Do Not Compromise Stair Safety With Branded Edgings

A recent increase in the promotion of stair edgings featuring logos, branding and messaging is raising concern amongst the flooring industry as well as leading access experts

by Jill Harrington | Monday 18 July 2011

Tread Carefully
Chris Fielding, Senior Access Consultant for Royal National Institute of Blind People said: “We have recently seen an increase in companies seeking to promote their brand identity on stair edgings on public staircases. We do not recommend this practice at all.

Stair edgings should provide a single solid band of colour that highlights the edge of each step and provides visual contrast with adjacent floorcoverings, helping building users and particularly those with visual impairments to safely navigate staircases. This reduces the risk of staircase accidents and helps to create inclusive environments, in line with Equality Act 2010 guidelines.

Branded stair edgings will not deliver a single solid consistent band of colour across the width of each stair tread, which can have serious implications for building safety and accessibility.

“Advertising in these places will only reduce the effectiveness of the contrasting stair edgings and it can also be visually confusing for people with sight loss. This has the effect of making the stairs more dangerous and difficult to use, which is exacerbated in high traffic environments.”

Keith Oakes, Technical Director for Gradus, added: “Incorporating any form of pattern, lettering or design into stair edgings is extremely bad practice. Stair edgings are an essential safety feature for all building users and this should be their primary purpose, not brand promotion. By compromising the band of solid colour, branded stair edgings could become safety hazards in their own right.

“For peace of mind, we would urge flooring contractors and specifiers to avoid the use of such stair edgings and to select stair edgings with a solid band of colour instead that will improve stair safety by delivering effective visual contrast and defining each individual step, further minimising the risk of accidents on stairs.”

Gradus offers an extensive range of stair edgings in four profile designs to accommodate most step shapes in a choice of materials, including aluminium and PVC-u.

Gradus is a major supplier to the healthcare, education, leisure, cinema, hotel and retail markets of contract interior products such as Stair Edgings, Floor Trims and Flooring Accessories, Carpets, Wall Protection, Barrier Matting systems and Step and Aisle Lighting.


Jill Harrington
Gradus International
+44 (0) 1625 613780

Monday 18 July 2011 / file under Education | Healthcare | Hotels | Leisure | Supermarkets