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I'm tiling our kitchen backsplash. The tile we got features a pressed/rounded edge as you can see in the picture. This is fine, but we also got some bullnose pieces, and we plan on finishing the edge of our backsplash by doing a line of these bullnose pieces vertically from the countertop to the ceiling.

We're done a 1/2 offset, so the pieces that we cut are going to hit the bullnose pictures like you see in the picture (BN is on the right vertically). As you can see in the 2nd and 3rd picture, the bullnose is rounded but the cut piece is straight, leading to an awkward spacing.

Is this just something I have to accept? Should I try to grout a little higher so the tile cut edge isn't sticking out as much? Maybe you won't really see it in the end after grouting.

I've tried to file the tile, but I can't really file down this down much. It looks like it's a printed ceramic tile, so if I try to shave any off I just shave right through the print and it's white underneath. So I can't "round" it myself. (I'm really surprised to find so little info about how to deal with printed tile like this, in any videos about filing very few people mention that you can't do that with this kind of tile)

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  • Do they make a rounded "pencil" tile in this set? You'll often see pieces like that which stand proud of the surface a bit more used in situations like this where you want to obfuscate an edge.
    – Matthew
    Commented Mar 8 at 16:02
  • Does the manufacturer or supplier of the tiles have any suggestions? The same problem with uneven spacing occurs when the tiles are laid in an offset pattern and meet an outside corner of the wall. Commented Mar 8 at 16:37
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    I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ve done a few DIY tile projects before. From the pictures, it looks like the bullnose is a tiny bit thinner than the wall tile. If that’s the case, I’d build up the Thinset on the back of the bullnose to be flush to the wall tile. Then I’d rip the edge of the bullnose on the wet saw to eliminate the rounded edge. Once the grout is in, it should look fine. IMO, Schluter edging would be a simple solution and looks very clean.
    – Niko
    Commented Mar 8 at 16:46
  • @Matthew I'm pretty sure there is pencil available. That's not a bad idea, but I think we're already committed to this style, and the difficult part is the rows that are not offset do still have a rounded edge meeting the bullnose (I don't have to cut them) so if I raise the edge pieces than I hit it with those.
    – James Long
    Commented Mar 8 at 19:24
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    @Niko I think the bullnose is not thinner, but the edges are just rounded like all other tiles. The perspective of the pictures is just really showing off the rounded edges; in the middle it's the same depth Thanks for the replies!
    – James Long
    Commented Mar 8 at 19:26

1 Answer 1

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Instead of a half-tile, cut two quarter-tiles with one cut and one rounded edge. Meet the other tiles with the rounded edge, and put the two cut edges together.

The other alternative (seems like a lot of work, but perhaps not with a wet table saw) is to cut the rounded ends off all the wall tiles (so ~95% and ~half or ~47.5%, rather than full and half) and cut the rounded edge meeting them off all the bull-nose tiles.

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  • I have a wet table saw available! Yeah, that's an option (cutting them all). I'm annoyed because the glaze on the tiles I'm using doesn't seem to be very thick. The green texture is printed on, and it's very thin and underneath it is a white layer. When I'm cutting, any irregular edge exposes the white layer underneath. Basically it looks like there are very tiny white chips when I cut. I think the cut is smooth but it's naturally not going to be perfect and this tile doesn't seem to do well with it. Overall, I'm worried about cutting so much but the green print seems to "chip" easily.
    – James Long
    Commented Mar 8 at 22:18
  • I'm not sure I 100% follow the quarter-tile route. What are the "other" tiles in this case? The bullnose? If one row has a full tile starting against the bullnose, what does the row above it look like? (right now, it'd be the half-tile with the cut side up against the bullnose)
    – James Long
    Commented Mar 8 at 22:24
  • Some examples of the chips that I'm talking about: static.jlongster.com/20240308/IMG_0234.JPG static.jlongster.com/20240308/IMG_0235.JPG
    – James Long
    Commented Mar 8 at 22:52
  • Replace a half-tile (with a rounded edge and a cut edge) with two quarter-tiles (= half tile in size) that meet at their cut edges (same height), and then they have rounded edges where the tiles around them have rounded edges (same height again.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 8 at 23:05

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