How to Make Tubs Non-Slip

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A relaxing evening at home and a nice, soothing bubble bath hardly sound like dangerous prospects, but our homes can be more dangerous than we realize--according to the Centers for Disease Control about half of all falls happen at home. The CDC reports that not only are falls the leading cause of fatal injury in adults over 65, they are also the leading cause of non-fatal injuries, including traumatic brain injury, for all Americans. Our bathtubs can become slippery when they're wet, and even textured tubs are not slip-proof. There are many easy ways to make your textured tub more non-slip.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathroom cleanser
  • A cleaning rag
  • An absorbent towel
  • Epoxy coating, slip-proof appliqués, vinyl mesh shelf liner, or a slip-proof bath mat
  • A tape measure
  • Scissors

Epoxy Coatings

  • Wash the area with your regular bathroom cleaner. Rinse well.

  • Dry the area thoroughly with a towel, and wait 30 minutes to make sure the surface is completely dry.

  • Check to make sure there is no lint or other debris on the tub's surface.

  • Hold the epoxy coating spray can 12 to 15 inches from the surface of the tub and spray the coating using a sweeping motion to cover the whole area.

  • Wait 24 hours before using the tub.

  • Reapply every six to 12 months, as needed.

Appliqués

  • Wash the area with your regular bathroom cleaner. Rinse well.

  • Dry thoroughly with a towel.

  • Wait 30 minutes to make sure the tub surface is completely dry.

  • Check the area where you will apply the appliqués to make sure there is no lint. Rub your finger across the area to check for any oily residue.

  • Peel the paper backing off of the appliqué. Press the appliqué onto the tub, starting at one end and smoothing it down with the side of your hand as you go, to avoid any wrinkles.

Shelf Liner

  • Use a tape measure to measure the bottom of your tub.

  • Buy vinyl mesh shelf liner. Choose a roll that is as wide or nearly as wide as the bottom of your tub.

  • Use scissors to cut a piece of shelf liner that is the right size to fit the bottom of your tub.

  • Place the shelf liner in the bottom of your tub.

  • Wash the liner occasionally in the washing machine on gentle cycle.

Bath Mats

  • Use a tape measure to measure the bottom of your tub.

  • Buy a mat that will cover all or most of the bottom of your tub.

  • Wash the tub with your regular bathroom cleaner, and rinse well.

  • Place the mat in the bottom of the tub while the tub is still wet, with the suction cups facing down.

  • Press down firmly on the mat to anchor it in place. Make sure you press down on the whole surface of the mat, so that you engage all of the suction cups.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to put a non-slip mat just outside of your tub as well, so you won't slip when you step out of the tub.
  • Keep non-slip surfaces clean, so they can work properly. Many mats are machine-washable, and you can clean most appliqués and spray-on coatings with bathroom cleansers. Read the label for cleaning instructions.
  • Replace bath mats or appliqués when they start to look or feel worn out, and re-apply epoxy coatings every six to 12 months.
  • To prevent mildew from growing on the underside of your bath mat, hang it over the side of the tub after each use with the suction cups facing upwards.
  • Read the label carefully to make sure that the product you buy is made for your type of tub. For example, a texturizing coating that is made for marble or porcelain tubs may ruin the surface of a fiberglass tub.
  • While everyone can use non slip treatments for their tubs, people with balance problems may need more help, such as grab bars, as well. Talk to your physical or occupational therapist about your options for making your tub safer.

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References

  • Photo Credit baby girl playing in bathtub image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com
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