Stair Nosing types

Stair Nosing – 6 Critical issues

We want you to install stair nosing once and only once.  We often have to tell builders to remove stair nosing and refit them to comply with code requirements.

Here are the 6 critical issues about stair nosing;

  1. Must be non-slip
  2. Must contain a luminance contrast strip not less than 50 mm or more than 75 mm.
  3. The luminance contrast strip must have a luminance contrast of not less than 30%.
  4. No part of the stair nosing strip is to project pass the face of the riser.
  5. The luminance contrast strip cannot project down the riser more than 10 mm.
  6. The luminance contrast strip cannot be more than 15 mm from the front of the riser.

Every one normally gets issues 1 and 2 correct, it is issues 3, 4, 5 and 6 that often have to be corrected.

Critical Issue 3

Selecting the stair nosing is a design issue, especially when it comes to the selection of the luminance contrast strip in the stair nosing.  However, it is important to understand that the luminance contrast strip has to contrast with the stair treads and risers.

Some stair nosing suppliers provide a stair nosing that has luminance contrast strip inserts.  There is nothing wrong with these stair nosing, however the luminance contrast strip must achieve the required luminance contrast with the tread and risers and not the base material of the stair nosing strip.

Critical Issue 4

The feature picture of this story shows different stair nosing strips and clearly shows that the nosing strips that project passsed the face of the riser do not comply.

The 5 examples in the green tick row show how the stair nosing strips can be installed so that they comply.

The critical issue is that the face of the tread or the riser cannot have the nosing protruding past the riser.  The riser must be flush all the way up to the top of the tread.

To achieve this any stair nosing strip has to be recessed or rebated into the actual riser or face of the tread whichever the case may be.

Critical Issue 5

The luminance contrast strip cannot project down past the top of the tread and/or riser more than 10 mm as the sketch below shows.

The reason for this is to ensure that the luminance contrast is in close proximity to the top of the tread so that the tread is not tripped over.

Critical Issue 6

The luminance contrast strip in the stair nosing can be setback from the front of the tread by not more than 15 mm as shown in the sketch below.

The reason for this is to ensure that the front of the tread is in close proximity to the luminance contrast strip to stop the tread being tripped over.

Luminance Contrast Stair Nosing Original

Stairs are one area where injury and litigation go hand in hand and it is when something goes wrong that everyone gets out their tapes and rules and starts measuring and that is why the building certifier is so critical about stairs and stair nosing.

Follow these 6 critical issue and apply them every time and you will be on top of stair nosing’s.

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I am a Director of Devcert and have been a Building Surveyor since 1989. I have a bachelor degree in building surveying and I am a qualified carpenter. I have been in the construction industry since 1981. I have a real passion for the building certification profession as I believe building certifiers are the general practitioners of the construction industry. Our role is not only to know building law and apply it, our role includes assisting in the development of the knowledge of all in the industry by sharing our knowledge and experience.