How to ceramic tile an outside corner

Written by contributing writer
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Installing ceramic tile to an outside corner involves "hiding" the tile edges from view. To obtain a sharp and symmetric look, both sides of the corner must be flush to the corner evenly. A butt joint would not appear symmetric as one tile edge would be exposed. Furthermore, since the edge surface of ceramic tiles are typically not coloured and/or glazed, the end result would look inconsistent. Therefore, the edges of the ceramic tile on the outside corner must be bevelled to ensure that only the coloured surface is exposed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Wet saw
  • Notched trowel
  • Ceramic tile adhesive
  • Tile spacers
  • 120 grit sandpaper

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Instructions

    Prepare Wet Saw

  1. 1

    Fill with water. Fill the basin with water to the manufacturer's recommended level.

  2. 2

    Inspect the blade for damage. Ensure that power to the saw is off and look for damage such as missing edges, or broken corners.

  3. 3

    Check blade for signs of warping. Turn on the saw and check for vibrations. If the saw vibrates in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the spinning blade, replace with a new blade.

    Cut Beveled Edge

  1. 1

    Position the tile for cutting. On the slide table, rest the ceramic tile face down on a scrap piece of wood cut at a 45 degree angle so that the edge to be cut is parallel to the blade. Ensure that the leading exposed edge of the ceramic tile is lined up with the right side of the blade.

  2. 2

    Cut tile. Turn on the saw and slowly push slide table forward until the tip of the blade comes in contact with the ceramic tile. Continue cutting until the blade has completely cut through the tile. Turn the saw off.

  3. 3

    Ensure an even edge. Place 120 grit sandpaper face up on a flat surface and lightly sand the finished edge until even. Only sand until edge is flat.

    Choose Appropriate Trowel, Adhesive, and Spacers

  1. 1

    Choose trowel. For tile up to 6 by 6 inchin dimension use a 3/16 by 3/16 inch v-notched trowel. For tile up to 12 by 12 inch in dimension use a 1/4 by 1/4 inch square-notched trowel.

  2. 2

    Choose adhesive. Choose a "ready to use" ceramic tile adhesive that conforms to the ceramic tile manufacturer's recommendations.

  3. 3

    Choose spacers. Refer to ceramic tile manufacturer's recommendations for gap between tiles.

    Installation

  1. 1

    Apply adhesive. Using the appropriate trowel, apply adhesive to the entire surface the ceramic tile will be installed upon. The adhesive should have clearly defined notches representative of the dimensions of the trowel. If the notches are not clearly defined, repeat the application with additional adhesive.

  2. 2

    Install tile. Press the tile against the adhesive ensuring that the leading bevelled edge of the tile is aligned with the corner. Allow enough space to accommodate 1/2 of the desired gap as the other 1/2 will come from the tile on the other side of the corner. Remove any excess adhesive with the flat side of the trowel.

  3. 3

    Ensure tile does not move until adhesive is set. If the surface being tiled is vertical, work from the bottom up. Therefore, the tiles will be supported from below. If this is not possible, tape the tile in place until the set time provided by the manufacturer is reached.

  4. 4

    Apply spacers. use the chosen spacers to ensure a consistent gap between tiles. These can be removed once the adhesive has fully cured.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses when using a wet saw or when applying adhesive.

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