How to Remove a Stair Nose


A stair nose is typically installed on a staircase to add an overhang on a stair. This is typically a piece of molding that is secured on top of each stair either with glue or nails. However, your staircase may have a stair nose overhang that was built into the stair. The most practical option for removing a stair nose or the overhang is to cut it off with a saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Chalk line
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Measure the overhang of the stair nose on the stair. Make sure to measure on both ends because the measurement may be different from one side to another.

  • Transfer the measurements to the top of the stair. Measure from the end of the stair inward and make a mark with a pencil.

  • Use a straight edge or a chalk line to make a straight line across the stair.

  • Make a drop cut with the circular saw directly into the line on the step. You will need to hold the saw over the line, start the saw and then drop the saw down on the line to make the cut. Make the cut as close to one end of the stair as possible.

  • Cut across the stair until the saw stops on the other end.

  • Make a cut into the center of the stair nose.

  • Remove each side by using a pry bar to pry into each cut side. The two uncut ends should break off during this process.

  • Remove any excess wood that extends beyond the stair riser with a hammer and chisel or use a reciprocating saw.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a reciprocating saw to remove the two uncut end pieces if you do not want to use the pry bar method.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using any type of handheld saw.

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