'Tis the Season for Trimming Tile Edges

'Tis the Season for Trimming Tile Edges - Architessa

Tis' the season for trimming the tree, making a list, and checking it twice. Whether you're hanging the last ornament on your Blue Spruce or sprucing up your home for the holidays with a renovation, small details make a space feel complete. You may be adding garland to your White Pine or pining after tile you saw on our website. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to small design details, don't forget about tile trim. We've been making a few lists of our own at Architectural Ceramics. First, check out our list of tile trim terms, where we describe various types as well as mention AC Collections that feature them. Then, we've put together mood boards that picture a few tile trims, of course with a winter twist to get you in the holiday mood. From pencil liners and bullnose to chair rails and base moldings, we have you and your tile edge covered not only this holiday season but year-round.

A List of Tile Trim Terms

Knowing which trim to use to cover an exposed edge of tile can be overwhelming if you don't know what your options are. Here is a quick list of common tile trim types and where to use them. Base molding: Just like wood molding is used at the bottom of a wall where it meets the floor, base molding can be made out of ceramic, marble or porcelain, and functions the same way. The shapes of base molding vary from a flat to a carved profile.

Base molding is decorative and functional at the same time because it helps to move your eye from one material to another and simultaneously covers seams. Where wood molding often covers a transition from drywall to hardwood flooring, tile base molding covers a transition from drywall or wall tile to tile flooring.

To see collections available with Architectural Ceramics that include a base molding, visit our base molding product search here.

Bar liner: Clean and simple, bar liners are used to break up field tile. Typically ceramic liners are used as an accent with field tile above and below them, because the edges are often unglazed or unfinished.

Bar liners are not only available in ceramic, but glass and marble varieties as well. Where the edges of a ceramic liner are unfinished, when using glass or marble, the color or veining will be seen throughout the trim piece.

For an example of a bar liner, view our glass collection: Naturals. This collection features a 1" x 12" or 2" x 12" bar liner. For a marble example, view our Brocade Collection that features the Moonstone 1/2" x 12" bar liner in a honed finish.

Bullnose: The work horse of tile trim. Bullnose is a very common way to trim an exposed tile edge. This type of trim is available in ceramic, marble and porcelain. Bullnose tile is recognizable because one edge of the tile is rounded. That rounded edge creates a finished return from tile to drywall. If the bullnose tile is ceramic or porcelain, the rounded edge is glazed; if it is marble the rounded edge is honed or polished.

A common use in your home is the vertical edge of your shower surround. A 3" x 6" ceramic subway tile, for example, will often have a coordinating 3"x 6" bullnose. The finished edge of the bullnose may be on the short or long side depending on how you want to install it along with the field tile.

To search Architectural Ceramic's collections that include a bullnose, visit our bullnose product search here.

Chair rail: A carved decorative molding, chair rails are used to cap wall tile or to create a frame around accent tile. Ranging from simple to ornate, chair rail profiles are available in various shapes and materials. Seen most often as a ceramic or marble profile, an ogee chair rail for example has high and low, convex and concave curves that give it a picture frame effect.

To search Architectural Ceramic's collections that include a chair rail, visit our chair rail product search here.

Pencil: Just like the name suggestions, a pencil trim is a small rounded tile typically sandwiched between coordinating field tile. Pencil liners are most similar to bar liners because of their application and how they are finished. Ceramic pencils, like ceramic bar liners, often have unfinished edges.

To search Architectural Ceramic's various ceramic and marble pencil options, visit our pencil product search here.

Quarter round: Quarter round trim can do double duty depending on it's application. If used like a pencil trim, a quarter round becomes decorative and is sandwiched between other tile. A quarter round trim becomes functional, however, if used as a protective outside corner. This type of trim not only has multiple uses but is also available in multiple materials as well, such as ceramic, porcelain or marble.

For an example of a quarter round, view our glazed porcelain collection: Kiln & Penny.

Threshold: Where most tile trims are used on vertical wall surfaces, thresholds are found under foot. Used for doorways and shower entrances, thresholds transition from one flooring material to another. Because of their application for doorways and showers, a standard threshold size is 4" x 36" or 6" x 72".

To see marble thresholds available with Architectural Ceramics, visit our threshold product search here.

