How to Install Stair Nose Molding

Stair noses refer to the molding or pieces of wood installed on the edges of staircases. When I first heard of this term, it really intrigued me, as I know for a fact that stairs don’t have noses. LOL.

Now that I have been in the home remodeling business for many years, this term doesn’t seem so strange anymore. And believe me, you’ll find other terms in home construction and renovation that are funnier than stair noses as you become more familiar with this kind of work.


Why the Heck Do Stairs Need Noses?

Now that we have gotten over the strangeness of the term, let’s look at its purpose.


Why do stairs need noses?

Well, first of all, adding noses to stairs will make the staircase safer. As we all know, the stairs is a very dangerous place – in houses, in buildings, and just about anywhere where there’s a need for this kind of structure.

A 2-step stairs may not be as dangerous as a 10-step staircase, but it’s just as frightening when you consider the possible injuries that can result from falling or tripping on stairs. This is especially dangerous for old people and children as they can get out of balance easily.

Since stair noses can define the edges of the steps, the risks for accidental falls and other mishaps can be greatly reduced. The noses break the monotony of how the steps look like, so people can be more careful with every step.


Stair Noses Add Value to Homes

Another important use of stair noses is that these can protect the steps from early wear and tear. Stair nose acts as the first line of defense when weight is placed on the steps. And we can only imagine the amount of pressure and stress that each step has to bear when people go up and down the staircase.

Because stair noses can protect the stairs and prolong its life, installing these additional molding can also add value to a home. Yes, it adds to the aesthetic value, but even more so to the monetary value. Therefore, you can sell homes with stair noses at a good price if you are in the business of house flipping (like I am).


Types of Stair Noses

Stair noses come in different types. While you can make your own stair noses (like we did), these can also be purchased in ready-made form.

Personally speaking, I like wooden stair noses especially if the main floor of the house is made of hardwood materials. However, you have other options when installing nose moldings.

Metal stair noses are quite common in buildings and there are also those that are made from aluminum. If budget is a main consideration, you can also go for vinyl and laminate stair nosing styles.

If safety is your main concern, there are also stair noses that are made of rubber. So really, it will depend on the overall project and your intentions.

Typically, ready-made noses can measure about 4 to 5 inches with the rounded edges that will extend down the steps to cover that part of the stairs.

In the photos below (with yours truly as the photographer), you will see how my fiancé (the Australian Stud Muffin) and our other friends tackled on this task in one of the homes that we flipped. Like I always say, make sure that you have all the materials you need before starting on a home renovation project. It's one of the reasons why we always finish our work swiftly and efficiently.

Like I always say, make sure that you have all the materials you need before starting on a home renovation project. It’s one of the reasons why we always finish our work swiftly and efficiently.

Always make it a point that you have enough space to work on a particular project. Before starting with the stairs project in this particular house, we cleared the place up and made sure that only the necessary materials are present in the surroundings.

Always make it a point that you have enough space to work on a particular project. Before starting with the stairs project in this particular house, we cleared the place up and made sure that only the necessary materials are present in the surroundings.

This was the area where the wooden pieces for the flooring were measured and cut. It's important that all the pieces are ready for installation once that part of the renovation project is being tackled on.

This was the area where the wooden pieces for the flooring were measured and cut. It’s important that all the pieces are ready for installation once that part of the renovation project is being tackled on.

This is the most inspiring shot that I took while working on this home renovation job. As a DIY person, I saw the possibilities of creating beautiful stairs and flooring in this old house.

This is the most inspiring shot that I took while working on this home renovation job. As a DIY person, I saw the possibilities of creating beautiful stairs and flooring in this old house.

I remember this scenario very well. We had to strip off some old materials from the flooring so that we can install new wood on the staircase and floors.

I remember this scenario very well. We had to strip off some old materials from the flooring so that we can install new wood on the staircase and floors. In this photo, we were just starting to install stair noses.

Can you see the marks on the floor? Those are sketches and patterns to serve as guide for the installation of wood flooring.

Can you see the marks on the floor? Those are sketches and patterns to serve as guide for the installation of wood flooring.

Here's another shot of the unfinished staircase that we were working on. It was the last one we did because working on each step can really take a lot of time.

Here’s another shot of the unfinished staircase that we were working on. The stair noses are already installed but the rest of the stairs still remain unfinished.

