I am having a hard time with the engineered hardwood floor retailer that sold me the hardwood floor that is being installed next week
I tried to order a manufacturer made square bullnose piece and I was paying through my nose for it, 180CAD for 96" and needed like three to start with and I was going to order more. They missed the ball and they did not place the order so now the installer will start next week and he will need at least one of these.
I am now watching videos on YouTube about how to do this and I am seeing two things:
-they make the square bullnose from the same hardwood floor material by cutting 45" edges
-the above 45" edges are put together using nails
Here is the process

My questions:
-those 45" cuts will never be perfect and they present higher chances to wear off on the exposed edge where the stair user walks on -how do avoid this?
-they seem to use lots of nails and carpenter (?) glue to put them together -aren't those nail holes visible

I think they build something like this: enter image description here or sometimes like this enter image description here Update: I am planning to dress the existing steps in hardwood so the piece you see in the diagrams can rest on the existing overhang which I can cut back flask with the raiser or leave a little overhand to add to the 3/4" that the below bullnose pieces adds to it Here is the existing step enter image description here

  • The less cuts/joints the better. Screws better than nails, but nails hide better. Measure, measure, measure. Choose the cutting blade carefully. Do not assume perfect 90 degree angles to cover. Quite a bit of wood filler is sold to hide nail holes.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 13:56
  • 1
    Don't let me derail your design, but most stair nosing has a bit of an overhang... it lengthens the tread (more comfortable) and is in-line with peoples' expectations, so fewer stubbed toes. Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 14:38
  • Google tells me that the code requires minimum 3/4" google.com/search?q=bullnose+overhang and this is the exact size of the hardwood. Also see the update to the original post
    – MiniMe
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 14:46
  • @crip659 so the solution is to use wood filler and then wood repair kits to perfectly match the color of the hardwood ?
    – MiniMe
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 15:13
  • There are wood fillers that try to match wood finish/colour, so might be a one step instead of two. If using finishing nails, the heads are quite small.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Depends how much you want to pay.

For the grade A install, you'd get the species of wood and have it stain matched to your engineered hardwood floor and use solid pieces that can be rounded to make the bull nose.

For the grade B install, you buy the pieces the manufacturer of the engineered hardwood sells. They don't have nail holes.

For the grade C install, you make them yourself from planks of the engineered hardwood as your youtube install shows.

For the grade D install you use carpet.

  • Nope there is the metal edge option as well which can improve some of these designs or options you mentioned
    – MiniMe
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 4:28
  • Hah, can't cover everything. I'd put the metal option between C and D. Be interested to see which route you go ! Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 21:28

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