Smart Stair Nosing Solutions at The University of Manchester

The newly built £35m Michael Smith Building at The University of Manchester provides 21,000m2 of teaching and advanced research facilities over an impressive four-storeys. With a number of staircases throughout the building, specifying and installing fit-for-purpose stair edgings was key.

Gradus’ market-leading XT range of stair nosings was specified because each profile features an extended slip-resistant insert that wraps around the leading edge of the step, which reduces the risk of slips, trips and falls by maximising underfoot contact with the slip resistant element of the stair nosing. The XT range was developed specifically in line with the latest legislation and guidelines including Approved Document M (ADM) of The Building Regulations 2000, BS8300:2009+A1:2010 and research from BRE (Building Research Establishment).

Gradus’ GXT52 aluminium stair nosings with interior inserts in Glacier (light grey) were installed on the main staircases, where the surrounding floorcovering is carpet. GXT52 is a rake back, double channel profile with a 5mm gauge, and is ideal for use with carpet or resilient flooring with bevelled underlay in heavy use areas.

The light grey inserts also provide a solid band of colour that delivers visual contrast with the dark grey carpet and the recommended 30 points difference in Light Reflectance Value (LRV), in line with guidelines in BS8300:2009+A1:2010 and Approved Document M of The Buildings Regulation 2000.

On other staircases in the building, where the chosen floorcovering is vinyl, Gradus’ single channel profile ASXT20 and double channel profile AKRXT52 were installed to further minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls. These XT profiles are ideal for use where no surface floorcoverings are used, or where a resilient floorcovering such as vinyl is used.

Richard Branagan of Branagan Flooring Services Ltd, the company that specified and installed the nosings, said: “We wanted to specify stair nosings that could withstand heavy foot traffic, whilst also reducing the risk of slips and trips. All of Gradus’ products provide durability and maximum safety, and these particular profiles are in-keeping with the building’s modern interior.”

Lynette Bowden, Product Manager for Gradus, added: “The staircases in the new Michael Smith Building will see heavy traffic on a daily basis, so it was crucial to specify fit-for-purpose stair nosings. Our range of XT nosings are ideal for use in the education sector, as they help to protect against slips and falls, help protect surrounding floorcoverings and also help provide an ‘inclusive’ environment for all users.”

For further information, please contact Gradus on 01625 428922 or visit