Take Steps To Get It Right

Walk down any High Street, and you're likely see the sort of damage to ceramic or stone steps which is pictured here, at the entrance to many shops, caused by heavy objects, deliveries, or even pushchairs being dragged over the top of them.

However, there is a simple answer for tilers and flooring contractors looking to solve this problem

While some tiles actually incorporate protective step treads, they will suffer the same problem if a heavy load is dragged over the top, or there's an impact to the edge: they'll still fail.

The best solution is a specially engineered stair-nosing profile. This may not be the best-looking solution, but it is the most effective way of preventing the type of damage to steps and stairs shown in the picture, while also providing a slip-resistant surface.

There are several types available: most are specifically designed for particular types of applications.

PVC is generally suitable for residential or light commercial use, while heavy duty products are often two-part profiles, where aluminium or stainless steel anchoring legs incorporate a replaceable tread area. This is because the actual tread area is likely to become worn or damaged over time, and a new one can simply be inserted without having to remove either the tile or the profile.




So why do we continue to see all this damage when there appears to be a simple and cost-effective solution?

Possibly it is lack of knowledge as to what the answer is -- but it may also be down to misconception about price. Most stair-nosing profiles are probably cheaper to buy than a purpose-formed stair-nosing ceramic tile.

Therefore, overall, although they probably don't look as good in the short-term, they do a much better job in the medium to long-term, in protecting the front edge of the tile from unsightly wear and damage.

The use of appropriate stair nosing profiles also helps towards compliance with  Building Regulations relating to access and facilities for disabled people.

Many flooring contractors are now realising that in many cases stair nosing profiles are essential, and without their correct use, applications will continue to fail.

Tips on installing stair nosing profiles

  • Install the riser tile to the correct height, and apply appropriate tile adhesive to the edge areas above the riser.
  • Fill cavities at the bottom of the profile with tile adhesive.
  • Press the stair nosing profile and its anchoring leg into the adhesive, and align as appropriate (some types of profile need to be installed so the front edge is flush to the riser tile, others overlap the riser tile).
  • Trowel additional adhesive over the anchoring leg ensuring it is fully covered.
  • Solidly embed the tread tiles so the top of the profile is flush with the tile, or up to 1mm lower (the profile should never be higher than the tile).
  • A joint of approximately 2 mm should be left between the tile and the profile, which must be completely filled with grout.


   
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