Author: Jim Stevenson
When I meet new people they often ask me what I do? When I tell them I make bullnosed tile, I get one of two responses. If they have recently been through a home remodel project, and thus know what bullnose is they ask me why they didn’t know about me before. If they haven't been through a remodel project recently, they give me a blank stare and ask what that is. Either way, a common follow up question (if I didn't bore them to death with what bullnose is) is “Why does one need bullnose anyhow?”
There are three reasons to use bullnose tile. One aesthetic and two functional.
When you transition from one surface to another, especially when you are making a 90 degree angle, you end up exposing the side of a tile. Manufacturers are very concerned with making sure the surface of the tile is attractive, and it works because they got you to buy the tile. They are not concerned with making the edge attractive, and if you cut the tile, there is even less chance it will look good. A glazed-finish bullnose will significantly improve the look of this transition and preserve the appearance of your tile installation.
Function 1: Safety
The corner of a tile installation can be sharp; even more so if the edge is a cut edge. This can be dangerous and if one is not careful can cut the hands, feet, or head of the user. A bullnose rounds out that edge and makes it safe to touch.
Function 2: Durability
Bullnose edges are often put on the corners of walls and counters, or the edges of stairs. These places regularly have bodies and objects up against them, and sometimes those bodies and objects don’t get there gently. Think about the load of groceries you dump on the kitchen counter, the shoes on the edge of stairs, and the vacuum as it goes around the hall corner. If this happens on a sharp edge, you run the risk of chipping the tile job you paid good money for. A bullnosed edge distributes that impact over a larger, rounded area and is far less likely to chip and break.
So there you go. A bullnosed tile job will look better, will keep you and your family safe, and stand up to daily use for longer. If those aren't three good reasons to insist on using bullnose on your tile installation, then I’d have to ask why you are using tile in the first place.
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President of American Bullnose of California