SLIP & FALL PROBLEMS ON SPECIFIC BUILDING MATERIALS
The materials that make up our stairs, porches, decks and floors can make a big difference in the potential risk of a slip and fall. Natural wood, synthetic wood, concrete and ceramic tile can all be safe building materials depending on how, where and when they’re used. In this section, we evaluate the slip-and-fall risks of the most popular building products and offer our recommendation on how to maximize traction in almost any environmental condition.
Synthetic wood, also known as artificial wood, composite wood or plastic wood, has become increasingly popular as an outdoor building material for decks, patios and stairs. While their initial cost is higher than natural wood, synthetic wood’s long life, uniformity, and low maintenance requirements makes the material an attractive choice for outdoor environments.
Consumer Reports highlighted in 2020 that synthetic decking material can be more slippery than natural wood. If your Trex or other synthetic wood is slippery, learn how to improve traction in our feature story on making synthetic decking less slippery.