Aluminum handrails can be stylish and decorative, but they are also intended to serve a practical purpose. They are designed to prevent serious falls by providing a secure handhold if someone should lose their footing or balance. If an aluminum handrail is impossible to grasp because it is too slick, then it fails miserably at one of its most vital responsibilities. Understanding how to treat slippery aluminum handrails allows you to customize the handrail’s surface, adding traction to ensure safety.
How to Treat Slippery Aluminum Handrails
How much traction should a handrail provide? You will obviously want those who need to get a grip to be able to effectively grasp any of the aluminum handrails that you install around your home or business. Anyone who has ever missed a step on a staircase (and felt their stomach lurch as their hand slid on the handrail before they managed to halt their tumble) knows that railings that are too slick can be downright dangerous. However, while some friction-inducing texture is clearly a good quality, this is a case where too much of a good thing can present a problem. After all, many people who feel unsteady on their feet like the sense of security that comes with gliding their hand along the surface of an aluminum handrail as they travel beside its length. A handrail that grabs at the skin of their palms like a prickly burr would make this uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to adjust the amount of slip offered by an aluminum handrail.
Many aluminum handrails come finished with a textured paint or powder coating that provides a comforting amount of grip. For example, our classic CHR Handrail with Mounts is available in textured finishes colored bronze, black, or white. However, if you would prefer more traction from your aluminum handrail’s surface, you can cover it with a textured paint. Some people opt to use a marine paint that is meant to provide a nonslip surface while out on the water. Others take the possibilities for customization even further by adding play sand to their choice of paint. If you go this route, be sure to select a hard-wearing paint that is appropriate for aluminum surfaces. As hands continually rub along handrails, they tend to see a lot of wear. Thus, durability is a major factor in their finish.
A fast, inexpensive fix, handrail tape is a special kind of self-adhesive tape that can be wrapped around handrails made from aluminum and other materials to add texture to the surface and make them easier to grasp. Several varieties are available, and this tape is an effective solution that requires minimal skill, time, and investment, but it does have at least one major drawback: Many people consider a handrail wrapped in handrail tape to be visually unappealing. It is also not a long-term solution.
Liquid Grip Products
Liquid grip products provide yet another way to make aluminum handrails less slippery. These products come in aerosol and liquid formats, and spraying or painting them onto a clean, dry aluminum handrail results in a rubberized coating that offers more friction beneath your fingers. Using this product requires a bit more time and effort than handrail tape because it must be allowed to dry and cure properly. In addition, manufacturers often recommend applying multiple coats. However, many people are willing to put in the extra work because these clear coatings do not compromise the attractive appearance of their aluminum handrails.
Finally, if you’re wondering how to treat slippery aluminum handrails, you may wish to explore handrail covers. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, so the tricky part may be finding an option that fits your aluminum handrail properly. Designed to wrap around an existing handrail, these covers offer an easy way to make aluminum handrails less slick.
Aluminum Handrails That You Can Count On
Aluminum handrails are a popular choice because they are attractive, affordable, and require little in the way of maintenance. At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we’re delighted to offer a wide range of top-quality aluminum handrails that are made in America and backed by a lifetime limited warranty. When browsing our selection of aluminum handrails, you’ll discover a variety of styles and colors, so it is easy to select a handrail that suits both your practical needs and your aesthetic preferences. You will also find an array of durable powder-coated finishes, including satin, multicolored, and textured. This means that you can choose an aluminum handrail that looks beautiful to your eyes and feels perfect under your fingertips.
Do you have questions about how to treat slippery aluminum handrails? Are you curious about finishes, installation, or other handrail issues? We would be happy to help. Contact Aluminum Handrail Direct today to learn more about aluminum handrails and explore our full range of products.