No Bull Nose Tiles! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 09:25 AM
Yet another stupid question from the Rook!

The floor tiles I have picked out porcelain 15x15 don't come in a bull nose, bummer. I'm tiling a concrete step. I wanted to use the floor tiles on the step and the mosaic tiles on the riser. Problem is I'm concerend about the edge of the tile on the step and if it will look professional and if it will be durable for all the wear it will take. This is a breakfast area that is next to a sunken living room. I have not put these tiles down yet, I was trying to locate the bull nose! Need to wrap this up and get my house back together before I'm thrown out, my wife has been very understanding, but she's starting to get fed up with her house being torn up. Any suggestions!! Thoughts, or maybe a good rate at a hotel!!!


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07-12-2001, 10:54 AM
Go and take a look at their "Trep" series.These are stair/step edge slip resistant nosings.I think you'll like them.

They have a distributer locator on there site too so you can find the closest dealer to you.

Derek & Jacqui
07-12-2001, 02:22 PM
There is a brass or stainless steel trim product you can use that produces a really nice finish and is easy to use.
Alternatively, you can miter the tiles - this looks really professional.

Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 02:26 PM

Thanks, but the wife has shot that down. I suggested that we protect the edge, and showed her schluter products. She did not like the look, she really wants the tile to the edge of the step. This is just one step down, runs the length of the living room. Can I put the tiles on there even though they are not bull nosed? What have you done on single steps?


Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 02:31 PM
Derek & Jacqui

Not sure I have seen what you are talking about, but the wife likes the stainless steel idea. I have not thought about the miter idea! I kind of like that! Would I grout the joint as I would between tiles or should I use caulk? (spelling?)


Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 03:22 PM
Tile Rookie,

I don't think mitreing those tiles are going to be the easiest thing for you to do nor have the best results. The Schluter product comes in many colors and styles and would be your absolute best bet if no bullnose is available. Bring your wife in here for a minute, let's see if she is a reasonable person.

It would be a big mistake not to protect the tile edge. I would choose one of the Schluter edgeings.

How about a bullnose in a different color that would be compatible with your decor, this is also done frequently.

OR, you could use a finished wood stair nose with tile behind it.

Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 03:40 PM

OK now I'm really lost! When I went on my search for Bull nosed tiles the tile store that I bought the tiles from in the first place said to put the tiles down with a slight overhang and then apply the mosaic tiles on the riser, under the tiles. I've seen this done on tub instalations, but what about on floors! I was worried about wear on the edge of the tiles and the tile salesman said that "their porcelain they can take anything" My wife is concerned with the size of the Schluter products, very wide to her. I'm wondering about the length of the "step" 14 feet 7 inches. What would you guys install. My wife is not that demanding, she just likes the look of the tile edge. I have to admit that it looks much cleaner to me. I have cut a few pieces just to get an idea of what it will look like, maybe that was a bad idea, because my wife saw that and really liked the way it looked. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 04:14 PM

The edge will (in time) chip. Period. And what about the grout lines, they will be very vulnerable. If you want to look at that raw edge then go for it, with porcelain it would be acceptable. You could just use a diamond file to relieve the sharp edge.

If the stair edgeing by Schluter is too wide take a look at thier "tile edgeing" sticks and see what you think. This is the product I use when trying to do what you are trying to do. They will reveal only about 3/8" on the face and less than an 1/8" on the top. Comes in all finishes. Just put some gloss black on a fireplace two weeks ago, dy-no-mite.

Tile edgeing is available in solid brass, stainless steel, and anodized aluminum, and plastic.

Of course the plastic isn't an option in this case, but keep in mind if you go with the polished brass finish (ANB-80) for example, this is "coated aluminum" and the coating will eventually wear away where the step is used the most exposing the silver aluminum color.

So.......she wouldn't talk to me huh?

07-12-2001, 04:26 PM
Well,I may be beating a dead horse but the Schluter is your best choice. The Trep noses are available as large as 2 1/8" wide to as small as 3/4" wide.That's not much bigger than a large grout joint.True,Porcelain is tough but step edges are exposed to stresses and ware that field tile NEVER sees.

If you decide to miter the tile; 1.Don't miter it to the point of leaving a "sharp" edge. 2.Pack it with thinset!!!! MAKE SURE TO GET 100% COVERAGE UNDER THE TILE EDGE !!!!

Bud,it looks like we may not get our commission from Schluter.

Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 04:30 PM

Yes she would talk to you! She wanted to know how much you charge? She's tired of her house being torn up! We looked at the Schluter web sit again! Thanks to my wife she pointed out the transition strips edge protection that you mentioned. She likes those, clean lines etc. Thanks for the help!! She likes the stainless, and the black you mentioned but what about wear on the black? Now an instalation question? Should the edge protection be flush with the tile on the riser? How would you install it?


