If you are going through a remodel whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom, fireplace, or laundry room, there’s a lot to consider, especially tiles. Are there exposed edges on your kitchen backsplash or shower wall? Will the tile turn corners? Are you considering using decorative tile to give your kitchen or bathroom a classic detailing elevating your space to a high end luxurious look and feel? If so, then chances are you will need tile trim. What are tile trims? Tile trims are used to create a smooth transition between the tile and the wall. It gives you a clean, finished look by creating seamless transitions while hiding mud set and thin set. They are also vital for wet environments to keep water from pooling in corners and also reinforce stress points between the wall and floor by repelling water. So what are the different kind of tile trims out there? I’ll be covering tile trims specifically for smaller sized tiles such as 2 x 4 or 3 x 6 tiles, rather than large format tiles such as 12 x 24 which I’ll talk about in a future blog post. Here are some of the more commonly used tile trims we see today.
Bullnose tiles are one of the many tile trims used to create a smooth transition between the tile and the wall. It has a rounded glazed edge that can be placed horizontally with a short edge bullnose or vertically with a long edge bullnose. It can also come in a corner piece (right or left) that features two rounded glazed edges. For example, if your tile installation doesn’t extend to the ceiling or your kitchen backsplash doesn’t end flush with a cabinet wall, or you need to frame out the shower curb, the rounded edge of a bullnose can help cap it off and create that smooth transition. It also hides exposed tile edges as well as mud set and thin set. Surface bullnose tiles provide a clean, simple, and finished look and works well with any design style.
2. Glazed Edge
If you want more of a modern look then a glazed edge trim tile is for you. The edges are not rounded like bullnose and it also doesn’t hide mud set or thin set as well as quarter round trims or bullnose. With glazed edge, you will need to specify which edge needs to be glazed, whether it’s the long edge, short edge, or corner (both long edge as well as short edge). If your tile installation will have exposed edges whether it’s where the shower wall ends, where the kitchen tile backsplash transitions into the wall, or you have a window sill that requires trim, then glazed edge is another option if you don’t like the more transitional look of bullnose tiles.
3. Quarter Round
Quarter round trims are commonly used to frame out shower niches and it’s one of the most popular trim pieces used. It’s great for finishing off a specialty shape such as scallop, finishing off a pattern like a staggered layout, or for framing a focal point. Quarter round trims are a thin, curved trim piece that is glazed on the outside. Its edges are unglazed on both sides and it is another option used as a transition between wall and tile to hide the mud set or thin set. A quarter round is also commonly used to round corners, window sills, and under-mount sinks. If used to round and turn a corner, you can use them with a “beak” trim piece to create a corner. Using a quarter round trim provides a detailed touch that leans toward a more traditional and transitional look rather than a modern look.
4. Flat Liner
A flat liner can be used to frame statement tile and backsplashes. It’s another option if you are looking for something other than bullnose or quarter round trims. A flat liner is a thin flat trim piece that comes in various sizes, commonly 1″ x 6″ or 2″ x 8″ in size that can be used to finish off a scallop tile pattern on a kitchen backsplash or for completing the edge of a shower wall with a unique ogee tile design for example. It sits flat against the wall and gives a simple, clean, and finished look.
5. Architectural Molding
If your style is more traditional and classic, then a decorative tile trim such an architectural molding would help add classic detailing to more traditional spaces. Architectural moldings can be used to border off tile wainscotting or line the top of a tile installation where the wall and ceiling meet. A common example of an architectural molding is a chair rail molding that comes in various sizes which can be used to cap off bead board or wainscotting tile. Unlike a flat liner which lies flat against the wall, architectural moldings protrude further out adding a classic touch that can elevate your bathroom and kitchen to a luxurious high end look.
6. Round Liner
A round liner is a curved, solid trim piece that is fully glazed on both sides. It adds a little more texture than a quarter round trim piece. It’s a simpler option to the more ornate and classic architectural trim pieces. Unlike quarter round trim pieces, round liners cannot turn corners, yet it is still a decorative way to cap off the edge of a tile or frame a bold tile installation with a statement pattern. Round liners also protrude further out similar to architectural trim pieces.