| March 28, 2024

Bullnose Tile: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives

Bullnose tile is a type of tile that has one or more rounded edges creating a smooth transition between different types of tile. Available in various materials, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone, bullnose tile edge also provides a finished edge to any tiled surface, making them a popular option for shower walls and countertops.

What Is the Purpose of Bullnose Tile?

Homeowners often use bullnose tile to cover areas where the edge of a tile would otherwise be exposed, such as around the perimeter of a tiled floor or as a transition between a tiled backsplash and a countertop.

They can also be used to create a decorative border or accent to any tiled surface.

Which Is Better: Bullnose or Schluter?

Schluter is a brand of metal edging that is often used in place of bullnose tile. While both options provide a finished edge to a tiled surface, Schluter is typically more durable and easier to install. However, Schluter can be more expensive than bullnose tile and may not be available in the same variety of colors and finishes.

Are There Disadvantages to Using Bullnose Tile?

While it’s a popular choice for its polished and finished look, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.


One potential con is that bullnose tile may be more expensive than traditional square tiles, as they require additional manufacturing and finishing processes.


As you may have guessed from their soft, curved edges, these types of tiles are more difficult to cut and install than regular tiles, adding extra time onto the installation process.

Limited Versatility

Originating back to the early 1900s, bullnose tiles offer a classic style on floors, walls, and countertops. However, it’s worth noting that they may not be suitable for every design scheme.

If you’re after a more modern and contemporary look, for example, there are better tile options available that may suit your needs.

Best Alternatives To Bullnose Tile Edge

If you’re looking for an alternative, consider the following options:

  • Quarter round tile: this option offers a curved edge that provides a similar finished look.
  • Pencil tile: as the name suggests, this option is a narrow tile that can be used to create a decorative border or accent.
  • Schluter metal edging: as previously mentioned, this is often one of the most popular alternative options.

How to Install Bullnose Tile

The process is similar to installing regular tile. Here are the steps to follow:

Prepare the surface

Make sure the surface where you’ll be working is clean and free of debris.

Measure and mark

Measure the area where you’ll be installing the tile and mark it with a chalk line.

Apply adhesive

Apply tile adhesive to the back of the tile using a notched trowel.

Install the tile

Place the bullnose tile onto the surface and press it firmly into place. Repeat until all of the bullnose tiles are installed.

Grout the tile

Once the adhesive has dried, use a grout float to apply grout between the tiles. Wipe away any excess with a damp sponge.

Have Tile Questions?

Unsure whether bullnose tile is right for your renovation project? Curious about more alternative options? We invite you to stop into our showroom to talk to a tile expert. If you’d prefer some one-on-one time to discuss your project goals, budget, or restrictions, please schedule an appointment today!

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