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Bullnose Steps: Buyer's Guide

Make an Entrance!

Yorkshire stone bullnose steps are a timeless addition to any entrance or garden, guaranteed to stand the test of time and are often featured on the original Victorian townhouses of Kensington in London and spectacular stately homes. Bullnose steps help to add sophistication and grandeur to any home, this blog aims to take the stress out of ordering your steps by explaining some common terminology!

Yorkstone steps

So what are bullnose steps?

Bullnose steps are generally made from a ‘tread’ and a ‘riser’ which clad existing steps or are sat on a pre-made foundation. The tread is a solid slab of stone, usually 50mm thick, which creates the step on which you place your foot. The front of this slab is then shaped and rounded at the front – this is called a Bullnose front.

The riser is a thin strip of stone which sits at the back of a step and under the overhang of the step above, this creates a seamless finish to the steps where joints are minimal. See our useful pointers below for more information on measurements.

Bullnose step diagram

Bespoke Steps: Finish Options

We cut all of our steps to order, using the stone from our own quarry. The step treads can be cut out to your specific requirements, to fit in to a doorway for example. There are various other edge and corner options to consider:

Radius Corners

If your steps are exposed on one or two sides, we can bullnose the edges and round the corners if needed. Rounded corners are referred to as ‘radius corners’, these usually have a 50mm radius to match the bullnose, but sometimes the radius can be bigger if making a feature curve on the bottom step for example. A 100mm radius is a popular choice for a feature step, this is often combined with a 50mm vertical radius on the riser to match.

Bullnose to a Point

If you do not specify radius corners, bullnosed steps will be finished to a point, this is sometimes preferred and creates a clean look.

Yorkshire stone steps
Bullnose steps to a point

Bullnose Return

Another option is a bullnose ‘return’ – This is often used when your step is fitting in to a wall or when the bullnose is not needed along the full side length. When the bullnose is just needed on the corner (as below) we call it a bullnose return.

Yorkshire stone step with return
Bullnose Step with return

Half Bullnose

Sometimes a half bullnose will be required this is when the bottom edge of the step is flat, but the top edge is rounded. This is often used when a step is sitting on an existing surface and doesn’t have an overhang.

Your Quote

When supplying and quoting for bullnose steps, we will work from a cutting list. This list will detail the dimension of each step you require (we work in mm), as well as the additional finishes needed. Please note that bullnosed edges, radius corners and cut outs are all additional costs, so these details must be included for an accurate quote. We don’t do site visits or fitting, we are supply only, so your builder or step fitter will be best placed to help put together a cutting list.

Example cutting list:

1qty Step 1500 x 400 x 50mm – Bullnose Front and cut outs as drawing

3qty Step 1500 x 350 x 50mm – Bullnose Front and both sides to a point

1qty Riser 1450 x 150 x 50mm

3qty Riser 1450 x 100 x 50mm

Useful Pointers

  • We generally cut steps to 50mm thickness, but can do 75mm if preferred

  • With stone steps it is general practice for the riser to sit on top of the tread below, so take the tread thickness in to account with riser measurements (Riser plus tread = total rise)

  • Bullnose steps usually have a slight overhang at the front of the step, so add this to the tread measurement you supply to us, also taking in to account the thickness of the riser sitting below it

  • When planning your steps its often useful to do a basic sketch to help you visualise them, it also helps to show us what you require

  • We don’t do site visits or fitting, we are supply only, so your builder or step fitter will be best placed to answer questions and help with design

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please dont hesitate to contact us! We look forward to working with you to create your beautiful steps.

Greater London Step Orders

If you live in London and the Greater London area, please contact our dedicated stone supplier - English City Stone. The team are experienced in supply and also fitting steps so you will be in good hands. Below is an example of their work using our stone.


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