Bathroom Tiles – Do Your Tiles Come in Special Shapes?

Tile Shapes

Make sure the bathroom tiles you select come with the special shapes you’ll need to create a complete, quality installation.

Most people don’t think about how their bathroom tile will be installed. They make their selections based on the color and style of the tile and what decorative tiles or accents are available and compatible with the primary tile. But not all tiles are available with bull-nosed edges or other special shapes you may need.


A bull-nose edge is a slightly rounded over edge that has the finished surface of the tile wrapping all the way around the edge so that when it is adhered to the wall, nothing but a finished surface will be seen. Bull-nosed tiles are also needed when the tile must wrap around a corner, such as on a tub deck where the vertical front surface meets the horizontal top surface. Many tiles do not come with this accessory. In those cases, the edge of the tile will appear unfinished and possibly rough when installed. Some tiles, like porcelain tiles, can be rounded over and ground to be smooth by the tilesetter. This will prevent the tile from having rough edges, but many times the color of the body of the tile is not the same as the finished surface. In other words, the color you see on top does not run all the way though the tile. Other tiles, like ceramic tiles, can not be properly ground down to make a rough edge no matter how skillful your tilesetter may be.

Depending on your particular installation, you may also need tiles that are finished on two edges to form an outside corner. Another problem presented by some tiles is when the tile can not be cut smoothly. On a recent project, we ended up with tiles where the finished surface tended to chip off when cut, no matter what method of cutting the tilesetter tried. Even when he ground down the edge, the rough, chipped edge still showed.

I would suggest that you discuss the tile installation with your builder and the tile setter before you finalize you tile choice, just to be sure the final installation will match your expectations.

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

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Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch


  1. John on December 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Excellent blog. great advice.

  2. Rosalia Regehr on February 17, 2010 at 4:24 am

    I was browsing for ideas for a new shower when I stumbled your blog via Live search and your post caught my interest.

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