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Options for Finishing Tile Edges

Finish Tile Edges

Tile is a popular choice for application in bathrooms, kitchens, and throughout homes and businesses. Once the tile itself is installed, finishing the edges of the tile creates a professional and polished look. Not using any tile trim can make any project seem unfinished or amateur. There are many options when you want to finish tile edges, including bullnose trim, glass tile, metal trim, and more. Check out all the materials available to determine which one provides the best look and functionality for your space.

Consider Design First

finish tile edgesBefore you can determine which trim options make the best choice for your installation, it is important to consider the overall design of the installation. Choosing a tile trim that will wrap from the floor up the wall to create a built-in baseboard will require a different trim than a simple kitchen backsplash installation. Take into account the scale of the field tile. Large 12 by 12 floor tiles will require a more substantial bullnose tile finishing option than subway glass tiles showcased in a kitchen design.

Tile Edge Finishing Options

It is important to consider the trim pieces that will finish the tile install when you are purchasing your initial materials. Plan for the dimensions of the trim pieces in the beginning, when laying out the design of your installation. Considering these items at the onset of the project will make it easy to select pieces that coordinate with the overall look you’re trying to achieve. With so many different trim options available, it is easy to find one that will elevate the look of your space. Some of the most popular options to finish tile edges include:


Bullnose edges are among the most popular choices for finishing a tile installation. These thoughtfully crafted trim pieces create a sleek and finished look but they are typically more expensive than the tile itself. If a lot of trim is needed to finish the edges, the cost of bullnose tiles can add up quickly. Because of this, many people are starting to look at alternative ways to finish tile edges without purchasing bullnose trim.

Glass Tiles

Lend a little shine to the final part of your tile install by selecting glass edge trim tiles to finish off a countertop or backsplash install. Glass tile comes in a full range of fashionable colors and designs to choose from, making it easy to find one that will look perfect with your field tile of choice. A glass pencil liner keeps the look sleek and minimal. Glass tile is also a relatively inexpensive choice, making it much more budget friendly than natural stone or detailed molding. Glass tile accents are also a great way to draw the eye to an otherwise overlooked space.


Rail molding is widely available and offers a stylish alternative to using a bullnose trim to finish the edges of a tile installation. Molding comes in a wide variety of color and material options. Keep it consistent by choosing a molding of the same material and hue as the tile or change things up by bringing in a contrasting molding designed to highlight the perimeter of the installation. Molding offers a great way to bring in a little Carrara marble or Bardiglio marble tile to the mix. This category includes a wide variety of different styles, including:

  • Pencil molding
  • Dental molding
  • Rail molding
  • Cornice molding

Metal Edges

When you’re looking for a sleek and modern look, a metal edge makes a great choice. This minimalist approach is typically used for transition strips, but it also offers a simple way to finish the edges of a tile installation. Metal strips feature an L-shaped design that makes them easy to slide under the final row of tile. The metal edge then wraps up the exposed sides of the tiles for a finished look. Metal tile isn’t just stylish, it is also an inexpensive solution when a lot of trim is needed. They come in a wide variety of finish options, making it easy to coordinate the metal trim with the rest of the hardware in the bathroom or kitchen.

finish tile edges

Tips for Choosing the Right Trim

If selecting a trim seems a little overwhelming, refer to online sources for inspiration projects. Once you find a project you like the look of, take note of what they used to finish tile edges and select a material that emulates that look. Once you’ve determined the scope of your project, decide whether to take it on yourself or call in the professionals. This handy article will show you how to create a kitchen backsplash yourself if you would like to expand your home project skills.

With so many different functional and stylish ways to finish a tile edge available, it is easy to find one that is in keeping with the overall design of your space. Try laying out the pattern on a flat surface prior to installation to ensure all measurements are correct and the trim does actually complement the field tile chosen. Don’t forget to hold up a swatch of the wall color to the tile and trim materials, as the finish options often bridge the gap between the tile and the wall color.

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