All About Tile Trim
- Transitions from a tiled floor to carpet or hardwood flooring
- Shower jambs or walls where the tile ends
- Unfinished edges of a backsplash
- Edges around a recess or niche
- Other unfinished tile edges including trim, decoration and walls
Don’t worry, LIVDEN is here for you with some options for the best ways to finish your tile installation!
For a clean and modern look, metal trim edges have become one of the most widespread ways to finish tile. They create a polished shift between tiled and non-tiled areas and can elevate your design without being a stand-out feature. Metal trim comes in a wide range of finishes, profiles, colors, and sizes, opening you up to limitless design options! We recommend you check out Schluter Systems for a plethora of options from strong lines to subtle accents. We love the gold color option paired with our Origami Collection!
An important note: This choice needs to be selected in advance of your tile installation! The trim needs to be installed with the tile, as it slides underneath into the adhesive.
Pencil It In
Pencil Liners are narrow pieces of tile that are raised to create a border. They can help facilitate transitions between different tile surfaces and are popularly used around design elements like mosaics! Liners add dimension to your tile installation and can be a sleek way to give a design feature the look of a framed piece of art. Pencil liners are most commonly offered in round or square shapes, but you can find them in a variety of materials, sizes, colors, and finishes to achieve any look you can dream up!
Quick tip: If you are intending to use pencil liners as an edge trim, be sure to confirm that they are finished all the way around. Some liners are flat and unfinished on the edges as they are designed to be used in-between tiles.
Flat’s all folks!
Flat liners follow the same idea as pencils, except that they lay flush with the tile. This provides less depth than a pencil liner but is sleek and more contemporary in design. These are a great choice for floor installations or backsplashes! You can find flat liners in all types of materials such as glass, marble, and even plastic.
Mimic the lines in Popsicles - Tracks with a matte black flat liner!
Wooden trim is another great and economical option! Natural wood is a guaranteed way to bring warmth and earthiness into a space that may otherwise feel cold. If you go this route, you can shop for unfinished wood molding pieces like this at most home improvement stores! Just be sure to stain and seal all sides of the wood before installing it to protect it from grout and moisture.
Natural wood isn’t your aesthetic? You can buy finished molding pieces too or paint a trim to match your space! Pair wood trim with a nature-inspired design like our Painted Sands or Sadie collections!
A New Dimension
Another alternative is to use a molding! The carved, decorative design of a molding piece can give more depth to a space and create a striking focal point. These pieces are commonly used to cap off a backsplash, frame a mural or fireplace surround, or to create an architectural design element. With plenty of options readily available, you can select something that complements your design, or choose something that stands out against it to add some extra pizazz.
Tried & True
A bullnose is the most traditional option when it comes to tile trim. This name refers to the sharp edge of a tile being ground into a smooth, rounded edge. Bullnose tile creates a clean and smooth line around your tile installation. It can be used in a variety of ways including corners, backsplashes, tub surrounds, shower walls, steps, and the joint where the wall meets the floor. It is especially good to soften transitions between a tiled area and the underlying wall.
One of the main advantages of bullnose tile is versatility. There are tons of options available, whether you want it to blend in for a seamless transition, or you want to add a fun pop of color. Check out Tilebar; they carry a wide selection of bullnose designs! If you don’t like any of the available options, you can also commission a trained professional to grind the edges of the tile of your choice to create a custom bullnose edge! Don’t be shy about mixing and matching materials! You can find a bullnose option to go with almost any LIVDEN design, from Chutes and Ladders to Puzzle Piece!
If you aren’t into the idea of trim pieces, this is the easiest and most cost-effective option for finishing tile edges. Caulk works best on tiles that have smooth edges (like Cape Amaryllis or any design on our Ivory Porcelain) and should be applied once the grout is dried. Choose a caulk that matches your grout as closely as possible. Apply it in a thin, even line and smooth with a fingertip or damp cloth. Allow it to cure for the recommended amount of time, and wah-lah, you are done!
We want to emphasize that caulk is different than grout! We do not recommend grouting your tile edges, as it will not hold up over time or seal against moisture.
Are you looking for something a little more simplistic? You got it! Glazed edge tile trim is simply a piece of tile with one edge glazed to match the face. This choice can help showcase your tile by naturally transitioning it into the rest of the space. You can choose glazed edge trim pieces to match or contrast your project from most tile companies. Fireclay Tile is a great resource and can custom glaze any of their tiles for you! Glazed edges are ideal to create a more organic look while also providing a bold contrast from tile to painted wall. LIVDEN doesn’t currently offer this option, but we invite you to play with adding different glazed-edge tiles to line your project!
Let’s finish this up!
If you like one of these ideas, keep in mind that tile trim should be installed as the second to last step of your project! The only time it may not be needed is when tiles meet flush against other surfaces (like wall corners), or when the tile is continuous and covers a full space.
If you are considering skipping tile trim in favor of less time or money spent, think twice! Leaving a tile installation with an obvious raw edge can not only leave your project looking unfinished but can also be a safety hazard. Trim helps prolong the life of your tile by smoothing sharp edges, protecting against moisture, and preventing chips and cracks.
Just like the right tie can really make a suit, tile trim can enhance an entire design! It can provide a polished and elevated finish or create interest and individuality in your home or project. Give your space a luxurious and affluent feel by paying mind to the finer details and don’t forget to finish your tile edges!
All About Tile Trim
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