Outside Edge Treatments on Tile Walls

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    North Vancouver, BC
    Yesterday after work I checked my email and found a letter from one of Terry Love's viewers. This viewer emailed me directly and ask about how to address the detail of tile where it ends on wall, when no bullnose is available. This is a common theme in today's tile selection. Most do not have them at all and dealing with the edge is often tricky.

    For most tile setter and Do It Your Selfers the answer is a Schluter Profile. Tons of sizes and colours - personally I can not stand all the metal accents in our shower builds and find that most times the Schluter Profiles are butchered by the installer upon installation.

    Putting my grip about these profiles aside - lets answer the question. First lets read the original email....


    "I see the quality work you do (on Terry's forum), and I have a question about what I should do for outside edge treatments on tile walls.

    My wife selected 12" x 24" tile - about 3/8" thick. There is no bullnose. I'm exploring two options:

    Roll the edge - just a bit - like a 1/16" radius. I was considering sanding the edges with an angle grinder, with progressively finer grits. Then slightly polish the edge. Would this work? My fear is that I can't give each tile the same radius freehand.

    The other was Schluter Rondec. I read the Schluter instructions .... their reccomendation is to tile the opposing wall first. This makes sense, cause then you can position the Rondec aligned with the tiled corner - you don't have to worry about the thickness of the tile. Then use thinset and apply the Rondec to the other wall. Do you really bed the entire strip Rondec in thinset? - cause I sure can't do the entire wall in a day

    I was thinking more like taping the Rondec to the wall, and applying thinset as I laid the courses of tile.

    The other question is the height of the Rondec - if my tile is 3/8" thick, and I'm using 1/2" notched trowel - how do you figure out the height of the Rondec?

    Thanks for your help. ...."


    Rolling the edge - This is a possibility and doable. Most Porclean tile has a solid colour and if this was to be attempted I would first pre-cut all the outside tiles to size. I would make a jig to clamp the tile in place and use my angle grinder and polishing pads to get the bullnose close. I would start with a 100 grit and then 200 and then 400. This is incredible dusty work. Most of these pads require water but that makes a massive mess. We use them dry and outfit a room with one of my Air Cleaners and My Hepa fans.

    I'll do a video for this fellow today and post it on You Tube.

    You will want to seal the edge with something like Enrich-N-Seal. This brings out the colour of the inner tile. I would to be safe buy one tile and try this approach start to finish before tackling the whole lot.

    The other was Schluter Rondec. - this makes for a nice soft edge but getting it just right can be hard. Many times 3/8" tile once set is between 1/2" and 5/8" total off the wall. Many of these Schluter profiles are only 3/8" or 1/2" max. So what do you do? I would shim the roundec off the wall with 1/16" or 1/8" shims and spot set it (after wall is primed and only if this is outside the wet zone) with my glue gun. I would use my straight edge and level to set the Rondec perfectly level and then use it as a tile guide. If the wall was out of level by more than 1/16" I would set the tile out of level instead of shimming out the Rondec to much. Once the tile was set I would use a few layers of FibaFuse or mesh drywall tape to build out the shim distance to meet the Rondec. Then I would feather rout this build out and re prime and paint.

    I have some pictures of this process. I'll try and dig them up.

    When working with profiles from Schluter remember that you can not let thin-set dry on them or the thin-set will corrode the finish. later when you clean it the finish is pulled off. Keep things clean and tidy.

    When cutting Schluter Profiles use a small chop saw with a non ferrous blade. We use hardwood as backer stock to hold the profiles in place and to get nice tight joints. If cut well and set perfect the profiles look great. If you kind of do a good job it looks like crap.

    Another third option is to forgo any detail at all and go with a flush, seamless tile to wall transition. This requires more skill and I have been showcasing this work on my Houzz Profile. Have a look.


    Take a look - I'll do a back link from this discussion back to this page so it's an easy read.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Using J Beads for drywall in stead of Schluter Profiles

    In my daughter's bath we have no Schluter Profiles at all. I used a little drywall trick with a J-Bead to trim out the tile to wall transition. I have been keeping some of these pictures hidden from the online world and making them accessible to my clients who donate to my blog spot but for the sake of helping him out and showing people you can build bathrooms without the crutch that is a Schluter profile I will continue to feed this thread with info.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Good - Better - Best : Choosing your tile transition

    There are many knock off products to the Schluter profiles. Most are similar quality, some are worse. There is however a more upscale product to the cheap Schluter models.

