Do I have to install stair nosing across the full width of the step?

Australian stair nosing standards path way of travel.

A continuous path of travel

A continuous path of travel means an unobstructed access to public facilities without discriminating against those with disabilities.

The Path of travel that we talk about relates to “Continuous Path of Travel ” access for the disabled from car parks, up ramps, into buildings etc.

The SAI Global standards, that it does not apply to steps. Continuous means exactly that, that there must be no obstruction for someone in a wheelchair for example to entering buildings, not steps.

Whilst being ambiguous, and NOT applicable to stairs it relates to the path on which the stair user traverses the stairs, meaning, the area of the tread that is not obstructed (by a handrail or similar).

In this picture the client wanted the stair nosing to be install across the entire tread of the step. This was very problematic, as the balustrade base plates encroached on the stair tread.

Each nosing was cut around the base plates, a very onerous task with a grinder. This was unnecessary, as a pedestrian would not walk anywhere near the base plates.

This was not required by code, but purely for aesthetic reasons.





In this situation the client decided to leave a gap on each side.

This was wise as the stair nosing was installed where it would be subject to weather, rain, leaves etc. A 50mm gap was left on each side of the stair nosing profile.

This allowed for the stair nosing to be centered, and it cleared the base plates.

The standards suggest a “full path of travel.”  This relates to accessibility from car parks, and into public buildings and does not apply to stairs.

Clearly the stair nosing must be installed where the pedestrian will place their foot; it would certainly not be 50 mm form the balustrade.

Additionally, the base plates of the balustrade did not interfere with the path of travel. Commonsense must prevail.

This client sent me a video of how the water pooled behind a step when then was no gap left on each side of the stair nosing.