The main difference is the look you are looking for. Stair Nose can be used with your flooring on the stairs or you go with a solid tread.
For safety, stair parts should be both nailed and glued. Nails can be predrilled, countersunk and holes filled with matching filler. Working from the bottom step to the top step, apply about 1/2" thick bead of adhesive to the back of each board in an "S" type pattern then Nail the tongues.
Best adhesive to use is construction grade, 100% urethane from the LIQUID NAIL family of glues.
In addition, for strength stair nosing should also be back-glued and top-nailed. Joists or stringers support stair treads and risers. Pre-drill nail holes half way into the stair nosing over each stringer, nail through the board into the stringers using a 2"-2 1/2" 7d-8d finish nail, counter-sink and fill holes and fill with a matching filler.
For for more type, "stairs" here - www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/flooring/Flooring101
Answered on 3/21/2013 by Tech & Install