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How Can I Make My Acrylic Tub Less Slippery?

Hugh Patterson

Acrylic tubs are popular because of their durable finish and low cost. While acrylic tubs offer many advantages, they have one disadvantage: They can be extremely slippery. Although professionals can treat the floor of the tub with a nonstick coating, it can be expensive. Use a few simple household tools and a self-adhesive nonslip bathtub mat to make an acrylic tub safe to use and prevent falls.

Modern bathtubs are often made of acrylic.
  1. Measure the area being covered by the mat. Most acrylic tubs have a slight curvature where the floor connects with the tub's walls. Only measure the flat portion of the tub's floor. As most tub drains are at one end of the tub, directly under the faucet, there is little chance of standing in this area. Thus, the length of the mat is only measured up to the drain.

  2. Purchase the self-adhesive nonskid mat designed for use in a tub or shower. A mat designed for exterior stairs is too rough for bare feet and not intended to be submerged in water. Nonskid mats designed for tubs are usually clear or white and have a softer surface. Purchase a sheet size closest to the measurements of the tub. The mat only needs to cover the area where feet come in contact with the tub's surface.

  3. Completely wash the area where the mat is being placed. The adhesive on the backside of the mat will not adhere to the tub's surface if there is dirt, grease, soap or shampoo creating a barrier. Mix 6 tsp. of concentrated liquid laundry detergent with 1 qt. of hot water. Scrub the floor of the tub until it's clean. Dry the tub thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

  4. Cut the mat to the correct size, referring to the measurements in step 1. Mat material is thick, so cutting it with scissors can be difficult and may leave a ragged edge. Use a sharp utility knife and metal straightedge for a clean cut. Once cut, test-fit the mat on the tub's floor. If the mat is slightly smaller than the tub floor and requires no cutting, go to step 5.

  5. Nonskid mats can be used throughout the bathroom.
  6. Remove the protective backing from the adhesive side of the mat. Lay down a strip of painter's masking tape lengthwise to use as a reference line. The tape will act as a guide for lining up the long edge of the mat. Carefully position the the mat. Once the mat is in place, firmly push down on the mat to adhere it to the tub's surface.