Specifying the Correct Stair Edging

Specifying the Correct Stair Edging

Hello, my name is Adam Hill, Marketing Product Manager for our Accessories category. I’ve worked for Gradus for 2 and a half years. In that time, I have been focused on building my knowledge of our products, the sectors we serve and the different types of customers we work with daily.

A key topic that I’d like to highlight as part of our “Safe in The Gradus Knowledge” series is the importance of specifying the correct Stair Edging. Although the last thing anyone wants is to cause a major safety risk, inadvertently choosing an unsuitable Stair Edging profile for the environment could lead to just that. This can then lead to additional implications such as the wasted financial cost of purchasing materials and the time spent fitting them, plus the potential for heavy fines if an accident did occur.

To help avoid this, we have created a simple 3-step guide covering all aspects of selecting a Stair Edging profile.  You can find this on pages 10-15 of our Stair Edgings & Floor Trims brochure (Ed.6). Below provides a brief overview of what’s covered:


Step 1 - Choose the right Stair Edging and fixing method for the step

No matter how many steps you are installing, the same guidelines apply for creating safe, accessible staircases. 

Key considerations to ensure you select the correct Stair Edging profile:


Types of Stair Edging

Shape of the Step

Depth of Tread (going) 

Gauge (thickness)

Fixing Method 


Step 2 - Select the correct slip-resistance for the conditions

It is important to consider the environment in which a Stair Edging is to be used as this will determine the level of slip-resistance required in order to help minimise the risk of accidents. 

We offer 5 different types of inserts to suit a variety of conditions and applications. 

Key considerations when selecting the insert type:


Potential contaminants – any risk of spillages?

Location – potential for walked in moisture if located next to an entrance for example? 

Maintenance – how often will it be cleaned?

Traffic – what is the nature and level of traffic expected?


Step 3 - Choose a colour that visually contrasts

Specification guidelines highlight the need to ensure there is enough visual contrast at the step edge. 

Key considerations when choosing a colour that visually contrasts:


Light Reflectance Value (LRV) – There must be at least 30-points difference between the LRV of the Stair Edging insert colour and the surrounding floorcovering.

Lighting – the stairs should be well lit in daylight and/or artificial light (to at least 100 lux).

Visual Contrast – there must be visual contrast at the step edge.

Tonal Contrast – consider those with visual impairments who may not be able to see all colours, but who can perceive light and dark.

As mentioned earlier, you can find our 3-step guide on pages 10-15 of the Gradus Stair Edgings & Floor Trims (Ed.6). I also recommend downloading a copy of The Gradus Knowledge information paper, which expands further on each of the individual elements mentioned above and covers the latest regulations and guidelines, all in an illustrative, easy-to-digest format which I believe is a ‘must have’ for anyone specifying Stair Edgings.

Click here to see our full range of Stair Edgings.

Please send any questions to imail@gradus.com  or call 01625 428 922

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