As you can see, renovating can be really messy. In this photo you can see shoes, working gear and other paraphernalia that are needed to get the job done right.

As you can see, renovating can be really messy. In this photo you can see shoes, working gear and other paraphernalia that are needed to get the job done right.

As much as possible, I would recommend removing all types of furniture from a house that's being renovated. We kept a few chairs around during this project and they got really dirty from dust and wood particles.

As much as possible, I would recommend removing all types of furniture from a house that’s being renovated. We kept a few chairs around during this project and they got really dirty from dust and wood particles.

Here is a closer look at the stairwell as it's being worked on by the Life Will Not Wait crew. The guys are very efficient and they were able to get the job done is just about a week.

Here is a closer look at the stairwell as it’s being worked on by the Life Will Not Wait crew. The guys are very efficient and they were able to get the job done is just about a week.

In this shot, only the staircase remains to be unfinished. Everything's starting to look good, huh?

In this shot, only the staircase remains to be unfinished. Everything’s starting to look good, huh?

The guys worked on the second floor's flooring first and as you can see in this photo, the job was completed nicely. Now it's time to focus on the stairs.

The guys worked on the second floor’s flooring first and as you can see in this photo, the job was completed nicely. Now it’s time to focus on the rest of the stairs.

This is how the finished flooring looked like. As you can see, the flooring extended inside the second floor rooms too.

This is how the finished flooring looked like. As you can see, the flooring extended inside the second floor rooms too.

You wouldn't think that something that looks like this can be transformed into something beautiful, right? But with the DIY guys on the job, this project turned out really really great. Nice job again, guys!

You wouldn’t think that something that looks like this can be transformed into something beautiful, right? But with the DIY guys on the job, this project turned out really really great. Nice job again, guys!

Here's a closer look at the steps while they're being worked on. Each piece of wood was measured and cut precisely to construct everything properly.

Here’s a closer look at the steps while they’re being worked on. Each piece of wood was measured and cut precisely to construct everything properly.

Thank heavens for ;power tools! You can see some of the tools and gadgets we used for the renovation of this house. These electronic devices can really speed up work and make everything just perfect.

Thank heavens for ;power tools! You can see some of the tools and gadgets we used for the renovation of this house. These electronic devices can really speed up work and make everything just perfect.

It feels good to see a work in progress when you're renovating a house. We are almost done here and finishing up means we can sell the house soon!

It feels good to see a work in progress when you’re renovating a house. We are almost done here and finishing up means we can sell the house soon!

how to install stair nose properly

You can see in this photo that the steps are being accomplished one by one and the messy surroundings are starting to clear up little by little too. That’s how it is with renovation and you can always expect a beautiful ending.

stair nose edging

We included wooden flooring tinted blue in this home’s design to match with the blue walls in certain areas of the house.


Step By Step Procedures on Installing Stair Nose Molding

Listed below are the basic steps to installing stair noses. In this particular procedure, we used wood materials and the boys accomplished every part of the project in DIY style. Hey, if we can do it, you can do it too!

  • Measure the first step and the rest of the steps to make sure that the stair noses will fit properly.
  • Position the piece of wood on a flat surface and use a miter saw to cut the precise measurement for the stair noses.
  • Apply wood glue or construction adhesive on the edges of the steps.
  • Position the stair noses in place and apply some pressure.
  • Use an electric drill to make holes on the noses. Do this for about 5 to 6 inches apart (it depends on the total length of the steps).
  • Screw 2-inch nails on each of the holes to secure the noses in place.
  • If you are working on stairwells and landings where 2 pieces of wood materials are joined at an angle, use a miter saw to cut on the edges of the moldings.
  • Fit the noses together, drill holes on the noses, and secure with nails just as you would on straight pieces of moldings.

Finishing Up the Stairs

Once you have accomplished all the steps above, you are ready to work on the rest of the staircase. Remember that the nose moldings need to be installed first before working on the rest of the steps.

As with any type of flooring, the surface of every step in a staircase should be flat. So when you place the first piece of wood on a step, make sure that it’s fitted tight against the inner portion of the noses.


Let’s Get to Work!

So there you have it, you now know how to install stair noses when constructing or remodeling the staircase of a house. Pass this on to your construction buddies and DIY pals so that they can familiarize themselves with this home renovation procedure too.

No Comments Yet.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *