How to tile corners

Mr. HowToSpecialist February 17, 2012 Comments Off
How to tile corners

This step by step diy article is about how to tile corners. Tiling interior and outside corners has proved to be a difficult task for most diy-ers, as you need experience and several techniques to master it. In addition, many homeowners are reluctant to start a tile project by themselves, even though they could save a great amount of money and invest them in quality materials. Nevertheless, we are aware of your questions regarding tile corners and we will try to answer to them in this step-by-step article. In addition, we make sure you check out the tools and materials needed to get the job done.


 

First of all, you have to prepare the walls in a professional manner before tiling the corners. Therefore, you have to install hardibacker on the areas exposed to water and seal the joints by using thinset and paper tape. Next, sand the joints as to make them level with the rest of the wall, otherwise the tiles wouldn’t be plumb. If the walls are made of bricks, then you have to remove all the irregularities with a large scraper and brush the whole surface, to clean the dust and other residues.

Next, you have to decide if you are going to use corner trims or not. The tile corner trims come in a large variety of shapes and colors, as to make them match with the design of your kitchen / bathroom tiles. From our previous projects, we recommend you to install corner trims, at least for the outside corners, as you will get a neat look. On the other hand, if you like the traditional appearance of tile corners, you can pull it through without using the tile corner trims, but it will take more time and effort from your side.

The layout of the tiles is extremely important when starting a tile project by yourself. Therefore you have to make up your mind whether you start with a full tile or center the pattern as to obtain a symmetrical layout. There is no right answer to this issue, as it depends on your tastes and needs, but we usually start with a full tile in the most visible corners of the room. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our tile projects, if you want to see more step by step tutorials.

In order to tile corners, you need the following:

Materials:

  • Thin set mortar / premixed mastic
  • Tiles, spacers
  • Tile corner trim

Tools:

  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Drill machinery with mixing palette
  • Bucket, rubber hammer
  • Cutter / miter saw
  • Score and snap cutter, wet saw

Tips:

  • Use tile plastic corner trims for a neat look
  • Take accurate measurements before cutting the tiles

Time

  • Two Hours

 

How to tile interior corners

Tile plastic corner trim

Tile plastic corner trim

In order to tile an interior corner, you have two broad options: on one hand you can use a corner trim, while on the other hand you could do it by using only the tiles. Either way the operation is straightforward, so it is up to you if you want to install the plastic corner trim.

Smart tip: We will describe each of these 2 techniques separately, as to get a better grasp of the implied cost, time and work. Nevertheless, before tiling the corners, you have to use a large spirit level as to check if they are vertical.

Tiling interior corners

Tiling interior corners

Using an inside corner trim would give a modern edge to your bathroom, therefore install it properly. As the walls cannot be perfectly vertical, you have to measure each tile before installing it into place. If it is a little too wide, you could adjust it wit tile nippers, as to fit perfectly. 

Use a spirit level to make sure the corner trim is perfectly plumb and adjust it if necessary. In order to secure the corner trim, you have to apply adhesive on the back of the tiles and fit them into place. In this way, the tiles will lock the plastic corner trim in place.

Tiling interior corners

Tiling interior corners

In this image, you can have a better view on how to tile an interior corner. Therefore, you should notice the channel inside the plastic trim, where you should fit the tiles. Remember that you shouldn’t push the tile too hard inside the corner trim, on the contrary, make sure you leave some room for expansions (1/10” – 0.25 cm).

Use spacers between the tiles as to get even joints, as in the image. In addition, verify if the corner trims are installed properly, as there shouldn’t be any gap between it and the tiles.

How to tile interior corners

How to tile interior corners

 

After you finish tiling the internal corners, you should fill the gaps with a water-resistant grout. Nevertheless, we recommend you to use a bead of silicone to fill any gap between the trim and the tiles. Clean thoroughly the tile with a dry cloth, as to get the job done in a professional manner.

 

Smart tip: Work with patience and with great care, as to avoid mistakes. As you can see, tiling an inside corner is not difficult if you use the right tools and material.

 

 

Interior tile corners

Interior tile corners

Nevertheless, you can tile an inside corner without using a plastic trim. All you have to do is to start installing wall tile on one side of the corner. Spread the adhesive on the wall with a notched float and make sure the tiles are plumb (use a spirit level to be sure).

 

Install the wall tiles in such a way, as to have a clearance space (1/8-1/10”) between the corner and the tiles, to leave them enough room to expand. One of the biggest mistakes you could make it would be to leave no room for the tiles to expand, as in time they might create peaks.

When you tile the other side of the corner, the tiles should overlap, but make sure you leave a clearance gap between them (place a spacer). Next, use caulk to fill the corner gap, as a regular grout isn’t flexible and would crack in a few months.

 

How to tile outside corners

Tile outside corners

Tile outside corners

Tiling an outside corner is easy if you use tile trim and it would also give a professional look to your bathroom.  Outside tile trims come in many shapes, sizes and colors, so it is easy to find the most suitable one for your needs and tastes.

 

As you can see in the image, using a corner trim would enhance the appearance of your project, so make sure you install it properly as to fully benefit from its advantages.

How to tile outside corner

How to tile outside corner

Tile the wall in a professional manner until you reach the outside corner. Then you have to adjust the length of the corner trim with a cutter, as to fit into place. Use a large spirit level to see if the corner is plumb from top to bottom.

Next, spread tile adhesive on the wall corner and secure the plastic corner trim, making sure it is perfectly plumb. Use a spirit level or a plumb line to check if the outside corner trim is vertical and adjust it if necessary.

Last but not least, you have to install the tiles in place on the whole surface of the wall. Make sure you leave a clearance space inside the trim, between the tiles and the plastic corner trim. Use a sponge to remove the excess adhesive and then clean the tiles with a dry cloth, making you don’t move them from place. Afterwards, you have to leave the adhesive to dry, before you apply the grout.

Trim corner edge

Trim corner edge

On the other hand, you can tile a corner without using a plastic trim. Nevertheless, it won’t look professional and you might regret that you haven’t used the corner trim. As you can see in the image, the tile edges will be visible even though you grout the gap between them.

Smart tip: If you don’t want to use trims or for other reasons you can’t, then you could tile a corner in the old style way, but you will sacrifice the look of your bathroom / kitchen.

 

Thank you for reading our article on how to tile corners and we recommend you to check out the rest of our tile projects. Don’t forget to Like and Share our articles with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

 Related projects:

 How to grout wall tiles

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