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The combination of moisture, soap, shampoo, and smooth surfaces make your shower floor one of the most slippery and dangerous places in your home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people in the U.S. sustain injuries related to slipping on the shower or bathtub floor every year.
So how can you make your shower floor less slippery and prevent injuries from happening in your home?
The easiest way to make your shower floor less slippery is to add traction by installing an anti-slip shower mat. They’re cheap, easy to install, and immediately add texture to your floor which significantly reduces your chances of slipping. If you don’t like the idea of an anti-slip shower mat, you can install clear anti-slip adhesive treads or apply an anti-slip formula specially designed for showers and baths.
In addition to adding traction with a shower mat, adhesive treads, or anti-slip formulas, it’s a great idea to install a grab bar in your shower to catch your balance if you ever feel yourself starting to slip.
In this article, I dive deeper into the ways you can make your shower floor less slippery, explain the pros and cons of each method, and provide well-researched recommendations for the most effective products.
Let’s dive right in!
Use the links below to skip straight to a section.
- Method 1: Install an Anti-Slip Shower Mat
- Method 2: Use Anti-Slip Adhesive Treads
- Method 3: Apply an Anti-Slip Formula
- Method 4: Install a Grab Bar
One of the most common ways to make your shower floor less slippery is to buy and install a shower mat (like this one on Amazon).
Shower mats are inexpensive, easy to install, and immediately add traction to your slick shower floor.
Although there’s no guarantee that you won’t slip, the extra grip that shower mats provide significantly reduces the chances of an accident happening.
Shower mats are typically made out of vinyl, plastic, or PVC and have suction cups on the bottom that adhere to the floor and prevent the mat from sliding.
They come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials, so regardless of the type of shower or bathtub you have, you’ll be able to find a shower mat that works.
Downsides of Shower Mats
Before you go out and buy a shower mat, there are a few downsides you need to know.
First, moisture and soap scum can get stuck between the mat and the floor and linger around the suction cups that keep the mat in place.
It’s nearly impossible to prevent some moisture from lingering beneath a shower mat so you need to wash it regularly in order to prevent bacteria, mold, and mildew.
Unlike the smooth surface of a bathtub, scrubbing between the suction cups of a shower mat requires more effort and, frankly, it’s an annoying chore.
Another downside is that shower mats can slide when you step on them which could lead to the exact thing you’re trying to prevent—an accident.
This will only occur if you don’t install the mat correctly.
Before you put it down, clean the surface of the floor thoroughly and make sure it’s completely dry. The suction cups won’t stick if you place your mat on a wet surface covered in soap scum. Once the suction cups stick to a clean, dry floor, they won’t go anywhere.
If you have tile or a textured shower floor, you probably want to avoid a shower mat that uses suction cups since they only stick to smooth surfaces.
Lastly, shower mats are very functional, but they aren’t the most attractive feature in your bathroom.
Amazon and other retailers also sell shower mats that look like a cluster of small stones like this one.
Not only do these options prevent slipping, but they look great, they’re super comfortable to step on, and they make your bathroom feel more like a spa.
Recommended Shower Mat
If you have a bathtub or a rectangular stand-up shower, I highly recommend the Gorilla Grip Shower Mat which is the highest rated product in the category on Amazon with over 4,000 reviews.
The Gorilla Grip Shower Mat is extra long (35 x 15 inches or you can buy a square one that’s 21 x 21 inches) so it covers almost the entire shower floor, it has over 300 tiny suction cups so it’ll never slide, and it has small holes throughout so there’s space for moisture to evaporate. This particular mat is anti-bacterial, mildew resistant, BPA-free and non-toxic.
Best of all, it’s machine washable so you can avoid the annoying challenge of scrubbing between each suction cup; just pop it in your washing machine on the cold setting and let it air dry.
Lastly, it comes with a 10-year No Questions Asked Warranty. If you’re unsatisfied for any reason, you can return it and get a full refund. Check out the Gorilla Grip Shower Mat on Amazon.
If you don’t want to add “Clean Shower Mat” to your long list of chores or prefer a less noticeable solution, you can add traction to your shower floor with anti-slip adhesive threads.
Anti-slip adhesive treads are most commonly used on stairs to prevent slipping (see our recent article: How to Make Stairs Less Slippery).
But, there are versions specifically designed for shower floors and other wet surfaces like boat decks, pools, and hot tubs.
Adhesive treads are small strips of tape with a sticky bottom that adheres to the floor and a rough top surface to provide traction on your feet.
The benefits of using anti-slip adhesive treads in your shower are obvious.
They improve traction, they’re very easy to install (just stick them to the dry floor), they’re inexpensive, and, from a design standpoint, they’re barely noticeable.
In my opinion, the best part is that you don’t need to remove them and dedicate additional time to clean them every few weeks since they’re attached to the floor.