Tile Rookie
07-12-2001, 04:35 PM

Well I have to thank my wife! See saw on Schluter's web site the edge strips! Reason #1,234,499 that I married her! She really likes those, I was looking at the wrong ones!!! Now guys what's the best way to install them!!! Flush with the riser tile??????


07-12-2001, 04:51 PM
Cool!! If you go with Schluter -Schiene series they are produced with an integrated spacer that creates a channel for grout.If you use the stair nose,you'll need to leave about 1/8" for grout or caulk.Both are set in the thinset at the same time the adjacent tiles are set.They have a perforated leg that allows thinset to ooze through to the tile so it is bonded in place.

Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 05:25 PM

The Schluter edgeing comes in 8 foot sticks only so you'll need two obviously. You will need to set the "trim" (Schluter) and the tile basically at the same time. And you'll need three hands to do it. If you figure everything out in advance and pre-cut your treads (tile) then it will go really fast.

Use a loose piece of your riser tile to guage where you will extend the front edge of the trim. Locate where you will place the trim and cut it to fit, apply thinset to that much of the step.

Gently set the trim into the thinset along the 8 foot length, then butter just one edge (front edge) of each tread tile and place the buttered edge onto the trim as you squirm the tiles into place. Complete the 8 foot length.

Use your riser tile guage to position the front edge of the trim as you squirm. Use a scraper or margin trowel to reach in under the trim overlap and remove any purge.

Once all the tread tile/trim is in place you can later install the riser tile as the necessary overhang will have already been established. When you pre-cut your tread tiles be sure to allow enough depth for your anticipated overhang. You'll have a small margin of forgiveness because your riser tile will cover any small gap at the rear of the tread.

For my money the solid brass or the stainless steel is by far the best choice as these have no finish to wear away.

What else?

Oh by the way. The Schluter trim is available in several sizes as far as tile "thickness" is concerned. Be sure to order the correct Schluter. For example a standard 12X12 tile is a nominal 5/16" thick and this would require a Schluter code of "80". I don't know how they figure all that stuff. The ANB 80 example mentioned above is the designation for anodized aluminum=(AN), brass=(B), 80=(5/16).

Boy now I'm getting confuseder and cofuseder.

[Edited by Bud Cline on 07-12-2001 at 07:32 PM]

07-12-2001, 05:46 PM
Hey Bud

The '80' you mentioned is for 8 millimeters...I think?


Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 05:58 PM
Yeh, I figured it was some metric thing. I just don't want to know all that stuff. I do know you can use the wrong trim and on a stair in bare feet it's not all that comfortable.

John Bridge
07-12-2001, 06:51 PM
Hi Rookie,

These guys don't need any reinforcement from me, but I think you've all agreed on a pretty good solution.

Overlapping the tile is something we would do as a matter of course, but not over a flimsy mosaic riser. Eventually, your floor tiles, no matter how hard, would give way from simple fatigue.

If you were using the solid tiles on the riser, I would argue for the overlap. (Not if you have little children, though. It's very hard on the noggin.)

The Schluter edge will allow you to set the tiles back a little, where they will have solid support.

Bud Cline
07-12-2001, 07:24 PM
The Schluter (metal) will also lend some structural support to the underside of the tile edge and in this case the solid brass would be better than the anodized aluminum and the stainless steel would be best of three.

Tile Rookie
07-13-2001, 08:19 AM
Thanks everybody!!!!! One more question... Where can I get Schluter. The web site pointed me to Dal-Tile but I called them and they won't sell to the public! They suggested another company but they don't carry it! I thought about some carpet and tile stores but the ones I have called don't carry Schluter either. HELP!!!! The wife and I would like the "project" finished before hell freezes over! I have not even tried the Depot or Lowes, would they even carry it?
I'm in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.


07-13-2001, 09:04 AM
Go to a reputable tile retailer.They carry other companies products that are identical to Schluter's.Schluter is just one of many manufacturers.

06-19-2006, 06:57 PM
Hey Roockie
Im a stone tile fabricator I specailize in bullnosing.
Ill bet if you ask around your local tile shops you may
find someone.

now my turn can anyone tell what is the best mortar

06-20-2006, 11:42 AM
Home Depot carries some Schluter products in their tile section.

06-20-2006, 12:08 PM
there is another option that was used in our house in a similar situation. The tile setters created a "bullnose" with grout. If I get a chance I'll try to get a picher. The tile job is from the previous owner, and very well done. You can tell the bullnose effect was 'tooled' as it is very even and consistent. I never thought much about it until recently but now realize it's also a little unusual. Durability has not been an issue, and it looks very nice.

06-20-2006, 12:50 PM
I always have a problem gettin b-nose tile to match my colors.

06-20-2006, 06:43 PM
I always have a problem gettin b-nose tile to match my colors. we just took a batch of bullnose back for the bath we are doing. It was way past the usual return date, but they were so bad they didn't even blink. :sick: from now on I check b-nose as soon as I get home if I can't do it at the store (like if it's wrapped on a pallet)