How to Install Hardwood Flooring With a Bullnose Edge


Installing a hardwood floor is a popular homeowner project that can instantly add value of a home. While installing a hardwood floor is a straightforward process, many homeowners encounter problems with the finishing procedures once the flooring has been installed. A typical problem is how to finish the exposed edges of wood, and different transition pieces are used for various surfaces. When the hardwood ends at the top of a staircase, a bullnose transition piece is the standard used to finish the edge of the floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Bullnose transition piece, shade that matches the hardwood floor
  • Miter box and saw
  • Rubber mallet
  • Finishing nails, size as recommended for the thickness of the hardwood floor
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Finishing putty, shade that matches the hardwood floor
  • Safety goggles
  • Measure the end length of the hardwood flooring where the bullnose will be installed.

  • Cut the bullnose transition to measurement. Use a miter saw and miter box to obtain a straight, even cut.

  • Place the groove of the bullnose onto the tongue of the hardwood edge, tapping into place with a rubber mallet until the seam is tight.

  • Nail the bullnose into place. Use finishing nails six to eight inches apart, evenly spaced, on the bullnose transition.

  • Countersink the nail heads. Use a hammer and a nail set to tap the nails until they are below the top surface of the bullnose.

  • Fill in the nail holes. Use hardwood finishing putty that matches the shade of the hardwood floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are installing unfinished hardwood, stain and finish the bullnose and finishing putty when you stain and finish the floor.
  • Always wear eye protection when using power tools.

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  • Photo Credit Parquet floor image by Einar Bog from
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