Flush vs. Overlap Stair Nose

Flush vs. Overlap Stair Nose

Not sure which type of stair nosing to choose – flush or overlapping?

Stair nosing is an integral part of staircase design in both commercial and private settings. It is used to round off the forward edge of the top, horizontal surface of a stair step. Stair nose molding provides a unique finish for the edge of a step, covering the exposed edges of the surface material and also helps make the step safe to walk on.

In this article, we’ll compare flush vs. overlap stair nose molding. At Stone and Tile, you can find both flush and overlapping stair nose moldings for vinyl and laminate flooring, so we hope this article will help you make an informed purchase decision.

Flush vs. Overlap Stair Nose

Which type of stair nose molding is best for your stairs? Let’s take a look at both of them.

A wood flush stair nose connects on the same level as the flooring surface and creates a smooth and flush finish on the edges of your step where the laminate flooring meets the transition. It uses the tongue and groove configuration to secure the nose to the floor overlay and the stair underlayment. You can easily install flush stair nose pieces using construction adhesive. In addition, you should use 8 penny face nails to nail down the flush stair nose approximately 3 inches from each end, as well as in the center of the flush stair nose piece.

Flush nosing tends to have a more professional or custom look because the molding and flooring planks sit evenly. But there is also a downside. You will have a bit less expansion gap potential, so it’s important to leave more room underneath the riser for expansion.

An overlapping stair nose will create a transition to the edge of your step where the flooring meets the transition by overlapping the flooring on the back end instead of being flush. It has a small protruding piece that overlaps the floating floor and hides the expansion gap, leaving room for free movement of the floating floor. You can also glue overlap stair nose molding to the subfloor using construction adhesive.

Although overlap nosing will have the visible appearance of the overlap, you will be able to leave a small expansion gap under the overlap and the remainder of your gap under the riser. Besides, you can typically match an overlap stair nose of proper height up to any floor, regardless of joint, whereas the flush stair nose requires the same joint.

If you have stairs at your home or your office, we would highly recommend you fit stair nosings to protect your stairs and make them safer. If you are a DIY fan, you may want to check our guide on installing a T-Molding or installing a reducer molding.
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