Alternatives for Bullnose Tile

Updated February 21, 2017

An expanse of tiling, whether it covers a floor, wall, tub deck or countertop, typically uses tiles with special, rounded edges, commonly known as bullnose tile, along its perimeter. If you're using antique or hard-to-find tiles that don't have bullnose versions available, you can still provide the edges of your tiling work with a smooth, "seamless" look using one of several alternative materials.

Trim Tile

Instead of using bullnose tiles in the same design as the tile you're using elsewhere, you can add a thin border of another kind of tile along the edges of your tiled area. For an understated effect, either set long, rectangular tiles end to end or use small square tiles. Instead of trying to find edging tiles that precisely match the finish of your general tiling, look for a colour and finish that complement the overall look. For example, you might use an accent colour, pulled from elsewhere in the room's decor, to add character to an otherwise neutral tiling job. If you've used bright tiling throughout the project, you might use a neutral tone for your trim tile or select a complementary tone just a few shades lighter than what you've used elsewhere.

Marble Threshold

Before bullnose tiles were commonplace, and when tiles tended to sit at a higher profile from the floor, marble thresholds commonly provided the natural transition between a tiled surface and carpeting or bare wall or floor. For a touch of sophistication, you can opt for a thin piece of marble to give your tiling a finished look. When selecting a marble threshold, look for colours that complement the tiles without overpowering them. You might select a marble with several tones, one of which matches the tile colour. If you're installing tile along the wall of a kitchen or bathroom, a marble border can add a touch of class. Just make sure it complements the colour of ceramic tubs, sinks and any countertop surfaces.

Metal Tile Trim Profiles

An economical and practical solution to bullnose tile is to install metal trim profiles, specially designed to frame an area of tile. The thin metal trim is relatively unobtrusive; whereas a border of trim tile or marble would add considerable visual framing, metal trim is a more practical-minded alternative. It simply protects the edges of the outermost tiles from chipping. The shape of a metal trim profile has a slight angle, inclining it towards the edge of the tile. This offers a smooth transition from tile to whatever other material borders it. At the same time, it distributes any shocks or forces along the tile's length, helping to protect it. You can opt for trim profiles with aluminium, brass, black or bronze finishes.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Danielle Hill has been writing, editing and translating since 2005. She has contributed to "Globe Pequot" Barcelona travel guide, "Gulfshore Business Magazine," "Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico" and "The Barcelona Review." She has trained in neuro-linguistic programming and holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature and literary translation from Brown University.