5 Common Problems with Metal Stair Treads and How to Fix Them

Although most people dread taking the stairs, they play a significant role in our safety. If you are late for an event, a crowded or out-of-order elevator will increase your appreciation for stairs. Stairs connect multiple levels and facilitate movement within a space. Stair treads, the horizontal part of a stair where your foot lands, enables functionality and safety. In the rush of running late, we hardly notice how often stair treads keep us from slipping and falling. Like any other building component, stair treads are susceptible to wear and tear, causing problems that affect their usability and safety. Luckily, the most common issues with stair treads are relatively easy to resolve.



  1. Worn or Damaged Metal Stair Treads

One of the most frequent problems with metal stair treads is wear and tear. Constant foot traffic on stairs causes the treads to wear out over time. In addition, factors such as improper installation and exposure to moisture or sunlight can contribute to the damage. Damaged treads are hazardous, causing slips, trips, and falls. If your metal stair treads are worn or damaged, replacing them as soon as possible is crucial.

Resolving this issue may include regular inspection of your stair treads for signs of damage. However, if the damage is extensive, it may require replacing the entire stair tread. You can also prevent this problem by using high-quality treads made from durable metals. Therefore, when replacing the treads, ensure you use high-quality metals and follow proper installation procedures.

  1. Loose Metal Stair Treads

Metal stair treads can sometimes start to squeak or become loose over time. Factors like improper installation or wear and tear may cause loose treads. Loose treads are often caused by friction between the tread and the stringer or subfloor. Loose treads are hazardous, as they can shift or move when someone is walking on them, causing a trip or fall. If you notice that your metal stair treads are loose, it is vital to fix them immediately.

  1. Uneven Metal Stair Treads

Uneven stair treads pose a serious safety hazard, as they can cause people to trip or stumble when walking up or down the stairs. This problem occurs under several factors, such as poor installation, structural issues, or wear and tear over time.

When resolving this problem, inspect your metal stair treads for any signs of unevenness. Use a level to determine the degree of inequality. Depending on the severity, professional help might be necessary to identify the root cause and fix the problem. Furthermore, you can measure the height of each stair tread to determine if they are all the same height. If you find any discrepancies, adjust the treads as needed.

  1. Slippery Metal Stair Treads

In damp areas, like some food processing facilities, moisture may cause slippery steps. Often, this issue worsens with worn treads, additional water, or using the wrong metals for your facility on stair treads.

To fix this dilemma, inspect the treads for any signs of wear and tear or moisture. Use a product like a fiberglass tread cover to improve tread traction. Additionally, ensure that you regularly clean the treads to remove any buildup of dirt or debris. Direct Metals® offers several types of metal stair tread solutions. Grip Strut™ stair treads, bar grating stair treads, and metal safety grating stair treads with serrated surfaces that grip the soles of work boots, reducing on-the-job accidents and making metal stairways safer for employees. We also supply slip-resistant fiberglass grating stair treads, a popular choice among amusement parks, water parks, and restaurants for pedestrian and customer safety.

  1. Faded or Discolored Metal Stair Treads

Faded or discolored treads can occur when metal stair treads are exposed to sunlight, moisture, or improper cleaning methods. Discolored treads can affect the space's aesthetic appeal and may require replacement.

Consider troubleshooting this problem by inspecting the treads for any signs of fading or discoloration. If the problem is minor, you can use paint to restore the color. On the other hand, installing fiberglass stair tread covers can provide a cost-effective solution, depending on the severity of the problem. Covers are made from extruded fiberglass and have a grit surface. These tread covers have a safety yellow nosing that is integral to the tread cover, which means it cannot wear away. Our slip-resistant fiberglass stair tread covers are ideal for many industries due to their corrosion resistance and long product life.


Overall, metal stair treads are subjected to several common issues that have the potential to mar their appearance and create dangerous situations. Nonetheless, numerous solutions exist, from basic cleaning and upkeep to more complex repairs or installations. Consider the appropriate alternative for your requirements and budget and carefully evaluate all options to resolve the issue with your stairs.

At Direct Metals®, you can expect outstanding quality for every slip-resistant metal stair tread product we provide. Our Safety Grating and Stair Tread products are available in various materials, sizes, and shapes to fit your specific applications. Ready to make your workplace safer? Request a quote for our slip-resistant metal stair treads today!


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