Staircase. Stair nosing, as pertaining to a staircase, refers to where the outer edge or front portion of each tread meets the top of the riser from below. Said in other words, a step's nose is the outside corner formed by the horizontal and vertical planes. The nose of a step receives the most foot traffic. As would naturally follow, the nosing is usually the part of stairs that shows wear first or fails. For this reason, the trim or molding installed to protect the nosing needs to be carefully chosen and installed properly. (Trim pieces and moldings are addressed below.)
There are two primary types of nosing: waterfall nosing (a.k.a., rectified or straight nosing) and wrapped nosing. Waterfall nosing drops straight down to form a 90-degree angle or an angle that is close to square. (See diagram and example below.) Wrapped nosing extends beyond the riser to create a lip. (See diagram and example below.)
If we are installing carpet on the staircase, we will upholstery each step to wrap the contours of the nosing. Products other than carpet usually require a special molding or trim piece for the nose of each step.
Side Profile of Stairs with a Waterfall Nose or Rectified Nose or Square Nose.
Example of Stairs with a Wrapping Nose
Molding or Trim Piece. Stair nosing, as pertaining to moldings and trim pieces, refers to the molding or trim that will be attached to the nose of each step to protect the edge from damage and to ensure the safety of those who will use the stairs. Moldings or trim pieces can be made of vinyl, rubber, wood, laminate, stone, or ceramic. Some are flush for a square edge; others overlap for an extended edge. We offer our commercial clients stair nosing that includes special texture for grip or color to draw attention.