Downsides of Anti-Slip Adhesive Treads
Although anti-Slip adhesive treads are a really effective way to reduce the chances of slipping in your shower, they come with a few downsides.
The most common complaint is that they’re difficult to install and, after a while, they start to peel up.
Before you install them, clean the surface of your shower floor and dry it completely. After that, roll out each tread and smooth out any bumps or air bubbles.
If the surface of your shower floor isn’t completely smooth or you fail to roll out all the air bubbles, water will get beneath the treads cause them to lose their stickiness and peel up.
Customers also complain that the surface of the treads are too rough and they’re uncomfortable on their bare feet.
The texture of the threads varies by manufacturer, so I’d recommend reading the negative reviews before you decide which treads to buy. If you notice that most of the complaints are about the treads being too rough, avoid that brand.
Speaking of choosing the best brand…
Recommended Anti-Slip Adhesive Treads
A quick search on Amazon for “anti-slip shower treads” will show you dozens of options and most of them are very similar.
To save you some time, I’ve done the research for you and would highly recommend these ones from a brand called YBLNTEK. They’re long, thin, and clear so they provide great coverage while being practically invisible.
If the size of these strips isn’t perfect for your shower floor, you can easily cut them with scissors.
They’re cheap, easy to install, and, most importantly, they’re incredibly effective at making your shower floor less slippery. Don’t take my word for it, they have over 60 very positive reviews on Amazon.
Anti-slip formulas are liquid-based coatings that you can apply directly to your shower floor to add permanent traction.
This is a great option if you don’t want to deal with cleaning a shower mat or worry about shower treads peeling up over time.
Installing an anti-slip formula might seem intimidating but it’s actually pretty easy. Each product is a little different, but in general, these are the steps:
- Clean your shower floor or tub thoroughly with a Scotch Brite Pad and dry it completely.
- Mark off the area of the floor that you want to apply the formula. I recommend taping off the rectangular area where you stand most. You can also tape strips so that the floor has alternating lines of rough and smooth surfaces, similar to how you’d apply anti-slip adhesive treads.
- Pour the formula into the area that you marked off.
- The formula comes with a roller. Use the roller to spread the formula evenly across the area of the floor that you marked off.
- Let the coating dry for several hours before using the shower. Most brands recommend letting it dry for at least 5 hours. It may look milky when you apply it, however, when it dries it’s completely clear.
Anti-slip shower formulas are inexpensive, easy to apply, and don’t require any ongoing maintenance. They add traction and have no negative impact on the appearance of your shower.
Unlike shower mats, and adhesive treads, you can apply an anti-slip formula to surfaces that aren’t completely smooth, like tiled floors.
Downsides of Anti-Slip Formula
Anti-slip formulas are a fantastic way to add grip to your shower floor but, like any other product, they come with a couple downsides.
First, they take more time and effort to apply compared to shower mats and adhesive treads. You need to tape off an area of the floor, pour the formula, roll it out, and let it dry. It’s not difficult, but it’s more of a project than the other methods.
The other downside is that the coating can peel if you clean your shower with harsh chemicals, bleach, or scrub it with abrasive sponges. If you clean it with a general purpose spray and a regular sponge, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Recommended Anti-Slip Formula
If you decide to try out an anti-slip formula, I highly recommend the Tub Guard Anti Slip Shower and Tub Grip Coating. It’s easy to apply, environmentally friendly (low VOCs), and it works really well. In fact, Marriott and Hilton use it in their hotels nationwide.
There are other options available, but none of them have reviews as good as Tub Guard.
No matter what you do to limit the chances of an accident in the shower, you can’t eliminate the possibility entirely.
Because of this, I recommend that, in addition to adding traction to your shower floor using one of the first three methods, you also install a grab bar so that you have something to reach for if you lose your balance.
Installing a grab bar is pretty simple, check out the video below to see how it’s done.
You might be thinking, grab bars are ugly and are better suited for bathrooms at a retirement home.
This is entirely untrue, in fact, many brands make grab bars that are sleek and match the other fixtures in your bathroom.
I’ll admit, the grab bar in that video isn’t the most attractive one. I promise you that there are several aesthetically pleasing options on the market. For example, this one from Moen and this one from Delta are both functional yet modern and attractive.
If you do a quick search on Amazon for “shower grab bar” you’ll find dozens of options, many of which are designed to fit in with other high-end bathroom fixtures.
How Do You Make Your Shower Floor Less Slippery?
Have you tried any of these methods to make your shower floor less slippery and prevent accidents? If yes, what have you tried and would you recommend it to others? Leave us a comment below to help your fellow homeowners stay safe.
If you found this article helpful, you should also check out: How to Make Hardwood Stairs Less Slippery: 4 Simple Ways to Improve Home Safety.