I'm working on a tub surround, which is about to be tiled. And the last piece I need to figure out, is how to transition between finished tile and adjacent wall.

This is how my wall looks right now.

backerboard and drywall meet

Backerboard is 1/4", and drywall is 1/2". With thinset, tile, etc, tile qill be ~1/8" thicker than drywall. I'll be using this edge where the tile ends:

Square edge

What is the best way to facilitate the transition so that I don't have to re-do all the walls in the bathroom? (e.g. something that will not just have a gap there, and will not require reapplying the wallpaper or repainting the whole thing)


2 Answers 2


A usual method is to go down the edge of the wall with a surface bullnose, showing a "knife edge" at the corner. This means the tile rolls down to meet the corner.

Another method, if your bullnose has finished bottoms, is to overlap the edge and go "around the corner", having the bullnose round into the outside wall (the wall that has the striped wallpaper) The bullnose will hide the tile edge, putting that grout line facing the side of the entrance.

This photo shows both methods: the left with a flat-on-wall knife edge and the right shows a wrap-around-the corner

This photo shows both methods

You can use the edge profile pictured, in place of surface bullnose. You would adjust your tile to end short of the corner (equal to the edge thickness of the profile.

Sunday back-of-envelope sketch

In all cases, grout would be filled into the corner/wall junction.

  • I don't have a surface bullnose :( Not sure how I'd properly use edge profile like you described... Since the backerboard sits lower than drywall, I'll butt against an uneven cut of drywall, and will end up with a gap between this and drywall. Are you saying that grout should fill that gap? Are there any profiles like this: syrota.com/photos/diy/3.jpg (note height difference)?
    – Serge
    Apr 13, 2013 at 20:58
  • Do I understand that the drywall/wallpaper is proud of the backerboard (by __ amount?) and that after tiling the tile will be proud of the wall by 1/8 (but contained by the drywall?) It seems like you should just cutoff (neatly, with multiple new blades) the drywall flush with the wall prior to tiling and then butt the edge profile flush to the wallpaper wall. Caulk or grout the small gap between the edge profile and the wall.
    – HerrBag
    Apr 14, 2013 at 12:32
  • The profile in your drawing is know as a "carpet" tuck transition (where carpet and tile are on the same level, the carpet tucks under the raised section) . I don't understand why you want it
    – HerrBag
    Apr 14, 2013 at 12:35
  • The problem is that it's not a corner. It's a wall on the same plane like so: backerboard ▄▄▄▄▄█████ drywall. That's why this carpet tuck transition would've worked great. I'll try to see how caulking the gap would look, and may be this is the route I'll take. Thanks!
    – Serge
    Apr 14, 2013 at 18:09
  • Ahhh. Glad I asked. How close is the grout to the thinset? Perhaps mix a small batch of grout to bed the profile against the wall (filling its side), while using thinset at the same time to set the bottom of the profile/tile
    – HerrBag
    Apr 14, 2013 at 18:23

For the sake of completeness, here's the alternative way of accomplishing this: Schluter RENO-TK

Schluter RENO-TK

I'd prefer this one (exactly the offset I have), but unfortunately could not find it anywhere locally, and tile installation was already scheduled.

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