How to Add Bullnose Trim Around a Bathtub

Lead Image
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 75-200
What You'll Need
Bullnose tiles
Wall tiles
Tile adhesive
Measuring tape
Masking tape
Grout mix
Grout sealer

If you want to add tiling around your bathtub, using bullnose trim on the edges is a great idea. Bullnose tiles are perfect for the edge of any tiling due to their distinctive curved shape. With bullnose tiles as trim, your tiling will look neat and finished. What follows should give you all of the information you need to install this particular pattern of tiling.

Measuring the Area

In order to add bullnose trim around your bathtub, you will first need to decide how much area you want to cover with tiles. While you have the option to only add a row of bullnose tiles, you may also want to add 1 or more rows of wall tiles. Before you make specific plans about how many tiles to use, decide how high you want the trim around your bathtub to reach. Mark this spot with a pencil. Next, measure the distance between the top of your bathtub and this spot.

Plan how many tiles you will need to reach this spot. Measure the height of 1 of your bullnose tiles and 1 of your wall tiles. Subtract the height of the bullnose tile from the total height you want to cover, then figure out how many wall tiles you will need to cover the extra area, taking into account the 1/8-inch spaces you will leave between the tiles for grout.

Placing the Tiles

Now that you have your trim layout all planned out, you can begin to lay out your tiles. First, use your tape measure, level, and pencil to mark off a straight horizontal line at the height you have specified. Once you have done so, place masking tape over the line.

Next, make a straight vertical line in the area you will tile. Apply tile adhesive to the wall around the base of this line, then add tiles over it, using plastic spreaders to separate them. Work your way up the vertical line, using your bullnose tiles when you reach the top.

Repeat the process until you have covered the entire area you wish to tile. Once you have done so, you can remove the masking tape from the wall, thus removing any extra adhesive.

Using Grout

Wait a day before you begin the process of using your grout. Mix the grout powder according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use a trowel to add the grout to the spaces between your tiles, holding your trowel at a 30º angle to the wall. Finally, hold your trowel perpendicular to the wall and use it to scrape away excess grout.

Finishing Up

Wait 30 minutes and use a damp sponge to go over your tiles to remove any extra grout that may give your tiles a dull appearance. Finally, after letting the grout sit for 3 days, you should seal it. Use a paintbrush to apply a layer of commercial sealant over the dried grout.