A tread nosing is defined as a horizontally projecting edge of a stair tread. It is also known as a protective shield. Installing a tread nosing provides an extra layer of safety and visibility to all stairways; maximizing productivity and decreasing liabilities. Tread nosings are extremely important because they protect the area of the stairs which become worn easily due to heavy traffic.
Different types of tread nosing may include rubber, metal, dimple plate, checker plate or taped and may be added to wood, concrete or metal. Each type of tread nosing serves different environments such as food processing facilities, schools, automotive plants, commercial buildings, coal mining facilities, among many others. Listed below are four common tread nosing options.
1. Checkered Plate – This product is also known as diamond plate; which is a slip resistant and cost efficient product. The raised diamond pattern is what provides traction for pedestrians, although it becomes slippery when wet or oily. Many companies install diamond plate, but end up retrofitting a slip resistant product over the surface.
2. Slip Resistant Metal – Installing an all metal, slip resistant tread nosing may be more costly, but will last in the long run. The added non-slip coating has a very high bond strength, which means it will not flake off like most taped on products. This type of tread nosing is most durable and may be utilized in many industries.
3. Rubber – Rubber tread nosings are mainly used for commercial and residential applications where non-slip protection is needed. It’s offered in many different designs and colors, offering a more aesthetic appeal. They are used for surfaces such as tile, wood or stone. Its ribbed design adds traction, although it may become slick when wet and may need to be replaced annually.
4. Taped on – Anti-slip tape is an inexpensive product that is easy to install. It is waterproof and is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Taped on nosings may be a quick solution, but will not last. They wear easily and the edges may peel away.
Any of these tread nosings can be easily installed onto existing stairways or can be built into new construction. Depending on what type of tread nosing you choose, it may be welded, taped, bolted down with countersunk holes, applied with an adhesive or anchored with J-hooks or Nelson studs.
Tread nosings are a small, but critical component of any stairway; and should not be ignored. They not only add slip resistance but extend the lifespan of the stair treads.