Ceramic tiles serve as an affordable and versatile alternative to more expensive countertop materials, such as granite or marble. While installing ceramic tiles across the surface of a new countertop is a relatively simple process, using standard tiles along the edges of the countertop leads to hard, sharp corners. Explore the different edge treatments available for ceramic countertops to maximize aesthetics, safety and comfort.
Wood trim serves as an easy-to-install option for finishing the edge of a ceramic tile countertop. The top of the wood edge sits flush with the surface of the tile for a smooth, attractive finish and helps to protect the edge of the tile from chips and cracks over time. Many homeowners choose wood trim that matches existing cabinets or other wood elements in the room, though painted wood can also be used to create the desired look. Look for products designed specifically for this application, or choose simple 1- by 2-inch lumber and nail it to the edge of the countertop after painting or staining.
While wood trim adds warmth to tile countertops, metal edge trim offers a sleek, modern finish. This product is similar to metal stair treads and comes in polished, brushed and embossed finishes in a variety of colors and materials. Depending on the product you choose, metal trim can be screwed to the edge of the countertop or adhered with glue. Some products feature a lip that fits over the countertop so that the tile can be installed on top to hold it in place.
Bullnoses and Bevels
If you prefer to use matching ceramic tile to finish the edges of your tile countertop, look for units with a rounded bullnose or 45-degree beveled profile to soften the edges of your countertop. Many ceramic tile makers sell bullnose and beveled pieces designed to match various tile colors and finishes. These pieces can be cut and installed using thinset just like the surface tiles to create a cohesive surface without the harsh edges associated with standard tiles.
V-cap tiles are designed to fit around the edges and corners of a tile countertop. They feature a molded profile with a raised lip to prevent liquid from dripping off the edge of the counter and onto the cabinets or floor. You can find V-caps to match many common ceramic tile finishes.
Trim and Edge Pieces
If you prefer to dress up the edges of your countertop, look for trim and edge pieces designed for this purpose. Consider decorative border or accent tiles, shaped edge pieces and transition caps or covers. Look for tiles that match your countertop or backsplash, or choose contrasting colors or detailed patterns. Choose from smooth tiles or heavily textured ones that add depth and visual appeal to spice up a plain tile countertop.
- The Family Handyman: How to Install Granite Countertops
- Schluter Systems: Finishing and Edge-Protection Profiles for Walls & Countertops
- The Complete Guide to Decorating With Ceramic Tile; Jerri Farris
- Ceramic Tile -- Step by Step; Creative Homeowner
- Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images