Finishing the edges of a backsplash

wildflowermamaNovember 19, 2013

Hi all! Thanks in advance for any advice...

We are installing a backsplash using 3x6 limestone tiles in a subway pattern.

My kitchen is U shaped and on one side, the cabinets only go to the window but then the countertops continue on for several feet without cabinets above. We are planning on continuing the backsplash around the window, and then back up to cabinet height and continuing it along to the edge of the countertop.

I love the clean look of the subway tiles and don't want to use any type of edging like a pencil piece since all the pencil pieces I've seen are much thicker than the tile.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to finish the edges of the tile? I will have the area around the window and then the section to the side of the window that doesn't have cabinets above it that will have a top edge as well as the side edge once it reaches the end of the countertops. (that iron wall hanging will no longer be there)

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Bullnose the edges of the tile.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Pardon my ignorance but, do I have to buy bullnose pieces or is that something the tile installer does on site?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Generally, the bullnose is a separate piece in the tile line, so you would have to buy separate bullnose pieces in addition to your tile.

Not all tile lines will include this piece--you'll have to check where you buy your tile. If your line does not carry a bullnose, ask your installer if he/she knows how to bullnose a tile. I believe some can do this on site.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Ok, thanks. I checked and my tile does not come with bullnose pieces. So, if my tile installer doesn't know how to do this then I either need to find another tile installer or find a different option?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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We used a schluter edge in my kitchen, which is a thin metal strip -- not very noticeable and very clean-looking. You could ask your tile installer if this would be an option for you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Fori is not pleased

Is it real limestone? And honed? You might be able to bevel the edges of some tiles to use on the edges. If you can find a matching tile in a larger format, it'll be much easier, but it can be hard to find natural stone from a different batch in a perfect match. Maybe that would be weird.

You can also use a piece of moulding, a small corner round to match your cabinets or the wall.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 12:15PM
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I used real limstone, honed, and I had an outside corner to deal with. I had the tile guy alternate the side that projected out to cover the edge of the tile on the other side of the corner - so there is no straight seam showing on either wall. The edges do not look bad because they are the same material as the rest of the stone. Its not like other types of manmade tile orpolsed stones where there is glazing only on the top or where the sides are a different color.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:20PM
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We have the same layout and used marble tile. Since you are using real stone, they may be able to bullnose or bevel the edges.

We used a pencil liner, but since they came very tall (thick), DH cut them down so they weren't so much different than the tile. You would not be able to do that very well with ceramic, but it wasn't a problem with the stone.

Here's ours, so you can see what it looks like with the pencil edging. I really didn't want to use the liner pieces, but left it up to DH to decide how he wanted to deal with it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 3:09PM
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We just left it with no bullnose. I like the clean look.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Stone tiles can be bullnosed so you don't necessarily need trim pieces for the tile. If the stone is polished, the bullnosed edges can be polished as well. Sometimes this is done onsite, and other times it is sent out, it depends on your installer and the amount of trim pieces needed.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 8:53PM
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lliN - Can I ask how you got the edges to not be sharp? Looks really pretty.

wildflower - I used limestone tile on my fireplace. The place that I purchase the tiles sent several of the piece out for bullnosing, but they came back very inconsisent and sloppy. I must admit, there were alot of tricky cuts. The tile shop replaced them for me and I found an installer who did the bullnosing on site and they look fantastic!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:49PM
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I have been searching for days a solution to this. My countertop ends after the window kitchen. Before the window i have wall cabinets but not after the window. The base cabinets end near the front door and then starts the family room. My tiles are theese :

so i didnt want to tile the entire wall neither to continue at the same height as the wall cabinets area.

Thank you so much for the foto and the idea of the bullnose tile!!!

    Bookmark   20 hours ago
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