    The first upgrade is Stainless Steel Profiles - Schluter makes these and I do stock the Rondec in Stainless for shower benches. If you are a little heavier set a rounded edge is nicer on the backs of your legs vs a mitered corner.

    The best profiles are made by a company called Butech - a division of the Porcelosna Group. These are chromed plated brass pieces and run around $85.00 a length vs the $10.00 Schluter products. If you have a thirst for the finer things in life call Ashley at Fontile and ask her to show you these beauties.
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    No Grout on top - Polished and Micro bevelled

    A nice simple touch is to simply polish the tile edges flat. This removes marks from a snap cutter or wet saw and nets a smooth surface. After working the tile down to a polished finish I use one of my diamond sanding pads to ease the edge or create a micro bevel. This is slick touch and makes the hard edge a little nicer.

    On this job we set the tile tight to the pre-painted drywall.

    A look at the end result. I will be back on this job next week to fine tune the drywall and infill the voids shown in this picture. I like to tile first and then fine tune the drywall to hide minor imperfections. You could use chaulking but that looks less than ideal.

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    60 grit

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    I use about a 60 degree angle. All free hand and before the tile is in place. Took this picture to show angle.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Seamless wall to tile treatments for tile baseboard and tiled wall applications

    The hardest way to address this transition is to make it seamless. We use simply readily available drywall trims to do this. Here is a look at the seamless tile to wall transition taking shape.

    For this application you need both a master tile setter and master dry waller. Lucky for me - I'm both. I have seen this look butchered when there are two men doing their own end. I set the tile with the L-Bead at the same time to ensure they both are true and line up perfectly.

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    These L-Beads are only set with drywall joint compound and still need the finish coats of drywall compound. This will be done when all tile setting is finished.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Treating the Outside Edge of your tile with a Bull Nose Detail

    Creating a Bull Nose detail is tricky, dusty, risky and a real pain in the ass. I'm sure they make a special cutting tool for this but I have never bought our used them. In the rare occasion we are asked it's easier to make them by hand.

    This poster above reached out and called me yesterday and I promised him I would take a video of the process. I did but the video is 600 MB and too large to email. Would take six hours to upload so I'm including some pictures here instead. So first off the Guard on my grinder is removed - I where a full face mask and using these polishing pads dry is very very risky. I have often taken shots to the face when the pad fails or part of the tile fails.

    I won't get into great detail but you need to cut on the push side of the spin, not the pull. The grinder spins away from you when you hold it with your right hand - so pressure needs to be on the front edge - if you reverse bits of tile can be shot off the face and come at you.

    Here is the drill.

    You need somewhere to do this work. You are going to make a hell of a mess. I brought down my Delta Air Cleaner and a few Hepa filter for this job in Yale Town since the local By Laws restrict any dusty work outside on common property. I set up right beside this Air Cleaner to minamise the dust.

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    I run two grinders and do not remove the polishing pads off the wheel to switch pads. I find this wears out the velco backing. These pads are like throwing stars when they come off - Be careful.

    I use both a 100 grit and 200 grit for the bull nosing. First I get it close with the 100 grit - then I fine tune a little with the 200 grit. The 100 grit has a rigid backer and the 200 a soft backer.

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    Once it gets looking like this I switch out to the hand diamond sanding blocks. I sand down with a rolling action with the 60 grit. Then polish it a little more with the 200 grit. Later we would use finer grits if the finish did not look good. I usually lick my finger to wet the edge to see if I can see tool marks. If it looks good a little Enrich - N - Seal will keep the edge looking wet.

    If this is not perfect it will look like crap. I would estimate about 40 minutes prep per 12" of tile. I would if I had to do 16' - 20' bring the tiles to my stone cutter and leave them with them. I would show up with Beer if it was a Friday and ask if I could pick them up on Tuesday.

    Or I would invest in a special cutting tool for this. I know I have seen someone use them before.

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    Getting this outside edge just right it hard to do. The picture above shows how you can use light to sight your line. This example I worked on for under 4 minutes. I just buzzed it quick to show the caller what he should be looking for.

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    They all need to be the same for a nice looking finish. Make sure when you install the job the finished bathroom lighting is in place.

    Good Luck D

    JW
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
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