A lot of readers have been asking lately how to finish the edges of their countertops when tiling.  There are a few countertop edging options depending on your skill level and patience. From bullnose tile and sink rails to wood molding and Schluter edges there are options available to you.

Let’s start with the most common, wood molding.  Using an ornate wood molding for countertop edging looks very traditional, choose a plain edge for more casual and contemporary rooms.

The pros: Economically priced, less seams than tile, can be painted or stained any color.

The Cons: This can be difficult for novices because of corners and having to make miter cuts, can dent or scratch depending on wood species/hardness.

countertop edging

Next, let’s look at tile bullnose and sink rails.  These edges can go with almost any style, if you are going more traditional look for a sink rail with lots of detail and lines.

The pros: Gives a finished looked to your countertop edge, allows you to continue your tile right to the edge without adding extra details or styles, easy to coordinate which means less stress when pulling your project together.

The cons: Bullnose and sink rails are not available with every tile, so if your tile doesn’t come with it you will have to try and coordinate with another style or color, trim pieces for tile are often expensive, sink rails in particular range from $5 a lineal foot and up, can be difficult to install especially if corner pieces are not available.

Schluter Edges are metal or plastic trim pieces that get laid down with your tile.  They can go with any style but are more commonly used in modern and casual rooms.

The Pros: Available in a wide range of colors, almost all metal tones and several plastic colors, corners can be ordered so you don’t have to do miter cuts on the metal, plastic edges can be cut with heavy duty scissors and are economical.

The cons: Metal counter top Schluter can be expensive depending on the type of metal selected, they only come in 8 foot lengths, regardless of what you need. If you are a novice, the metal ones may be difficult to cut.

Another option is to create your own bullnose piece by using a rubbing stone or file.  This is most commonly done with granite or marble, as those edges are expensive and difficult to find.  In my experience, they never turn out as well as you might imagine them.  You can file down the edges so they are smoother but will have  a hard time getting the polished look back to them or having them look even.  This job may be more suited to a professional.

No matter what countertop edge you select, there is bound to be something for every tile and every taste.  Don’t forget to consider your skill level when looking into countertop edging options.

Written by Amanda Hartley