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.
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.