bullnosing porcelain tiles, sealer? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-21-2008, 11:58 AM
This is my first porcelain install, using 12 x 12 tiles, and I was about to take some to be bullnosed but have a question first. The color goes all the way through, so that's ok, but the bullnosed edge will be unglazed. The cost to paint and reglaze is too high for this job, so is there a sealer I can use? I have made two niches, which need the bullnosing the most, so they will get a fair amount of water. Thanks.

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Dave Taylor
02-21-2008, 07:10 PM
I'm sorry that we may have been missing your question.

I don't know that any sealer will help make porcelain (glazed porcelain....) look better than au-natural when its bull-nosed. Have a piece of your tile ground and polished.... its through body color..... and see how you like it.

If you don't like it.... perhaps you may consider a contrasting bull nose tile that’s available which may be used to frame your shower niches.

Then there is always the finger nail polish section in the cosmetic section of your local drug or department store. Lotsa' fairly permanent color shades to choose from.

02-21-2008, 07:38 PM
I was concerned that the "raw" (unglazed) bullnosed edge would wick water into the tile and not be good for the installation. I'm going to use slate on the floors and thought if I sealed the edges of the porcelain with that same penetrating sealer I got for them, it might work. But today I saw some pencil liners that might work, waiting for a price check on them. I only posted this question today, so thanks for the quick reply. I'll check the price on polishing the bullnose. Here in Colorado (Denver area) bullnosing was running $8 a foot, but I found a place today for $4.

02-21-2008, 07:57 PM
Evert, In full disclosure I'm not a pro (but I did sleep at a holiday inn express last night) but I just ran into the same issue with porcelain large body tile. As Dave mentioned have a piece bulled and polished. I think you'll find that to be fine. The finish is shiny (like a granite counter top) and it will still have the same qualities of the dense porcelain. My tile shop said no need to seal.

When they polish I think they use 7 different pads to get to the final shine so make sure they go all the way. They first gave me 4 pad finish and it did look dull. Then again you could experiment to see which look (4 pad or 7) you think would work best with your tile/design.

Lastly they also told me that polyurethane can be used to give it a shine if you don't want to go through the expense of formal fabrication. They called it an "old fabricator trick" I suspect the poly would solve any sealing reservations you have as well. Double check the poly before going full hog. Good luck.

02-21-2008, 08:17 PM
Denver is a big place. I would think there's a tile distributer with a bulldog around somewhere. Alot of these places will bull and glaze the edge alot cheaper than I can bull & polish.

crow wing
02-21-2008, 08:26 PM
Evert when i first started I was doing bullnose on erery thing at 8 -10 per foot if you can getrdone for 4 bucks thats a deal.

03-01-2008, 07:07 PM
Thanks for all the responses on the bullnosing. I got it done in Denver for $4 a foot and it looks fine. Now I have two more questions. Since the slate I have is irregular, can I use flex bond underneath instead of Versabond?

What enhancers/sealers do you like? I used a penetration silicone on the marble years ago, but I tried some on the slate along with a sample of a waterbased sealer. The waterbased resisted more.

Since I'm going over 3/4" ply over cement, I'm planning on using a 1/4" CBU, any comments or advice on that? Thanks again, couldn't do without you.

03-02-2008, 02:50 PM
Since the slate I have is irregular, can I use flex bond underneath instead of Versabond?
Why do you ask the question, Evert? I don't see why the irregular nature of slate tile would have any bearing on the choice of thin-set. :scratch:

As far as sealers go, your first consideration needs to be whether you want to "enhance" the outward appearance of that slate. The general rule is, enhancers also serve as sealers but they are largely ineffective at creating an enhanced appearance if a sealer is first applied. In otherwords, use one or the other (enhancer or a sealer) but not both.