Stair Nosings to Ensure Access Equality for All

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Enhancing access while minimising safety risks, stair nosings are a mandatory requirement

Accounting for over 60% of slip, trip and fall deaths in buildings, public stairways require the installation of precise visual cues to help people ascend and descend steps safely. Poor stair design and construction principles, combined with poor lighting and/or wet conditions, present imminent risk factors when not proactively addressed.

Stair nosings are a great way to ensure stair and floor safety for everyday pedestrian traffic. The ‘nose’ of a step is where people put their feet and weight on the stair, leading it to wear out over time. Installed to prevent the risk of slips and falls, stair nosings are profiled strips of material, commonly aluminium, that is fitted to the edge of steps (a.k.a. the ‘nose’) to provide an anti-slip surface.

VRC Flemington Racecourse
VRC Flemington Racecourse

The simple act of installing high-quality stair nosings minimises costly safety risks, adds a sense of security, and helps to prolong the wear of both the stair tread and the floor-covering product used on the stairs. Of even greater importance, it’s crucial that all stairways are designed to empower those with vision impairments and disabilities with confident and safe access.

Are stair nosings mandatory?

Yes, they are. According to AS1428.1, Australian Standard Design for Access and Mobility Part 1, stair nosings are a general requirement for access across all new building work. Providing access for more people with disabilities and addressing a wide range of building design elements, the standard also sets out the minimum requirements according to layout and application.

Your Australian Standard AS1428.1 compliance checklist for stair nosings

Stair nosings must be installed to the following AS1428.1 requirements:

  1. To the entire width of the accessible path of travel

Stair nosings must also always meet the following AS1428.1 Luminance Contrast requirements:

  1. Each tread is to have a minimum strip of 50mm and not more than 75mm deep across the width of the path of travel.
  2. The nosing strip is to have a minimum contrast of 30% to the floor finish.
  3. Nosing strip may be set back a maximum of 15mm from the front of the nosing.
  4. When located at the front of a stair nosing, the luminance contrast strip cannot extend down the riser more than 10mm.

How to choose the right type of safety stair nosing for your project

Aside from ensuring your stair nosing installation meets compliance requirements, there are a few other important factors to consider when selecting the best solution for your project.

Design aesthetics

More than a safety feature, stair nosings can complement and elevate the architectural aesthetics of your project. One of our latest releases, the Classic Tredfx Solid Brass stair nosings have been a popular choice due to their naturally beautiful and timeless look. Aluminium stair nosing is also another crowd favourite, with many colourways available including black, bronze, saffron and gold.

For a statement look, you can also customise your insert colours. For example, education refurbishments and new builds often take advantage of our ‘bright’ range, fostering a positive and energised environment.  

Classic 'BRIGHT' range of safety stair nosings
Classic ‘BRIGHT’ range of safety stair nosings

Beyond colours, we can also create bespoke solutions for projects of all scales. For example, we recently designed and installed a unique curved stair nosing solution for the base of a staircase at 477 Collins Street, Melbourne. From creating and testing a prototype to rolling out the final design, manufacture and installation, our team ensures solutions that exceed your project goals. 

Curved stair nosing installation
Curved stair nosing installation at 477 Collins Street, Melbourne

Pedestrian traffic and environmental factors

Another important consideration is the level of pedestrian traffic (e.g. low, medium, high) and the type of traffic (e.g. adult, child, visually impaired, etc.). Depending on the predicted volume and type of traffic, our team can help you ensure the correct level of slip-resistant rating required.

Classic Tredfx Solid Brass
Classic Tredfx Solid Brass

Providing an appropriate level of luminance contrast, you’ll also want to factor in LRV rating for complete compliance with building standards. A stair nosing with a luminescent insert makes the step edge more visible, a crucial visual aid for partially sighted people or in situations of power failure.

The location and environment of the stairwell will also dictate the recommended level of durability and safety. For example, industrial buildings normally opt for fibreglass stair nosing solutions due to their outstanding resistance to corrosion, chemicals, heat, electricity and fire.

Application type

Active Metal oOhMedia x
Image Credit: Active Metal Pty Ltd

Based on your project, you’ll need to identify your application type. For example, is the stair nosing going to be surface mounted or rebated? What type of surface is it going to be installed into (e.g. concrete, carpet, vinyl, rubber, timber, tile, etc.)

For more information, you can download our Product Application Guide for Stair Nosings.

For best results, let Classic provide you with the expert advice your project needs

With an expanded product range, Classic Architectural Group offers over 40 years’ unrivalled knowledge of standards to assist you in making the right safety stair nosing selection for your project. From Slip Resistant Ratings, LRV ratings and more, our technical know-how ensures your project is compliant with all Australian Standards.

Classic offers a versatile range of safety and access solutions. Complementing your stair nosing requirements, we can coordinate an entire floor safety solution including tactile indicators and commercial entrance matting. Listening to your design goals and understanding your functional requirements, our consultative approach allows you to put your best foot forward.

Supporting you from tailored consult right through to installation and maintenance, we’ll go above and beyond to keep your project on track. There’s no job too big or small, that’s the Classic way. If you are unsure of where to start or require further assistance with the abovementioned areas, the Classic team are always here to help! Get in touch with us by calling 1300 244 377 today.

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