Rubber stair treads are required for multi-level establishments with a high traffic volume. Ascending and descending staircases pose a risk to facility visitors, especially when bad weather causes rain and snow accumulation inside entryways. Stair treads improve traction and stability on stepping surfaces, and in some circumstances, treads can make individual steps more visible.
This installation guide was prepared by the editors of the Eagle Mat Blog to assist property owners, managers, and others in installing rubber stair treads effectively and safely.
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Rubber Stair Tread Installation
1. Determine Where Stair Treads Are Required
Not all scenarios necessitate the use of stair treads (see #2 below). To get the most out of your stair tread installation, you must first understand when and where stair treads are required. In general, any uncovered staircase with a high volume of visitor activity should be evaluated for stair treads. Stairs leading to or away from a doorway are also good possibilities, as these areas are prone to dirt, debris, and moisture buildup.
A Reminder to Our Readers: Rubber stair treads should only be used inside. Aluminum stair treads are to be used for outdoor applications.
- Select the Appropriate Adhesive
Choosing the correct adhesive is crucial in finishing an application that will be durable, resilient, and trustworthy throughout time. Epoxy Nose Caulk is suggested for its long-lasting ability to glue treads / risers to stairs, particularly when using Square-flex or Curved nosing.
- Temperature Prerequisites
Temperature can have a considerable impact on stair tread installation. As a result, a minimum temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit is advised for both stair treads and glue. The room temperature should also be at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Repair and fill up any uneven edges
When there is a space between the nosing of the stair tread and the edge of the underlying step, this is referred to as a “uneven edge.” When stepped on, such a space allows the stair tread to shift, freeing it from the step and producing a very dangerous condition over time. Fill in any gaps with more Epoxy Nose Caulk until there is no more room.
- Prepare Each Installation Step
Each step of the stair case must be clean and free of oil, grease, corrosion, paint, varnish, adhesives, and other contaminants before installation.
- Align each tread with its corresponding step
Because not all stairs have uniformly sized steps, rubber stair treads are made ‘oversized,’ or untrimmed. This allows you to tailor each tread to each step by simply removing excess material from the sides.
- Use the nose-first method.
As noted in #4 above, making sure there is no space between the tread and the step, especially at the nose-end, is a major priority for safety. Apply the stair tread nose-first to minimize spacing by positioning the nose-end of the tread on the edge of the step. Then, from front to back, push back hard and drive the tread downwards onto the step.
- Using a hand roller, flatten each tread.
Roll each stair tread with a hand roller to strengthen the adhesion between tread and step. Roll from front to rear, leaving as little space as possible between tread and step.
- Scrape Off Excess Caulking / Adhesive
Caulking should be removed in excess for both cosmetic and safety concerns. Wipe extra caulking off the staircase with a moist or damp towel after installing the stair treads. Steel wool can also be used to remove any dried caulking.
10. Allow the Adhesive to Dry
Finally, give the adhesive that connects the stair treads to the staircase plenty of time to dry. Failure to do so may result in an unstable application that loosens with time, posing a major risk to everyone who uses the staircase.
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