Is bullnose tile outdated? No, but it may not be the best choice for every house. Your design could benefit from bullnose tile, but you might also find that you like another look better.
What Is Bullnose Tile?
Typically, tiles have straight, square edges. If you leave those edges exposed along the tops or sides of your tiled spaces, you may see the tiles’ glaring white insides. Plus, straight-edged tiles can be rough. They may scratch anyone who rubs up against them.
If you use bullnose tiles along the tops or sides of your tile layouts, you won’t have those problems. Bullnose tiles have one or two half-rounded edges. These create a smooth transition from the tiles to the surface behind them.
Is Bullnose Tile Outdated?
No, bullnose tile isn’t necessarily outdated. In many home designs, it could be the best choice for achieving a finished tile look.
However, it’s not the only option for tile projects these days, so you’ll want to think about whether bullnose really fits your style.
For example, bullnose could be the best way to edge the tile in your traditional home decor. In a contemporary house, though, you might want to choose a sleeker style.
Alternatives to Bullnose
Before deciding whether to use bullnose tile for your project, consider the various alternatives that are available. The more you learn about those styles, the better you can decide which is best for you.
Today, the most popular alternative to bullnose tiles may be profile edge trim. Usually made of metal, these strips create a thin, clean edge for your tile designs. Schluter is a popular brand, so these are often called Schluter strips.
Metal strips are a smart choice for modern or contemporary decor styles that focus on straight, clean lines. While bullnose isn’t outdated, per se, it doesn’t always mesh well with those styles. Schluter strips’ sleek edges could be a better fit.
Profile edge strips are available in a variety of finishes and shapes. There are even bullnose-style strips, which may be a good compromise for those who just can’t decide whether to use rounded tiles or square-edge strips.
Other Tile Shapes
Bullnose isn’t the only shape available for tiles, so you could choose a different design. Examples include thin pencil tile or dimensional ledge tile. There are also v-cap tiles that bend around corners. While such tiles may have their place, you do run the risk of an outdated look if they’re not used just right.
Not all tiles require a special edging treatment. Depending on your design, you may not have to use anything at all.
For example, natural stone tiles are the same color all the way through, so the edges are the same shade as the tops. For that reason, an untreated tile edge may look just fine, especially if it’s polished. The same may be true of through-body porcelain tiles.
If you decide to leave the plain edges, you may want to sand them. It can enhance the look and also make them smoother and safer.
Another option in some spaces is to extend the tile all the way to the ceiling or the floor so that there’s less need for finished edges. For example, a full-height backsplash would cover the wall from the counter to the bottom of the upper cabinets or even the ceiling.
So is bullnose tile a thing of the past? No, but you should still think carefully about whether it’s the best option for the style of your home. Instead of bullnose tiles, you could choose metal profile strips, quarter-round tile trim or another approach to bring your design together.