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Tile 101: Do I Need Trim?

Tile 101: Do I Need Trim?

Posted by Kirsten Sharp on Feb 19th 2021

When it comes to kitchen backsplashes and shower surrounds, trim is usually not the star of the show. It can be, however, an important part of creating a beautiful tile installation.

Before we move on, if you're wondering what in the heck trim is, allow me to explain. Trim is what you use in a tile installation either to act as edging, or to separate two different areas of tile.

You can see our entire collection of trim here.

Today I wanted to quickly go over a list of situations where you might need trim.

(Be sure to read to the end to learn the #1 place people need trim but forget to order it!)

1. Decorative Tile Inserts Over The Stove

Shown Above: Bloom Decorative Tile Insert with 3x6" Subway Tile and Small Channel Liner Trim, all in Deep Blue Crackle

For decorative tile inserts on a flat wall like the one shown above, there are a variety of trim pieces you could choose to separate the insert from the rest of the tile on your backsplash - Choices range from a simple Pencil Liner to the more substantial and decorative Scalloped Chair Rail. The only trim I would not recommend for this application would be the Lewis Quarter Round.

Shown Above: Bloom Handmade Tile and 3x6" Handmade Subway Tile, both in Sky Blue Crackle

For niches set back in the wall like this one above, you could use a bullnose subway tile (call us for details on ordering), or a Lewis Quarter Round to finish the edge along the niche.

2. Precut Borders

First, what is a precut border? For our purposes here, it's a decorative strip of tile generally used in conjunction with a subway/field tile. We offer a collection of them which you can view here.

Shown Above: 3x6" Handmade Subway Tile with custom 4.25 x 4.25" Precut Border (call for details) & Pencil Liner trim, all in Julep Crackle

If your border runs right along the countertop like shown above, you might just use one row of trim on the top. 

Shown Above: Cobham Precut Border with 3x6" Handmade Subway Tile and Scalloped Chair Rail Trim, all in Light Brown Watercolor

For installations where there is subway/field tile on both sides of the border, you might do two rows of trim like shown above.

3. Pearl Liner Accents

This application is fairly unique to our collection as we designed the Pearl Liner trim to be used within the backsplash. Here are a couple concepts to give you some ideas.

Shown Above: 4.25 x 4.25" Field Tile in Chameleon with Pearl Liner Trim in Glossy White

4. Edging

And finally, this is the place where people most often need trim (and most often forget to order)! 

Any areas where your tile ends but the drywall continues, you'll need trim to cover the cut edges of the tile. 

Some installers will recommend using something called a Schluter trim piece. 

In my opinion (completely unbiased, of course!), I think ordering edging trim in the same glaze color as your backsplash does two important things:

-First, the trim blends in with the rest of the tile and becomes less noticeable. The last thing you want is for your edging trim to be screaming "Look at me! Look at me!"

-Second, it makes the entire installation look more custom.

So, if you need edging trim and decide to order it from us, the best one to choose is our Lewis Quarter Round.

Welp, that pretty much wraps things up! Are you ready to start your own renovation? You can shop all our samples here:

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