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3 Ways to Finish Tile Without a Bullnose

Wall Tile


If you’ve found the perfect tile only to discover there are no bullnose pieces available for finishing, don’t fret. Though the gently rounded edge of a bullnose is the standard solution, there are alternative methods you can use to create a tile transition or finished edge.

Incorporate Chair Rail or Pencil Moldings

If no bullnose is available, look for decorative chair rail and pencil moldings in the same material and color as your tile choice. Natural stone tiles often offer a number of decorative moldings. If one is not available, consider a molding in an accenting or complementary color, such as blue edging with white field tile, or glass edging with ceramic tile.

Use a Caulked Edge (No Transition) 

Some tile types don’t offer a bullnose because a bullnose is not necessary. Glass tiles, tumbled stone varieties, and porcelain tiles have naturally finished edge. They do not need a separate edge piece to create a polished look. Simply install up to the edge and caulk. To ensure a smooth, water-tight transition, place a piece of masking tape one grout joint from the edge of the last tile. Then fill the gap between the tiles and tape with a smooth bead of caulk.

Make Your Own Bullnose

If you are tiling with natural marble, travertine, slate, or porcelain tiles, and a bullnose edge is unavailable, it is possible to make your own. Because these tiles are comprised of the same material throughout, you can grind down and shape the edge of each tile to create a bullnose with the aid of a wet saw fitted with a bullnose blade. These materials can be conveniently trimmed down to any size as needed, making for an elegant finished edge. To make your own bullnose edge, use the blade to grind down the edge of the tile, forming a curve. Follow with an angle grinder, then a polishing pad, buffing the edge to a matching finish.

Don’t settle for the limited tile selection at your area hardware store. PetraSlate offers a wide variety of tile and finishing options to make project completion a snap. Shop the latest tile styles, colors, and patterns online, then visit one of the many dealers available in the where to buy tab of our page, to view our premium tiles in-person today.

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