How To Fix A Slippery Tub (3 Ways To Do It!)

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen

There’s nothing quite like relaxing at the end of a long day with a soak in a tub. Or, maybe you prefer to wake up in the morning with a nice shower in a combo shower/bathtub. Either way, the time you spend in a tub is a great way to refresh and prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

However, it may be difficult to enjoy the time you spend in a tub if it’s slippery. You won’t be able to relax if you’re always worried about falling down. Thankfully, there are several easy methods you can try to fix the problem.

There are three ways to fix a slippery tub, and those are by:

  • Adding a rubber mat to your tub
  • Installing clear anti-slip adhesive treads
  • Applying a specially designed anti-slip solution

By applying one of these methods, or combining a couple of them, you will not have to deal with a slippery tub.

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How To Fix A Slippery Bathtub

There are several different ways that you can go about fixing a bathtub that’s too slippery. Here’s an overview of each of them.

Purchase A Bath Mat

This is by far the most common way that people address slippery tubs. Bath mats are usually very cheap and very easy to install. All that you need to do is make sure that the mat’s suction cups attach to your tub’s floor properly.

Bath mats work by adding traction to your tub’s surface. This gives your feet something to hold onto while you’re in the tub. In most cases, installing a bath mat is all that’s needed to fix a slippery tub.

Try Anti-Slip Adhesive Treads

These are small strips of tape that have a sticky bottom to attach to your tub’s floors. Anti-slip adhesive treads are also commonly used on stairs. However, there are specific variations that are designed exclusively to help provide tubs with traction.

Like bath mats, anti-slip adhesive treads are inexpensive and easy to install. They’re a good option for people who aren’t interested in leaving a bath mat in their tub for whatever reason.

There aren’t very many complaints about anti-slip adhesive treads. However, some people say that the treads begin to peel up after extended use. Others say that these products are too rough for their feet. Whether these downsides are worth the upsides of installing anti-slip adhesive treads is up to you.

Use An Anti-Slip Formula

If you don’t like the idea of permanently installing anything in your tub, then this option could be for you. Companies now make liquid anti-slip formulas that can be applied directly to your tub’s floor. These boast of being able to add permanent traction to your tub floor.

Layering your tub with a liquid anti-slip formula is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide that you can follow if you choose to go this route:

  • Clean the tub. Start by cleaning your tub’s floor thoroughly and drying it off completely
  • Mark the spots. Next, mark off the parts of your tub that you want to apply the formula to using tape strips.
  • Apply the formula. Then, pour the formula over the marked off area.
  • Spread the liquid. Usually, the formula includes a roller. Use this to spread the liquid evenly across the part of the tub floor that you’ve chosen to add this to.
  • Finally, give the formula some time to dry. Most brands recommend that you wait at least 5 hours before trying to use the tub again.

What Makes A Tub Slippery?

It would be great if the solution to a slippery tub was to simply change one thing about how you use it. However, when a bathtub is slippery, it’s usually due to a convergence of several factors instead of just one. This is a list that can include things like:

  • Moisture
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • The smooth surface of the bathtub’s floor

Often, all of these factors work together to create tub floors that are really difficult to gain traction on. That’s what causes most slips.

If your tub is slippery, it’s important that you take steps to deal with it sooner rather than later. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that millions of U.S. residents are injured in bathtub-related slip-and-fall incidents every year. You don’t want someone in your family to join that statistic.

Are Certain Types of Tubs More Slippery Than Others?

Generally speaking, the answer to this question is no. Most bathtubs will be equally slippery if you were to use each of them in the same way and compare the results. Slipperiness is actually a result of the design process that bathtubs go through.

Bathtubs need to be made out of materials that won’t absorb water and become moldy. If you place water on a surface like this, then that water will simply sit on top of it.

Tubs get rid of most of this water by sending it down the drain. However, there’s still a thin layer that sits on top of the surface that contributes to its slipperiness.

That being said, you may be able to find bathtubs that include anti-slip technology right out of the box. However, these usually cost more and don’t provide much value when compared to what you could do to limit your tub’s slipperiness on your own.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Bath Mat

Most people end up going with a bath mat because of how cheap and easy to install they are. If that’s what you decide to do, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind while shopping.

First, bath mats need to be cleaned often. They almost always get moisture and soap scum stuck underneath them. That means you’ll need to wash your mat regularly to avoid the buildup of mold and mildew.

This is important to keep in mind because it means that you should avoid purchasing bath mats that are difficult to add and remove to your tub. Instead, you should look for mats that are easy to take out and clean without sacrificing any protection.

Additionally, bath mats only stick to smooth surfaces. You might have a combo shower/bath with a tiled or textured floor. If you do, then the suction cups on a bath mat will have a difficult time sticking to that floor. You’re likely going to be better off trying another method to reduce the floor’s slipperiness.

Should I Install A Grab Bar?

Each of the methods described above can lead to a significant reduction in the slipperiness of your tub. However, they may still not provide enough traction for some individuals. If that’s how you feel, then you may want to look into installing a grab bar.

Grab bars are generally a fallback option for folks who have already tried another method of reducing their tub’s slipperiness. These bars limit your chances of having an accidental fall in the shower because they give you something to hold onto in the event that you feel yourself beginning to slip.

Grab Bars With Suction Cups

If you decide to purchase a grab bar for your tub, then you should look into models that attach to the wall with suction cups. These suction cups are specially designed to be powerful enough to support the weight of most individuals. They’re also incredibly easy to install.

Your other option is to purchase a grab bar that attaches to your wall with screws. These products are more difficult to install but may also provide you with more durability and strength. Ultimately, each of these options can be a solid secondary way to make your tub less slippery.

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Related Questions

Do I have to buy something to make my tub less slippery?

Unfortunately, yes, you will need to buy something to make your bathtub less slippery. There are simply no home-based solutions that can replicate the traction provided by-products that are designed for this purpose.

Are certain bathtubs more slippery than others?

As detailed above, most bathtubs have about the same level of slipperiness. However, acrylic tubs are notorious for this. They can be extremely slippery and often need to be treated with a nonstick coating to be made safe.

Should I replace a slippery bathtub?

It’s not usually worth it to replace a slippery bathtub. You’ll almost definitely end up having the same problem with the new tub that you purchase. It’s more cost-effective to simply address the issue directly by trying one of the methods shown above.

Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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