share some wood stair safety tips to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
1. Add a stair runner
A stair runner gives you the best of both worlds.
While you get the gorgeous effect of wooden stairs, you also benefit from the additional decoration and grip of a carpet.
Stair runners come in a choice of colours, patterns and finishes. Therefore, you should have no problem finding one that suits your décor – making your stairs safer without skimping on style.
2. Install a handrail
Having a handrail on at least one side of the stairs (if not both) will prevent little ones from falling – especially if they’ve only just learnt to walk or climb the stairs.
Handrails can also help elderly relatives and people with reduced mobility to keep their balance when walking up or down at their own pace.
If your existing handrail is in poor condition, make sure you tighten up the screws and brackets that support it. And if it’s damaged beyond repair, replace it altogether.
3. Use non-slip coatings
Want to improve the grip of your wooden stairs?
Non-slip noses can be added to the edge of each step – helping your shoes to grip the flooring.
Anti-slip coatings can also be applied to your stairs to provide extra traction. These typically come in clear and coloured stains.
4. Light up your stairs
The risk of people falling on the stairs is considerably higher if your staircase is located in a dark or poorly-lit area of your home.
Installing lighting to highlight where the staircase starts and ends, as well as any turns and corners, will help to mitigate accidents.
You could install a pendant light on the ceiling above your staircase, LED lights along the wall next to your stairs, or motion sensor lights that illuminate your path one step at a time.
5. Carefully clean the stairs
Applying a fresh coat of varnish, polish or wax is guaranteed to give your wooden stairs a shiny look that’s guaranteed to draw the eye up. But be mindful as these can build up over time and increase the risk of slips and falls.
Instead, use a vacuum to pick up chunks of dirt, dust and debris from every step.
Though it’s best to avoid using water on the stairs, in case it seeps into the wood, you can use a slightly damp mop or cloth to clean wooden stair parts – just remember to dry and buff them afterwards.
Want to know more?
If you’d like further tips and advice on how to make your wooden stairs safer for your household and visitors, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Abbott-Wade.
We have vast experience when it comes to installing and caring for wooden staircases and will happily share our expertise.