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Tiling outside corner walls - in Brick pattern

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Jul 04, 2013, 03:29 PM
Tiling outside corner walls - in Brick pattern

I am tiling a bathroom. The three walls surrounding the tub will be tiled 6' off the floor. The rest of the walls get tiled 4' off the floor. This is my second tiling project and the first time, I have to deal with outside corners in tiling...

I have attached a couple of pictures to help visualize the situation. Although the tiles are currently lines up straight (to show the slight wall angle), the intent is to lay the tiles in a brick fashion around the room. That's where the real problem comes in!

The wall on top of the tub (In the first picture), will need 2.5 tiles horizontally, before it hits an inside wall. The adjoining wall (outside corner), allows 1.5 tiles before it touches the door frame... So, in a brick pattern, the half tiles alternate between being installed next to the inside wall and the outside wall. I am not sure how to handle the outside wall, with cuts coming from both walls (tiles from both walls will be cut). What works nicely? I have 2 outside walls in this project...

In addition, as you can see from the second photo, there is a slight angel in the wall. I guess I will just put more mud behind the lower rows of tiles to align them with the top ones. Right?

Thank you

Jul 04, 2013, 04:41 PM
OK, first - STOP! Do not lay any more tile.

The best thing you could do is to go get a tile book - they have them at any homestore. This will show you what needs to be done and how to handle what you are trying to do. There is only one picture but you are doing a fairly complex tiling project.

The short story: You will us bullnose tile for those outside corners. In the type of tile you have, the bullnose is usually in 3" x 12" pieces with one curved and finished 12" edge. Using bullnose is the only way that you can hide the unfinished edge of the tile.

Find yourself a decent tiling book, read up on what you are going to do and then tackle this project. It will save you a lot of headaches and make for a much more professional looking job.

Jul 04, 2013, 05:20 PM
Thank you, Jaybee.

Don't worry about the tiles. They are being held up with paint tape. It is easily removable, but helps envision things...

I actually have borrowed 4 books from the library. This topic seems not to be very extensively covered. I had, however, come across the ideal of using two bullnose pieces and had tried it. Somehow it did not look very nice, in my wall application. But, I will give it another shot and get someone else to tell me what they think.

In the meanwhile, if anyone has another idea, please shout it out. The project is on hold for now, anyhow.

Thank you
Jul 04, 2013, 08:00 PM
You actually only need the bullnose on one wall surface as the bullnose edge will cover the raw edge of the tile on the other wall. It is also possible to miter cut both wall end pieces, but this usually makes for too sharp of a corner.

Good call on the tape holding up the tile! You are approaching this the right way.

Jul 04, 2013, 10:03 PM
Thank you, Jaybee. Now, it is clear to me. It would actually look nice, if I were to install the tiles (they are 8x12 and the bullnose is 3x12) vertically and forgo the brick pattern...

Unfortunately, my boss (read Mrs.) is set on brick pattern and, even if I cut the bullnose down to 3x8, I would end up with a fixed straight line in this one corner, which would be different from the rest of the bathroom... I need to see what the Mrs. thinks.

Someone suggested, turning the cut pieces, so the cut edge is facing inwards, instead of at the outside edge. Apparently, the grout will cover it nicely?!

Any thought on that?
Jul 04, 2013, 10:26 PM
A couple of things:

1. Anytime you have to cut a tile, put the cut edge into the end or corner, leaving the factory edge of the cut tile up against the last full tile in the run. This way the grout will cover the always less than perfect cut edge. Anytime you have a cut edge adjacent to a factory edge, it will make the cut edge stand out. It will be much less obvious if the cut edge is in the corner.

2. The bullnose does not have to line up with the wall tile. In fact, it's most common for the bullnose joints to be staggered in relation to the wall tile. Doing it this way makes the bullnose look more like a tile trim (which it is) that borders the wall rather than being a bullnosed wall tile. Of course, you can also cut the bullnose to make the seams line up if that is the look you want, but the same rules about cut edges apply, even though the tile is smaller.

3. I am making an educated guess that the bullnose is 3x12. It's possible the it's available in 8" to match your tiles. usully the bullnose used for comon 4" tile is 2x6.