What Are the Different Options for Stair Edging?

Donn Saylor

Stair edging, often referred to as stair nosing, comes in a variety of different styles. These include metal, rubber, and tile. The edging can be applied to stairs that are covered with carpet or linoleum or are finished wood. This type of home improvement can both enhance the look of the stairs and, in many cases, make the stairs safer for foot traffic.

Carpeted stairs can make edging easier.
Carpeted stairs can make edging easier.

Metal stair edging is a flat piece of metal with a sharp right angle at one end, making it easy to fit over existing stairs. This kind of stair trim typically comes in three varieties: flat, grooved, and ridged. Metal trim for stairs are often seen on outdoor staircases due to the sturdiness of the metal, which can withstand the elements much more efficiently than many other options.

A non-skid stair surface is ideal if the stairs will be used frequently by an elderly person.
A non-skid stair surface is ideal if the stairs will be used frequently by an elderly person.

Another type of common stair edging is rubber. This variety of flooring trim can be placed at the edge of the step to create a nonskid surface, making it ideal for staircases heavily trafficked by children or the elderly. Rubber stair edging is available in an assortment of colors to suit most home decor.

Tile is perhaps the most attractive option for stair edging. It can be fitted to match the dimensions of each step. Though linoleum tile edging is common, it is not as robust as ceramic tile, which will likely last much longer than linoleum. Ceramic tile can be affixed to either concrete or wood stairs and offers the added benefit of being easy to clean. Unlike rubber, many tiles are not made of non-slip material, so homeowners are advised to consider selecting a style that will not give easily under heavy traffic.

When choosing stair edging to meet the needs of a home, it is vital to choose materials that are the right size. Selecting materials that are either too big or too small is a common mistake many homeowners make. It is important to know all the proper dimensions of the stairs to be edged since only those materials with the precise measurements will fit securely.

Carpeted stairs can present their own challenges when applying stair edging. By its very nature, carpet is soft and malleable, so when edging like metal or rubber is installed, experts advise making certain it is mounted tightly and securely. Loose stair edging not only looks unattractive, but it can lead to slips and falls. Having the right nails, screws, or adhesive material is important to guaranteeing stair edging is effectively placed over carpeted stairs.

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