Finishing the Edges of Your Glass Tile Installation

A big question for home owners installing glass tile is how to finish the edges of your installation. If you are used to working with ceramic tiles then you have to realize there is a difference with glass tiles. Ceramic tiles only have the color on the top so the edges are usually a plain white and must be covered up. Most glass tiles are colored throughout so even the edges are colored. This means that you don’t need a bull nose tile to cover the edge to keep color.

Since most glass tiles are fairly thin, you have several options for completing the exposed edge.   A popular way to do this is to just rub grout into the small gap along the edge. First you need to tape it off so grout doesn’t get on the wall or surface that the tiles are adhered. Then grout as usual making sure to rub the grout down the edge of the tiles. As soon as you clean off the excess grout, remove the tape to give a nice finished area.

Caulking is a way to get a smooth finished look to your tiles. When grouting, leave the gap of the tile edges alone. After the cleanup, take a caulk that is your grout color and caulk down the edge. You may be caulking other areas too so you can do it all at the same time. 

Framing it out is another way. It looks good but is a little more work. This is especially nice if you are doing wainscoting with tile on your wall or just running a border of tiles around your bathroom. Take a piece of molding and stain/paint it first. Then nail it in to frame your tiles after installation. It would be best to grout before doing this part.

Some people don’t want the tiles to just stop at the end of their cabinets and counters. Try stair stepping the tiles down in a diagonal path to give it a more flowing look. This looks especially good if your top cabinets are not as wide as the bottom ones.

As you can see, there are several ways to finish the edges of your installation. You can make it as simple or elegant as your space needs.