Tiles with unfinished edges can ruin the overall look of your home. If you're wondering how you can improve them, don't worry! We have done research on the various choices for trimming or treating your tile edges. Read on to learn how you can give your tile a flawless, stylish finish.
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There are numerous options for finishing your exposed tile edges. Some are simple, while others are more complex or decorative. Caulking is the cheapest method. Also, you can choose from painting, bullnose, metal trim, molding strip, pencil liner, and more.
The choices may seem overwhelming to you. But having more options means having more style opportunities for your tile project. Stay on this page, as we will help you decide on the perfect material for your tile edges.
Giving Exposed Tile Edges A Finished Look
Tiles are affordable, easy to install, and decorative for home design and construction. Installing tiles in different rooms calls for proper installation and treatment of edges to achieve a seamless look.
Leaving exposed tile edges without treatment or coating can damage the tiles, especially ceramic and porcelain tiles. Tiles in bathrooms or showers often come in contact with water and moisture.
With unfinished tiles, there can be an entry for water and humidity. The tiles may eventually crack and loosen, or you will see mold buildup.
Choosing Trim Material
You should choose a material that is identical in color to your tiles or the walls. For example, buy white caulk for white tiles.
Here is a list of options for sealing your unfinished tile edges:
Caulk is waterproof, inexpensive, and easy to apply. It is suitable for stone, mosaic, and some porcelain tiles. You simply fill the edges of the tile with caulk.
Painting is another easy method for sealing your tile edges. For a clean look, put painter's tape on both sides of the tile edge and use a thin brush.
You should first apply a primer and then use acrylic latex or epoxy paint that's the same color as the tile.
Bullnose comes in multiple types. One side of the bullnose has a curved border that easily fits and covers a tile edge.
You can also use it to trim almost any unfinished edge. You will need to smooth the meeting line between the wall and the floor.
Buy your metal trim when you buy your tiles to make sure both have the same thickness for smooth installation.
Molding strips are available in different types. You can choose from wood, cornice, rail, and dental molding strips. Select a strip that matches your tiles or wall. You can also use an accent color to pick up a subtle shade in the room.
Pencil liner is thin with a rounded border and shaped like a pencil. It is best used with mosaic tiles to create a neat look. Its rounded quality will give character to your tile surface.
Measuring Your Trim
Use a ruler to measure your tile so that you know what size trim to buy. This applies to most trims except for liners and moldings, as they have a raised design. The tile and your chosen trim should have the exact thickness to fit.
Buying Extra Trim
Trim can break during installation, so it's best to have spare material when sealing your tile edges. You may also run out of trim, so having spare trim on hand isn't a bad idea. You can use it for further repairs.
Installing Your Trim
Now that you have chosen a trim for your tile edges, you can do the installation. You will need some additional materials and tools. Here is a list of what you'll need to install the trim:
- Tile glue or grout
- Tile trim
- A damp sponge
- A painter's tape
Here is an easy guide to smoothly sealing the edges of your tiles. Follow these steps:
- Mix the grout based on the package instruction. A tile glue will also do. Use the same grout that you used in installing the tiles.
- Brush off the dust from the tile edges. Clear the area around the tile edges. Make sure you can work or move around freely.
- Attach the trim to the edges of the tiles with grout or tile glue. Make sure to attach it evenly and straight.
- Add more grout or glue as needed to fill the spaces.
- Finish by wiping off the excess grout or glue using a damp sponge.
- Apply painter's tape to firmly attach the trim and let it dry.
- Remove the tape after drying.
- Wipe with a damp sponge for a clean result.
Installing tile or finishing tile edges can be a daunting project. Keep the factors below in mind as you work:
- Begin with an even, flat surface to install and lay out your tiles effectively.
- Always verify your measurements before installing or cutting the tiles.
- Do some testing by mapping out your tiles so that the cuts smoothly align and attach to the surface.
- Follow the packaging instructions when mixing grout or adhesives.
- Follow a leveling system with extra clips and a wedge when installing large tiles to avoid overlapping and sloppy installation.
- Choose a proper trim for your tiles, preferably a trim with a size larger than your tile.
- Match your trowel with the size of your tiles. Generally, the more compact the tile, the smaller trowel you need..
- Don't clean the grout with a damp sponge too early or too late, when the grout is already dry. Always work in minimum intervals at a time to have a clean finish.
- Replace the water when cleaning the excess grout on your tiles.
Can I Use Silicone Instead Of Grout?
The answer is no. You should never use silicone as an alternative to grout in attaching tiles. Use grout that's especially made for indoors.
Your tiles will have a waterproof finish. Water can't get into the interior of the tiles quickly. Fill in your tiles with grout and wipe off the excess with a damp sponge.
Can You Nail Tile Trim?
Again, the answer is no. You should never nail tile trim because it will damage the tile's coating. Position the trim and firmly attach it with painter's tape for an even installation.
Should The Tile And Trim Be Flush?
Installing the trim so that it is flush with the tile can make your work look like it was done by a professional. It achieves a smooth and neat appearance. Remember that the tile and the trim should have the same depth.
How Thick Should Tile Trim Be?
You should base the thickness of your trim on the thickness of your tile. The trim should be a bit thicker than the tile.
For instance, get a tile trim that's about 1/2 inch if your tile has a depth of 3/8 inch. This will give the sealant enough room so that it secures the trim to the tile tightly.
You have many options for polishing exposed tile edges and making them look finished. Some options are cheaper than others.
You can coat the edges of your tiles with caulk, paint, or with trim such as bullnose and molding strips. Choose the material that matches your interior and the design you are trying to attain.
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