Things went crazy at my house when I broke the edge of one of our floor tiles. As the plates fell off on that tile, a slight edge broke. Thankfully, the surrounding didn’t face much damage but a slight crack.
That broken edge looked terrible. I had to fix it anyhow. Mostly, I had to figure out how to hide the cut edge of the tile of that floor.
I had different things in my mind. But first, I went on to trim and make a plane section on edge. As it was a small break, I quickly got away from the hassle by caulking the edge.
But what to do when the issue is a big one? That’s what we’ll see in the article. Go on till the last; we’ll have the most constructive discussion and solutions over the matter.
Can You Hide Exposed Tile Edges?
Exposed tile edges are neither aesthetically pleasing nor is it suitable for the tile itself. Once you face the consequence, you ponder on a way of hiding it.
Fortunately, there are ways you can hide your misfortune. In that case, you need to be tricky and precise too.
And giving proper finishing to the tile edges will sum up your effort. The three most popular and conventional ways to hide exposed tile edges are: using caulk, trim tile pieces, and edging.
Among all these methods, caulking is the cheapest and most straightforward method for finishing and hiding the tile edges.
Hide the edge of the tile with Your Existing Tiles
If you already have existing tiles lying around at your home and don’t want to buy extra trims, here are some alternative solutions for you:
Natural Stone or Porcelain Tiles
Using ground-up natural stones or porcelain tiles can save you the cost of buying extra trim for your tiles. No additional unique trim is required if you use natural stones or porcelain tiles.
However, it is better to hire a professional to grind your tiles before installing them. You can also do it yourself, but that would require some special equipment and a minimum of basic knowledge regarding the job.
Mitering the edges of your tiles will also save you from buying extra trims. Mitering refers to when a sharp tile edge has been ground at a 45- degree slant. So, simply take a saw and cut the edge of your tiles at a 45-degree angle.
However, this method is only suitable if you are yet to install your tile edges. Once the tile edges are installed, this technique becomes unacceptable.
Although keep in mind that miter-edged tiles are not very durable, so usually, it is not used in areas that are heavily used, like stairs.
Another alternative to buying trim tiles is to caulk the edges. It is straightforward to caulk the edge of the tiles. Tiles with smooth surfaces, such as mosaic or tumbled stones, work best for caulking.
Just take a caulking gun and apply a thin layer of caulk to the outer edges of your tiles. Caulk has a water-tight seal. So, it is great for places like bathrooms where a water-tight seal is essential.
Paint the Tiles
This method is pretty effective yet much more straightforward than all the other solutions. You simply need to paint the raw edges of the tiles with a ceramic glaze to add contrast. Porcelain tiles are most suitable for this method.
Painting the tiles with regular acrylic or latex color will not be suitable due to their low durability. So, the ceramic glaze will be the most suitable option for you. But to imply this technique, you will need to hire a professional unless you have access to ceramic glazes.
How Do You Choose Tile Edge Trim?
Tile trimming is essential to give your place a neat and professional look. It also protects the tiles throughout the years and keeps them together.
However, I understand that there are many options out there, and choosing a specific tile edge trim can be a little confusing. So, let’s discuss which type of trim you may need for what purpose.
Bullnose tile trims are one of the most used trims. They have curved edges, which makes them perfect for going around the corners of walls or niches. Bullnose has a smooth, finished look and protects against sharp edges.
Just like its name, these trims are usually a quarter of a circle in shape. Their even rounded corners are perfect for them to be used along the edges of bathrooms, showers, benches, or doorways.
V-Caps are the only trims that can completely cover perpendicular corners. They are mainly used for sinks in the kitchen, bathroom countertops, sills, shower niches, or partitions.
Pencil and Flat Liners
Pencil liners are cylindrically shaped trim that can be used to border and outline the end of a design.
Flatliners, on the other hand, are straight, flat tiles used to frame designs or statement pieces. They provide a sleeker look than pencil liners and are used primarily in places where rounded tiles may not be desired.
Baseboard is another type of trim typically used along the joint where the wall and floor meet. It is preferable in wet areas like bathrooms, showers, or places that are moped frequently. However, it needs to be correctly caulked first to turn it into watertight before installation.
These are some of the most commonly available options for tile edge trim. You can determine why you need a tile edge trim first, and then choose the options mentioned above according to your need.
How to Hide Cut Edge of Tile Using Cap, Trim, and Liner Tiles?
Alternative or better or flexible, whatever you say is OK. Cap, trim, and liner tiles are other stuff to aid your problem. They are good, in fact, really good at hiding your broken tile.
Let’s see how you need to implement them. Otherwise, they won’t serve you any good without the proper ways.
Marble/Ceramic Pencil Liners
Pencil liners are thin, nearly cylindrical pieces installed to create a raised frame, such as around a fireplace. They come in various types of materials, including marble and ceramic.
Marble/Ceramic liners can give a neat look to your job by cleaning off the edge of a design ideally without making it too busy.
Edge Tiles with Metal Trim
Edge tiles with metal trim can be used on all tiled surfaces. You can use them anywhere and everywhere, from counters and walls to floors and stairs. Metal edges can be found in different shapes like L shapes, round shapes, etc.
