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  • Pinto Carpentry

How to Choose Your Stair Tread Nosing Shape to Modernize Your Interior Aesthetic

Updated: Feb 9

birds eye view of L Shaped Staircase

As a homeowner, we know how much work you put into your dwelling to create a happy home that’s not only safe and comfortable but beautiful. You spend hours choosing paint colors, wallpapers, drapery fabrics, and furniture because you know the little details can make all the difference. We understand, and that’s why whenever Pinto Carpentry is tasked with crafting Today, we’ll be sharing a few details about staircase nosing, and how to choose the right look to put that perfect finishing touch on your modern renovations and improvements.

What is Stair Tread Nosing?

Stair treads are the full surface of the stair that you step on while you walk, and nosing is the edge that sometimes extends beyond the riser. Nosing is not only part of your staircase aesthetics, but it also serves several functions. The first, is that nosing can prevent slips and falls by improving the visibility of each tread and improving traction. The second, is it can help protect the wear and tear on each of your stair treads. And thirdly, it can provide a unifying factor in the aesthetics and atmosphere of your home by tying in the tread nosing shape in with your home’s decor style.

What are the types of Staircase Nosing styles?

Pencil Round

This is a classic, very popular nosing edge style named as it resembles a sideways pencil. It’s a more streamlined look without any hard edges, and protrudes just slightly over the tread edge. It looks fantastic in a wood finish as well as when carpeted, and works with both traditional home design and more modern look. A great option for families with children due to the rounded edges.

Full Round

This is a smooth, rounded curve nosing that extends all the way around the edge of the stair tread. It’s often found on landings as it’s not good at preventing slips like other designs. When used on a full staircase, however, it does provide a very elegant, upscale look to the treads with not much overhang.

Half Round

This type of nosing is also referred to as “bullnose” design nosing features a rounded curved edge with a flat surface between the edges. It’s most commonly used on landings at the bottom of a staircase.


This is squared in shape with slightly rounded edging that protects against visible damage such as dents, nicks, scratches. It is a chic edged look that overhangs the tread slightly, but creates a very dramatic, modern visual impact.

Flush or No Overhang

This look is ultra-modern, sleek, and is perfect for those looking for a clean, minimalist look. The nosing is directly flush with the riser, and helps create the illusion that it’s one solid, continuous piece of wood. It also has the added safety benefit of reducing trips and falls.

Which is the right Stair Nosing to select for my home?

If you’re looking for a more modern home for designs such as minimalism, industrial modern, or mid-century modern which play off of angles and geometric shapes we recommend the Square or Flush look. For homes with more classic styling, and those with children, the Pencil Round tread is a great modern look that will stand the test of time.

Still feeling a little overwhelmed with options? We can help!

The team at Pinto Carpentry has been in the business for several decades, and we’re well-equipped to help you find the perfect custom design aesthetic for your home. Call us today to schedule a consultation, or reach out by e-mail with your inquiry. We’ll be happy to guide you through your options, and you can trust that our suppliers will provide quality products to suit every need.

Curious to learn more about how our team of carpenters install the nosing on your stairway treads? Check out this informational video by This Old House, one of our favourite channels on YouTube.

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