Laser treatment of B4C tile surfaces is carried out under high pressure nitrogen assisting gas environment. Morphological and metallurgical changes in the laser treated layer are examined by incorporating scanning electron microscope, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Microhardness and fracture toughness of the laser treated surface are determined from the indentation data. Residual stress formed at the treated surface is obtained by using X-ray diffraction technique. It is found that laser treated surface is free from large scale asperities including cracks and voids; however, some locally scattered shallow cavities with 1.5-2 mu m widths are formed at the surface because of high temperature processing. Dense layer, consisting of fine grains, and formation of nitride species (BN and BC2N) enhance microhardness and lower fracture toughness at the surface. Residual stress formed in the treated layer is compressive and the maximum residual stress is in the order of -0.9 GPa. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier B. V.