Good question: How to make wood stairs less slippery?

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Our reader Alicia writes, "We recently redid the ratty carpet-covered plywood stairs in our house as a lovely stained/varnished solid wood. Wonderful to look at, extremely painful to fall down -- which I did recently. No major damage, thankfully, just a sprained ankle and the most spectacular

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butt bruise I've ever seen in my life, but I don't want this to happen to anyone else. How can you make wood stairs less dangerous in a way that is attractive? I've never really seen carpet runners and the things that hold them down done in a way that i like. We had thick black rubber treads adhesed to the basement stairs in my house growing up -- VERY ugly. I would love to hear if anyone has found a cool, elegant, attractive or clever way to solve this problem.

Alicia, congratualtions on your recent remodel. Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. While we don't have any concrete answers to your questions, we do think it's the new varnish rather than the wood that is causing the issue. We suspect with some good dirt tracking in over some time [1-2 months] that the varnish will stop being so slick.

There is one other item we thought of but we give the advice cautiously as we don't know the results... Possible use of super fine sandpaper or light rubbing of steel wool in the high traffic area just to dull the varnish a little, little bit? Again we don't know for sure...possibly try a little corner to see how it would look if you go that direction would be our advice. We are also having thoughts of the use of surf wax...but don't know enough about it to advise.

Readers anyone have a tip for Alicia and her bum?