How To Make Wood Floors Less Slippery

Popular methods of making wood floors less slippery include cleaning the floor regularly and applying an anti-slip coating. Adding carpet runners to stairways and fixing heavy rugs in place with carpet tape or non-slip rug pads can also help to prevent accidental slippages. Further reduce the risk of slipping by choosing rubber soled footwear.

Less Slippery Wood Floors – Choice of Finish

The lifespan of both engineered and hardwood floors can be extended by up to ten times through careful maintenance – including applying a finish. The three most popular finishes are lacquer, wax, and oil. Understanding the properties of each finish can help to provide best-fit solutions in making a wood floor (engineered/hardwood) less slippery.

Popular floor finishes include:

  • Oil Finish
    An oil finish penetrates deep into the wood. This delivers an unbeatable level of supple breathability that safely allows the wood to swell contract with changing weather conditions (and also allows the wood to bend and spring back under heavy foot fall). The important fact to note is that a professionally oiled wood floor is typically seen as non-slip. This can be beneficial in homes with young children where slippery surfaces pose a significant hazard.
    Should I choose oil?
    Unlike other finishes, choosing an oiled floor does mean that shoes, furniture and other day to day objects will come into direct contact with the floor. This increases the risk of damage and may mean increased costs in terms of maintenance (i.e. sanding and refinishing).
  • Lacquer and Wax Finish
    Applying a lacquer or wax finish to an engineered or hardwood floor provides a physical protective layer that is often seen as a cost effective and visually attractive choice of finish – especially in areas of high footfall such as hallways and sitting rooms.
    Should I choose a lacquer/wax?
    Although a lacquer/wax finish does provide a protective layer that serves as a shield against contact with shoes, furniture, pets’ claws, etc., these types of finishes do present a slip hazard – especially under conditions such as wintery wet shoes. Next we will look at methods to help minimise the risk of slipping.

Wood Floors – Methods To Minimise Slipping

There are several methods that are known to help make wood floors less slippery. These include:

    • Anti-Slip Coating
      Anti Slip wood floor coatings are widely available for both indoor and outdoor use. These anti-slip products typically require a double coat, spread thinly. Each coat must be allowed to dry for up to 10 hours. The coating should not affect the colour of the wood floor.
    • Keep The Floor Clean
      Sweeping a wood floor regularly can help to reduce a build up of everyday debris – dirt including dust and pet hair can add a slippery loose surface layer to a hardwood floor.
    • Choose Sensible Footwear
      This may seem an obvious statement to make when it comes to avoiding a slip trip or fall on a hardwood surface, but correct footwear is an easy solution worth mentioning. Avoid socks or hard heeled shoes, and instead select house slippers or rubber soled sports trainers.

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