What to do when carpeted stairs meet tiles or how do you finish off tiling a floor that meets stairs

by Martin
February 21

You may have never heard of nosing tiles before, however they are crucial to many areas of a tiling job.

What are nosing tiles?

completed nosing tile job

Nosing tiles are those ribbed tiles that you often see used at the edge of stairs to prevent people from slipping. They’re frequently used in commercial areas because they provide a strong edge for a hard wearing area.

A normal tile can’t be laid with an overhang because they are too thin, sharp and not strong enough to take the weight of heavy traffic on stairways. Nosing tiles provide a strong, tidy solution where carpeted stairs meet a tiled floor.

  • They’re available in a range of colors and sizes from most tile shops.
  • They’re slightly thicker, stronger and safer than most tiles as they have moulded grooves in the surface to allow for sturdy grip when stepping.

For people who are visually impaired, a darker or lighter color can highlight the edges providing a safer alternative. It’s important for the edge of stairs to stand out in some way to avoid it becoming a trip hazard.

How to plan out the nosing tiles

Stop laying floor tiles 1 row out from the stairs. This will allow you to plan positioning for nosing tiles.

Place nosing tile on the right hand edge of the stair, allow 15ml overhang depending on carpet thickness. (If carpet is particularly thick you may want to allow a little extra.) Mark that position on the floor.

Allow for thickness of the grout (this will depend on grout size used for overall tiling job). Mark position as well.

Place nosing tile of the left hand side of the stair and repeat. Join the 2 marks with a line. (Marking ensures the nosing tiles will run in a parallel line with the stairs.) When you lay your last row of tiles you will be able to adjust any variances in measurements, which is quite common, to make sure that you’ll be starting the nosing tiles in the correct position.

Lay floor tiles. Cutting the tiles, if necessary, to fit up to marked area.

Set out nosing tiles to see if a cut is needed. Allow for grout width between each nosing tile. Start one side, working to the other and cut tile if necessary.

how to cut floor tiles to fit nosing tiles

Lay nosing tiles. Glue onto the edge of the floor surface using tile glue. Thickness of the glue will be determined by the height of floor tiles. The finished surface needs to be the same height.

Allow drying time (check glue drying specs).

Grout the nosing tiles as you would grout normal floor tiles.

If you are unsure on how to grout, check out my DIY grouting video.

Allow grout to dry.

If meeting carpeted stairs, when the tiling and grouting is completed reglue the carpet if necessary underneath the tile overhang.

Finishing off tiling project

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