Get in the Mood

Here at Architectural Ceramics, we love mood boards. Take a look below at two mood boards that just might get you in the holiday spirit. Better yet, we hope they get you in the mood to see more tile trim via our website or one of our DC-metro area showrooms. In a similar fashion to the tile terms list, we identify accent, field and trim tile featured in each mood board. Maybe you'll add an item or two to your wish list for Santa:

Durable and strong like Santa's reindeer must be to pull his sleigh, this porcelain field tile provides a strong contrast to the white subway tile and trim also featured. The large format 12" x 24" honed tile comes from our Hattrick Collection and is shown in Rust, just one of five available colors.

Like shiny bells, this glass tile has a reflective quality. Here, a staggered brick pattern and a chevron mosaic are separated by a thin dark bar liner. Either glass option would work well as a fireplace surround, where stockings are hung with care.

You may be dreaming of a White Christmas. Our Neri Collection, features white ceramic field tile and coordinating trim options. Pictured above, is the base molding trim. It's makes a decorative and functional choice for a bathroom remodel.

Continuing within our Neri Collection, the 3/4" x 6" striped pencil liner adds a bit of dimension to the mood board. Also available from the collection but not shown are short and long-sided bullnose.

This 3" x 6" glass subway tile from our Naturals Collection is aptly named Snow Flake. Used alongside other tile or as a stand-alone feature, this tile works well in a bathroom or kitchen setting.

A glass mosaic from our New Ravenna line sets the tone for this mood board. The silver and white glass blends well with the light grey tones of the marble. You can almost hear the tones chime to the tune of Silver Bells.

This solid marble chair rail from our Bianco Venatino Collection, makes a solid statement and adds dimension to the overall look. It would also make a nice addition to a bathroom renovation to cap wall tile installed like wainscoting. The 2" x 12" carved molding pairs well with the small and large format field tiles.

Also available from our Bianco Venatino Collection, the 3" x 6" subway tile modulates well with the chair rail and base molding trim pieces. Whether used as an accent band or an entire accent wall, the natural variation and veining in this marble field tile will add natural beauty to the space.

Still exploring our Bianco Venatino Collection, this large format field tile makes a great option for a floor or wall application. For a modern European look, try using either the 12" x 12" or 12" x 24" for both the floors and walls.

Lastly from our marble Bianco Venatino Collection, the base molding, not unlike its chair rail counterpart, adds dimension to the mood board. Where the chair rail would cap a wainscoting installation, the base molding grounds it at the bottom of the wall.

Last but not least, for a bit of shimmer and texture, look to this special order accent tile. Where each snow flake is unique and no two are alike, similarly the pattern on these hand-etched tiles will vary slightly from one piece to the next.

A More Modern Edge

Want a more modern look to cover an exposed tile edge or outside corner? Metal or PVC trim, designed by Schluter Systems, is a newer solution for an age-old problem. Available in various profiles, the trim comes in 8-foot extruded length that can be cut down to give a finished look to vertical or horizontal tile edges. Two popular profiles stocked at Architectural Ceramics, are the Jolly and Rondec.

Jolly:Santa isn't the only one who's jolly around the holidays. The minimal and flat Jolly profile keeps your project clean and simple. It's ideal for outside corners, or the top edge of a tiled wall like a backsplash or bathtub surround.

Look closely and you'll see the Jolly trim was used in this tub design. Because the trim is available in a range of colors, the beige option used here easily blends in with the tile and grout around it.

Rondec:An outside corner option, the Rondec offers a rounded profile instead of a flat one. The Rondec profile creates a symmetrically rounded corner at the tile surface's edge, that acts as either a finishing edge at the end of an exposed tile run, or as protection for an exposed outside corner.

Shown above, the Rodec was used to cap the horizontal wainscoting field tile edge, and to trim the exposed vertical edge of the meshed-mounted penny round mosaic in the shower. The rounded profile mimics the curved shape of the penny round, and the metal finish ties in with the water control and towel bar fixtures.

To learn more about the Jolly or Rondec trims from Schluter Systems, or to explore more extruded trim options, visit Schluter's homepage here.

More Inspiration & Resources

If talking about tile trim has you on the edge of your seat and wanting more, check out the Trim filter on our website. In this blog post we've only begun to cover the various trim options available with Architectural Ceramics. Are you in denial that the holidays are here, and you prefer falling leaves over snow? Then take a look at another AC blog post: A Latte Love: Fall Tile Inspiration. Our entry features more mood boards, this time inspired by none other than the beloved Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte. It's time to wrap up this holiday-inspired post so you can get to wrapping presents. We ho-ho-hope we've inspired your next tile project. Happy Holidays from our family here at Architectural Ceramics to yours. For further questions about our products featured here, or to place a tile order, please contact Want weekly updates about Architectural Ceramics and our product lines? Join our newsletterhere.

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