Smooth transition between stair bullnose and new hardwood

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Q: I ripped up carpet in a balcony/hallway and am installing 3/4″ hardwood.

Issue #1: The top of existing stair bullnose is about 3/16″ lower than where the top of the new hardwood will be. How do I make this a smooth transition?

Issue #2: There is an open rail on one side of the hall that runs perpendicular to the hardwood. The top edge of the hardwood base plate under the railing spindles has been sanded for a rounded edge. If I butt the ends of the hardwood to this base plate there is a noticeable gap due to the rounded top edge.

What should I do?

A: I installed plank for a couple of nice doctors who had a similar issue with a lower stair nosing height.

The only choices were to dismantle the entire baluster assembly, replace the nosing with one that is 3/4 thick, install a thinner flooring or find a very tiny piece of trim molding to attach to the edge of the floor where it meets the nosing. They decided on the last option.

It looked fine and hasn’t presented any tripping issues. In your case it only involves the short length of nosing at the top of the stairs. Perhaps you could cut the nosing on each end to remove it, then either replace it with a new one or shim underneath and re-install. Make sure you use glue.

Not sure what you can do with the rounded edge though. Is it possible to make it a square edge with a belt sander?

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