By using wooden trims, you can give your house a more vintage and unique look. They are also a great alternative to the V-caps or bull nose tiles. Take a piece of wood trim, lay it in a straight line and secure it in your desired place with nails, screws, or plugs.
Rail moldings are mainly used for the transition between different materials. They are thin, decorative tiles made from natural stone and molded on one side. You can use them as a border between 2 different types of tiles.
Rail moldings are very similar to crown molding on a ceiling. You can match the rail moldings to its surrounding or use a contrasting color for a different look. These are also known as “cap moldings” or “chair rails.”
Edge Tiled Walls with Glass Tiles
Edge tiled walls with glass tiles give off an elegant look. Glass tiles typically have a smooth, uncut edge and a sharp cut edge.
They are usually placed and oriented so that the smooth edge is on the outside, and the rough, cut edges face each other.
Can You Install a Tile Edge Trim After Tiling?
Although installing a tile trim before tiling is easier, you can also install it later. The step-by-step process of installing a tile edge trim after tiling is complete is-
Step 1: Choose Edge Trim
The first step of installing a tile trim is selecting the one that is most suitable for you. There are plenty of available options out there. Go through them and choose the one you would like to use. Some popular options are:
- Chair Rails
- Cove Base
- Flat Liners
- Pencil Liners
- Edge Glazed
- Quarter Rounds etc.
Step 2: Determine Where to Put Edge Trim
In this next step, you must determine where to install the edge trims. You may think that edge trims can be put anywhere, but in reality, there are only two places where you can put them.
Before you purchase any edge trim, you need to decide whether you want the tile trims in these places. One is the base, and the other is the corner of the wall. So, make up your mind, and then go shopping for your desired tile trims.
Step 3: Measure
Now, grab a measuring tape and measure the thickness of your tile and the length of the place where you would like to install the tile trim. This will also involve measuring the base and corners of your floor.
These measurements are very crucial to determining how much trim you must buy. The more accurately you measure the tile, the smoother installation you get.
Be sure to double-check the measurements before cutting the tile trims.
When confident about the measurements, go out and buy the tile trim you chose.
Step 4: Cut Tile Edges
Now that you have your trim and all the necessary measurements, get to work and start cutting the trims. Remember that the main reason for having trim at the edges is to make the tiling look smooth and clean.
So, be very careful and patient while cutting the trims. With all that said, now simply grab a hacksaw and cut your trim to the required measurements. If you are still a bit unclear about the process, here is a YouTube video for you:
Step 5: Mark and Glue
Now that you are done with the hard part, all left to do is stick the tile edge trim to its place. Take a piece of chalk or any other marker to mark precisely where you will place it.
Next, apply a generous amount of tile adhesive, such as glue, and place the tile edge trim above it. Hold it down and apply pressure for a few minutes to properly secure the piece.
Wipe away any leftover adhesive to provide a cleaner finish. Wait for at least a day before moving on to the final step.
Step 6: Seal
In this final step, fill the areas between your tiles with grout and seal everything in. This can be done either by a caulk gun or a squeezable grout tube.
Gently apply fine lines of grout until all the gaps are filled. Smooth out the grout with your finger as you continue.
Step 7: Repeat
Repeat this process for each piece of tiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should Tile have a Trim?
Tile trimming is necessary to provide a smooth and perfect finish to your tiling job. It will leave a professional finish and help you cover any sharp edges left behind.
However, tile trimming may not be required only when the tile corner meets against other surfaces like wall corners or floor edges. If natural stone tiles are used and the cuts are neat, there is no need to trim them.
Q: Is Tile Edge Trim Necessary?
Tile edge trim is necessary if your goal is to achieve a smooth, perfect, and professional tile finish. Tile trim reduces the need for cleaning and maintenance and protects the tile for a long time.
It also covers up sharp and rough edges and prevents accidents from happening. A tile trim may not be required only when the sharp edges are not exposed and meet against a wall or floor edge.
Q: What’s the Best Tile Trim?
Bullnose tile trim is one of the best tile trims that are available. It is the most diverse and the most commonly used tile trim. Bullnose is easily recognizable because of its rounded edge.
Bullnose is mainly used to cover corners or frame the perimeter of a tile design. This eliminates sharper angles and unfinished tile sides from being visible. Because of its rounded edge, Bullnose is often known as an edge treatment piece.
Q: Does Porcelain Tile Crack Easily?
Porcelain tiles can last more than 50 years and are much more durable than ceramic tiles. But it can be a bit brittle. Porcelain tiles are tough to cut or drill. It can get weakened due to the cut or drill and generate cracks.
To prevent porcelain tiles from cracking, you can install tiles with higher thicknesses as they are less likely to break. Another thing that can be used is anti-fracture membranes.
These membranes can absorb any cracking energy imposed on tiles and disperse them across the floor.
We never support breaking or cutting the edge of a tile, but sometimes things happen. At that moment, you should just go on over the issue rather than wondering how to hide the cut edge of the tile.
Before everything, self-security is a must. Don’t harm yourself a bit in doing any kind of work. Also, don’t let the surrounding tile bear the sufferings of the broken one. If needed, go for professionals. That’s more likely under such circumstances.