How to keep carpet treads in place without destroying wood stairs
August 29, 2019 1:07 PM   Subscribe

We just moved to a house with steep-ish wood stairs. I want to put carpet treads on them so our dog won't slip when he barrels up and down them. I bought a set of rectangular carpet stair treads. They supposedly have a non-slip backing, but it barely helps. I wanted to put carpet tape on them, but I hear that it will badly damage the finish on the wood underneath. Is there any product that will keep these things stationary without destroying the wood finish?
posted by henuani to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What about that "magic" sticky plastic tape that doesn't leave a residue, like this?

Alternatively, you could carpet the stairs, and use rods like this to hold the carpet in place.
posted by ottereroticist at 1:15 PM on August 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

Seconding the suggestion to put a runner on the stairs rather than treads. Typically these are secured with staples or carpet nails into the joints where they don't show. The finish on wood stairs would be damaged far more by people and dogs walking up and down than by a few thin staples or nails here and there.
posted by slkinsey at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

could you use tablecloth clips to clamp the tread to the part of the nosing that sticks out?
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2019

Please do not use clips. Stairs can be treacherous enough without the danger of carpet pieces slipping around.
posted by slkinsey at 2:38 PM on August 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

Rug pad cut up? I've linked to an example, but you should be able to find it cheaper than West Elm. I've also seen placemats made of the same material. Here in Australia, I was able to buy a large roll of this from Kmart for about $5 and it can be easily cut to size with scissors. It has worked very well to stop my rugs sliding on a polished timber floor.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:27 PM on August 29, 2019

I have this same issue in our home and unfortunately have yet to find a solution. What worked best, but not perfectly, was this roll of anti-slip tape. But the treads still shifted over time.

Then we tried cutting up a Gorilla Grip carpet anti-skid pad and it's working not as well. We are going to go back to the tape.

I think the issues with the stair treads are: 1. The treads themselves are too small and lightweight for friction to do its work. We used the Gorilla Grip pads under full-sized rugs that used to slide all over due to a rambunctious dog and it worked great, but doesn't do shit for the treads. and 2. The way that your feet push on/off a stair is different from walking on flat ground and makes it more likely that the tread gets pushed in a direction. In our case this is clear because our staircase has a turn and the stairs around the curve always are the first to move.
posted by misskaz at 4:34 AM on August 30, 2019

When my dog got older, I put down some sandpaper-type tape near the edge of each tread and it worked great, was cheap and fast (but make sure you cut each piece exactly the same length or it'll look sloppy). Maybe experiment to see if something like Goo-Gone can remove the adhesive without ruining the finish.

If you're really concerned about the finish, then like others have said, put a runner, held in place by retaining rods at the back of each tread. You'll need to drill tiny holes but I think that's totally justified by the safety concern.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:16 AM on August 30, 2019

I only have experience with the rubber padding used on floors to keep area rugs from slipping but I thought I'd offer this link, which demonstrates four ways to "...make (hardwood) stairs less slippery...". Good luck!
posted by Lynsey at 11:44 AM on August 30, 2019

I just realized that the Gorilla Grip pad I mentioned above actually does a great job sticking to the stairs, but it doesn't grip well to the pads. (It's what I don't like about it - as the treads move the pad is visible and it's much more noticeable than some crooked treads.) It's possible that gluing or even stitching a pad like that to the treads themselves might work really well.
posted by misskaz at 12:33 PM on August 30, 2019

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