Stairs are one of the most dangerous areas in our houses. A slip or a fall on the stairs can cause serious damage depending on the individual or the height from where they fell. There are a number of ways one can minimise chances of slips and falls without sacrificing the décor.
Ruth Kirabo, an interior designer, says one of the most common causes of accidents on stairs is when the stairs become slippery. When liquids spilled on stairs and are not cleaned up right away, they may cause individuals to lose their footing on stairs.
However, there are situations where the material from which the stairs are made may have an impact on how much grip they offer to the people who use them. For example, stairs that are made of highly polished wood or tiles tend to be much more slippery than those made of stone, painted woods or carpet. So, choice of material can be critical when it comes to preventing these types of stairway accidents.
According to Kirabo, choosing the carpet type to be used on the stairs is harder than choosing a carpet for other rooms of your house.
“Unlike carpets for the rest of the house, the carpet on the stairs needs to be made of the right material, have the appropriate thickness and strength to be effective. In most cases it should blend in with the rest of the house décor,” she notes.
She recommends carpets that are labeled heavy domestic or extra-heavy domestic and have a high-quality underpad.
“Wool carpets are perfect for stairs because they have essential insulation properties. They are stain resistant and require less care and maintenance than synthetic fibers,” she recommends.
Kirabo adds that wool carpets are also great at sound proofing and can improve the aesthetics of a home.
Kirabo says that some people prefer rough treads to protect slippery stairs because they give your feet traction and grip.
“These stamps have stickers which are attached to the surface and the other side is rough, these edges can peel up over time due to wear but again you can peel off and place new ones,” she says.
The designer says rough treads are normally used for outdoor purposes because they are stronger than carpets and most of them are made from rubber so they can withstand any weather condition.
“Although they are strong, you still need to take care of them by cleaning them regularly because too much dust destroys the sticker quickly,” she says.
Joseph Mugisha, an interior decorator, says coating is commonly used for wooden stairs. Frequent waxing can make wooden stairs slippery so the solution is to roughen them up a little bit.
“Coating applied to the stairs comes in different types and colours depending on your preference. If you do not want to lose the colour of your wooden or metallic stairs you can opt for colourless,” he says.
“If your stairs are already painted you can mix the coating with something rough and apply it on the top of the stairs. If it is an office you have to make sure that you use the stronger coating because of the volume of traffic on the stairs,” he advises.
Mugisha says it is advisable to have stair rails because they provide support when one loses control, they help protect children and visitors who are not aware of the slippery stairs.