Feature Treads

What is one of the first things visible to anybody who enters your house? In most cases, it will be your staircase, even more so that first step! Feature treads are one of the most pivotal aspects that can help bring your wooden staircase to life. Here at Mr.Stairs, we can provide you with three different feature treads that will help transform your staircase, having you ready to accommodate friends and family in no time. You're probably wondering about these feature treads, so we will waste no more time and take you to the most popular one in the staircase group called the bullnose.

Bullnose Treads

Distinctive by their curvaceous border, Bullnose treads are somewhat the celebrities of this category. Their design substitutes the standard corner you would have on regular treads for a bullnose (this is just a fancy name for a rounded edge). This design adds personality to your staircase. By pushing the newel post and balustrades one tread back on your chosen bullnose side, the tread is highlighted, promoting the feature alone in all its glory. However, this is not the only customisation the bullnose knows. This attention-seeking design is the perfect welcoming to your staircase.

Another purpose of the bullnose is tread visibility. The sheer difference in look between a bullnose tread and the rest of your treads in your staircase is key as it can prevent mis-steps due to the clear difference in it profiles.

One of its final purposes is staircase protection. Staircase bullnoses are often thicker than the rest of stair treads, therefore they can take more general wear & tear before showing signs of impact.


As explained prior, the bullnose meets has a rounded corner that meets the front edge to the side of the first newel post. If the bullnose has taken to your liking so much, why be satisfied with just the one? The bullnose variant is available on both sides of the tread, namely the double bullnose. This feature also applies to the half and full curtails that we are exploring next.

If the bullnose has taken to your liking so much, why be satisfied with just the one? The bullnose variant is available on both sides of the tread, namely the double bullnose. This feature also applies to the half and full curtails that we are exploring next.

The double bullnose provides all the benefits the standard bullnose treads do, and more! The first newel posts on both sides recede one step back, leaving the bullnose to stick out and show out. This design shares the same benefits as the latter with improved safety through more tread space, greater tread visibility and distinguishability along with more durability than your average first tread!


Half Curtail Treads

A half curtail shares the size of a bullnose and similarly only moves the newel post one tread back whilst still sharing the semi-circular design of its larger counterpart, the full curtail. This effect resembles the bullnose, where the tread is the sole introduction to the staircase. Due to the newel movement, the whole balustrade is shifted and met a step higher up the staircase. Yet again, your isolated feature tread becomes the primary attraction of your staircase, going that bit further into converting your staircase and taking it to the next level. Why is this important? Large first treads are crucial for safety measures, as well as acting like an invitation. the broad base is an attraction that demands to be noticed and utilised!


Yet again, similar to as bullnose tread, there is a double-sided half curtail tread. This behaves the exact same way a bullnose does, moving the balustrading back one tread and meeting the front of the newel post around the fact of the second riser

Half curtail treads allow you to enter your staircase at wider angles, instead of you having to be straight on. This is because the balustrade has left the first tread free, and with half curtail treads, they stick out to the sides of the staircase, allowing one to ascend the staircase from the left or right side much easier.


Full Curtail Treads

If you like the roundness of the bullnose or half curtail figure, then the full curtail should be right up your street, offering a more circular dynamic than the forementioned. A full curtail tread is a larger first tread that boasts a semi-circular design on the desired side, meeting the newel post at the face of the third riser. This is because a full curtail takes up the space of at least 2 treads. Full curtail treads encourage two-step customisations meaning your second tread can receive a bit of loving too. Why not give your staircase the dynamism it needs to reach its full aesthetic potential?


Here we have a Full Curtail and bullnose tread, as explained prior with full curtails, the feature tread meets the face of the newel post around the third riser. However the bullnose sitting on top of it touches the newel post at the third riser too. This is because the bullnose is no longer the opening tread in the staircase. As show from the angle of the 3D image above, it becomes much easier to ascend a staircase from an angle when the tread is so wide with ample foot space. So just imagine a Double full curtail and bullnose!


As you imagined, the previous effect has been added to both sides now, making the staircase look a lot more inviting with ample foot space on both the right and left sides. Designs like these will not be possible if one side of your staircase sits against a wall of course, then you’ll just have to opt for the one-sided variant


The full curtail plus half curtail treat the newel post in the exact same way as the Full Curtail and bullnose. However the half curtail is a wider tread than a bullnose so you receive even more tread space.

The full Curtail plus half curtail on both sides is the last feature tread we have available; it is also the most expensive. With both treads wider than any other tread in the staircase, this design gives you the most tread space and distinguishability that one can offer. Design aside, this style is the most affective in terms of ascending the staircase from any angle.


Usefulness outside of aesthetics

As aesthetically pleasing as they are, these treads provide more than just satisfying appearances because feature treads are crucial as a hazard measure. Trust me, suffering a mishap on a flight of stairs for something as trivial as missing a step is not abnormal. "But how does a quirky decoration on a tread help?" you may ask. The three feature treads mentioned all share rounded/ circular edges. Having clear distinguishability from the usual treads is a visibility enhancement that will only help anyone who descends your staircase. This same characteristic of rounded profiles also provides tread longevity by their durability against daily objects that your staircase will encounter. A decade on, you may find that not only will your staircase still have its swagger, but it will be full of vigour too. The final non-cosmetic benefit of these feature treads is the broad base that they provide. In construction, it is a customary rule that the foundation and base are requisite to the stability of any structure. Therefore, securing these beautiful first steps is essential to ensuring your staircase's durability.

So why settle for a standard staircase when right now, you can take the first step into modifying your first step! You can use our free 3D Stair Builder tool to see which feature design suits the setting of your household best.

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