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How to Make Your Bathtub Non-Slip

senior holding onto a bathtub bar.
by Badeloft | November 29, 2019

Although the bathtub usually provides a sense of cleanliness and comfort, it carries a few dangers as well. Slipping and falling in the tub is unfortunately common, due to the fact that the surface of your bathtub is designed to be smooth which isn’t a great combination with an abundance of water. Fortunately, certain measures can be taken by you to ensure that this accident doesn’t happen to you or your household. 

Dangers of a slipper bathtub

A slippery bathtub can carry many dangers, especially if the surrounding area around your bathtub is constructed out of a dense or hard material like natural stone or concrete. It is quite easy for you to slip and fall directly on the surface of your bathtub or bang your head against the walls of your bathroom, resulting in a sprain, concussion or at worst, possibly death. As stated previously, the surface of your bathtub is designed to be smooth, allowing for water to collect and be more comforting to your skin, this design paired with water can make it quite easy to slip and fall, especially for those that have trouble walking such as the elderly and younger children.

dangers of slippery tub.

In a study conducted by the CDC or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed that in 2018, nearly 80% of bathroom related accidents occurred on slippage from a bathtub. 37% of these occurred while bathing or showering while another 17% occurred just due to the relative slippery nature of the bathtub and floor. Nearly 5% of these resulted in loss of consciousness and concussions. 

How to make your bathtub not slippery 

So we know that bathtubs can be quite slippery, so how do we prevent it? As discussed, it is very natural for a bathtub to be smooth in design and water is always going to be a present factor during a shower or bath.

Below are a few considerations for making your bathroom a much safer place for everyone. 

1)  Install a shower mat or large towel outside of your shower. A shower mat has suction cups underneath, making a stable floor for your bathtub, allowing anyone to step on it without fear of slipping. A towel or rug outside your shower also assists with leaving your bathtub, allowing for a safe area to step out, ensuring that your feet do not make contact with the slippery floor. 

2) Install handholds along your bathroom and bathtub/shower. Handholds provide a stable area for elderly folks to grip, allowing them to easily get in and out of the shower/bathtub. They also provide a self-sufficient way for those that are injured to use the toilet as well.

3) Apply anti-slip formula to the surface of your bathtub.An anti-slip formula is available at your local hardware store. Simply clean the surface of your bathtub, apply the formula with a roller and let it dry. The formula is safe to use, inexpensive and adds transaction to the surface of your tub, giving it more stability

4) Add Adhesive grips to the surface of your bathtub. Another inexpensive solution, adhesive grips are readily available and are installed much the same way as the formula. Clean the surface of your bathtub, properly dry it before applying the bonding agent with the grips and treads. The idea is that little treads add grip and traction to the surface of your bathtub, allowing for safer bathing. 

5) Make items more accessible as well as ensure your bathroom is properly lit. A common occurrence with accidents is lack of lighting coupled with inaccessibility of items. Sometimes the shampoo and soap are placed too high up along with the shower and faucet. This can lead to accidents with overreaching or overextending in an attempt to grab these items. Ensuring that these items are kept close by within easy reach is a great way to reduce accidents. 

Who is affected by a slippery bathtub 

A slippery bathtub can injure anyone, but most importantly it is a vital hazard for children and elderly. For the Elderly specifically, it can be difficult for them to gain traction with their feet, making it difficult for them to stand in a bathtub or shower.

For both parties, accessibility is another factor, with the shower head, faucet and toiletries generally kept high above, well out of their reach, creating more danger as they might slip and hurt themselves trying to reach for these things. Consider installing a caddy or cubby near your showerhead, making sure that all the bathing essentials are kept close to each other to prevent future mishaps. 

Steps to clean and keep a non slippery tub 

One step to ensuring that your bathtub remains safe is to ensure that its surface remains clean. A dirty bathtub is not only non-hygienic, but it also makes it much easier for accidents to occur due to the poor material build-up on its surface. For those that have a non-slip formula or use adhesive grip strips, harsh chemicals can easily strip and remove much of the protective coating, so it is best to use a general purpose cleaning spray and brush. 

1) Spray your bathtub down with all purpose spray and clean with a sponge.

2) Use water and a combination of soap to wash the general area of your bathtub

3) Wash your shower mat thoroughly as material build-up can be trapped underneath, leading to unpleasant odors

4) Clean and wipe down any handholds or bars to ensure that their surfaces are not uneven and easily graspable.

5) Check the integrity of your non-slip solution or adhesive strips. If they seem to be wearing down, replace them.

Additional tips to keep your bathroom non slippery 

  • Install multiple bath mats-Bath mats are inexpensive and provide a stable area for you to walk on, especially if your floor tends to be smooth/slippery
  • Consider installing bath tile or material that is more stable to walk on
  • A shower chair coupled with a shower curtain is another safe alternative for the elderly in your home
  • Have a separate enclosure for your shower and bathtub, reducing the amount of water that may spill on the floor
  • Apply grip treads to your bathroom floor

A bathroom should be a place of solace and safety, not one of dread and potential accidents. The steps mentioned above are inexpensive and quite easy to install yourself, so make sure your bathroom remains a safe and fun place-your household will thank you for it. 

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