Wooden decking deteriorates over time. Alternating rain and sun, the growth of moss and moulds, all take their toll on wood. Even the highest quality decking boards will become slippery sooner or later.
To prevent accidental falls, it is essential to treat the surface with the best non-slip decking paint products or to apply non-slip decking strips.
Choosing one solution over another is often a matter of preference. That’s why we tested and rated the most popular products in both categories. Check out our top picks below, then learn how to prevent slippery decking.
Last update on 2021-02-13 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
Clear anti-slip decking coat prevents decking from becoming slippery while maintaining its original charm.
Blackfriar Anti-Slip Deck Coating is one of the most popular non-slip decking treatments on the market and also our favourite. This solvent-based varnish is easy to apply with a brush or roller and covers up to 9m²/litre. It comes in 2.5-litre tins, and the manufacturer recommends a minimum of two coats.
Despite its solvent-based composition, the deck coating boasts a quick drying time. It touch dries in about six hours and can be re-coated after 12 hours.
What makes this product special is the micro-aggregate composition that yields slip resistance and offers UV protection. Formulated specifically for decking, the product is also suitable to use on other exterior wood surfaces, including walkways.
Furthermore, it can be used in conjunction with Blackfriar Wood Preservative if you want to colour the timber beforehand.
• A low sheen highlights the natural colour of the wood and gives a new lease of life to a coloured undercoat.
• Textured finish provides slip resistance in wet conditions.
• Can be applied on either treated or untreated wood decking. Compatible with Blackfriar Wood Preservative Gold Star.
• Solvent-based formula resists cracking and peeling.
• The product is easily absorbed into the wood; it sometimes takes more coats than expected to achieve a satisfactory result.
• Cleaning the brushes requires white spirit and a lot of hard work.
A highly efficient anti-slip decking stain protects and colours in one simple easy step.
Homeowners shopping on a budget will undoubtedly appreciate Cuprinol’s qualities. Anti-Slip Decking Stain offers a tough, durable finish and a semi-transparent colour that highlights the natural grain of the timber.
A rich selection of colours includes thirteen neutral and contemporary choices. The popular slate grey is one of them, but certainly not your only option.
Besides an attractive price and a wide choice of colours, this stain incorporates anti-slip micro-beads. They are invisible on a dry surface yet make your deck safer in wet conditions. Furthermore, their formula also includes a biocide agent that protects the film from mould and green algae.
Ultra-tough and water repellent, this stain also protects the wood from cracking and splitting, as well as being ridiculously easy to apply.
• Water-based formula is easy to apply with a brush or roller and is safe for children, pets and plants once dried.
• A litre of stain covers up to 20 square metres. We recommend applying a minimum of two coats.
• Stain film becomes showerproof in one hour and can be re-coated after four to six hours, depending on the environmental conditions.
• Matt finish offers a contemporary look to your decking.
• Doesn’t have excellent resistance to poor weather and requires yearly retouches after winter.
• Dust and dirt tend to grip to the anti-slip surface.
Durable glass-reinforced plastic resists harsh weather.
Cost: Price not available
Convex Anti Slip Decking Strips come as an alternative to the popular anti-slip stains. Say goodbye to the regular maintenance of a paint product and hello to hassle-free anti-slip protection.
These pre-drilled strips come in a set of 20, and the box includes the necessary screws too. You’ll only need a suitable drill/driver tool to drill holes into your surface and mount the strips in the desired position.
You can also choose from eight available colours. Neutral choices include brown, beige, and black; red, yellow, blue, and green can either revive your décor or highlight a safety hazard.
We also like that the material consists of reinforced plastic embedded with glass quartz grit. Virtually maintenance-free, the strips are unaffected by corrosion or mould.
• Easy to fit strips boast a 50mm wide convex profile which eliminates potential trip hazards.
• Glass quartz grit provides a resistant anti-slip surface that requires no maintenance.
• Cost-effective in the long run. Reinforced plastic strips resist adverse outdoor elements.
• Ideal to install on decking, walkways, pontoons and other potentially slippery surfaces of either wood or other materials.
• High upfront costs compared to staining products.
Easy-to-apply stain gives a total makeover to your deck or walkway.
Firm Tread Paint is another product that caught our attention when writing this piece. The name says it all. This paint is formulated to keep people on their feet whilst using your freshly treated deck or walkway.
Easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller, this product boasts an oil-based formula that dries to a matt low-sheen finish. Available in five neutral shades plus a clear option, you’ll have plenty to choose from when looking for the right colour for your landscape.
As well as the easy application, you’ll also appreciate the quick drying time. Firm Tread touch dries in about four hours and can be re-coated after eight hours. We recommend a minimum of two coats, and you should avoid heavy wear and tear for a few of days after application.
Ideal to use on all external wood surfaces, this anti-slip decking stain also presents optimal resistance to outdoor weather.
• Decking stain covers up to 8m²/litre, depending on surface porosity. It is supplied in 2.5-litre tins.
• Neutral colours boast a translucent finish that helps the grain of the wood stand out.
• Minute particles create an abrasive surface that keeps people steady on their feet in wet conditions.
• Durable formula resists heavy footfall and needs little maintenance.
• Strong odour requires the use of a breathing mask during application.
• Product is slightly thinner than expected.
How To Prevent Slippery Decking
Decking can easily increase the value of your property, but if it’s maintained incorrectly, it can turn into a backyard hazard. Moss, algae and mould are the most common causes of slippery decking, posing a special risk to elderly homeowners, young children and guests. Here are a few methods to improve your deck’s anti-slip properties:
Smooth vs. Grooved Decking Boards
Inexperienced homeowners may believe grooved decking boards have higher anti-slip properties. Evidence, though, suggests otherwise. A quick look at most piers and ship decking reveals smooth boards are more frequently employed in their construction. Smooth timber drains water quicker without retaining it, preventing the growth of organic matter.
A smooth surface also provides greater traction, is easier to clean with a power washer, and easier to treat with anti-slip decking stains.
Obviously, no one will prevent you from installing grooved decking, but if slippery surfaces concern you, a smooth option could be a wiser choice.
Keep It Clean
Mould, algae, lichens and moss are frequent causes of slippery decking. Preventing their growth is essential, and it all starts with regular cleaning. In the warmer season, sweep the surface regularly with a stiff broom to remove any build-up. Also, keep the area free of leaves and debris, to prevent the development of organic matter. Twice a year, clean your decking with a pressure washer and a biocide detergent or bleach solution.
Apply Anti-Slip Stain
Anti-slip decking stains work wonders in most cases. They not only offer a rough surface that keeps you on your feet, most stains also contain biocide agents that prevent the growth of slippery organic matter.
We recommend performing maintenance in spring; most decking stains have good resistance to the outdoor elements, providing you with a safe surface throughout the year.
Mount Anti-Slip Strips
Sometimes, a coat of stain doesn’t suffice. Anti-slip strips offer supplementary protection in the long run. They are easy to install and, once fitted, require virtually no maintenance other than occasional cleaning.
No matter what product you use, ice and snow will still build up on your surface, posing a serious safety risk. But removing ice from timber decking is trickier than it seems. Traditional salt damages wood and is corrosive to metal screws. Overall, such a treatment can weaken your decking’s structure.
Breaking ice with a shovel may seem like a good idea at first, but a metal shovel can scrape the boards – also damaging the structure.
There aren’t many options to consider. During winter, we recommend removing snow with a plastic shovel and avoid shattering ice unless it’s absolutely necessary. After, all it will melt on its own as soon as the temperatures rise.
So go grab the right materials and start slip-proofing your decking today!