So you decided to buy non-slip stair nosings, fitted them to your stairs and then found that within a short time the anti-slip texture wore off or fell off or both. Unfortunately with a flood of low priced, look-alike products now on the market this is the experience of a great many companies, but you should know that your choice of solution was correct, just the brand choice was wrong.
Textured, anti-slip stair nosings in an ‘L’ shape, covering the front 50mm – 75mm of each tread and extending at least 20mm on the vertical face is exactly the right solution to slip and fall accidents on stairs. Knowing which brand to buy for long life and value for money is simply a matter of understanding how the products are made so you can make an informed decision.
Almost all textured stair nosings are made by placing a grit loaded coating over a rigid ‘L’ shaped base. The base is most often folded metal, either galvanised or stainless steel, sometimes aluminium, or maybe a pre-formed fibreglass shape. The base material has absolutely no relevance to you as far as anti-slip safety is concerned as it is just a rigid surface trhat carries the all important anti-slip. With this style of product the effectiveness and longevity of the anti-slip feature is entirely dependent on how strong the thin coating is. If the paint system or the grit used is of low quality or low specification then the coating with crush and wear off in just days. Metal based stair nosings introduce a range of problems:
Thermal expansion and contraction – the base expands and contracts with temperature but the anti-slip coating does not. This results in the coating peeling away from the metal.
Rust & corrosion – metal based nosings will rust and corrode or carry rust and corrosion off the stair tread and this destroys the coating. Any cutting or drilling of the metaL nosing makes this problem much more immediate. Poor impact resistance – if the nosing is struck or hit then the coating will break away from the base and then continue to peel back from the damage zone with time and wear.
Poor chemical and environmental resistance – very few paint based coating will withstand the rigours of chemical exposure or exposure to harsh environments. The paint systems quickly break down, releasing the anti-slip grit and often peeling away from the rigid base. Surface coated anti-slip stair nosings have a range of in-built construction faults that mean they will not last very long. Beware of a flood of Asian made, fibreglass based industrial nosings now widely sold under many local brand names as they have a useful life measured in just weeks if not days.
For long lasting, reliable, most effective industrial anti-slip you should
only consider product that is constructed as a composite material. A composite material is one where the entire thickness of the stair nosing, ladder cover or walkway cover is the anti-slip material. The abrasive chip, the colour and the binder must be bound together as a single composite structure with no layering or coating over a rigid base. Further, you should be careful to determine that the individual elements are of high quality, for example the abrasive grit should be a refractory material and not a soft substance such as crushed glass or crushed quartz and the binder should be highly wear, heat and UV resistant.
Safety Step industrial anti-slip products are all 100% composite FRP and made from the highest quality materials available.
When choosing your underfoot safety products be sure to ask the tough questions of the supplier, are they coated products or are they 100% composite construction. If in doubt ask Safety Step for an opinion.