How to Bullnose Travertine for Your Shower

What You'll Need
Polishing Pads (Diamond or Resin)
Safety Glasses
Face Mask (for protection against dust)
Work Gloves

Travertine stone is a type of stone that is comparable to granite and marble. It adds a distinct design element to your home and can be used in backsplashes, tiles and countertops. Travertine can be found in both the interior and exterior of your home.

You can finish the travertine with a process called “bullnosing,” or applying a surface cap. The term bullnosing or bullnose simply refers to rounding the edges of the tile. This process should be done when the tile has been installed, and not before, in order to achieve the best results and look.

Step 1: Install the Travertine Tile
Purchase and install the Travertine tile in your bathroom shower in accordance to the instructions you receive from the manufacturer. For advice on installing bathroom tile, see the retailer where the tile was purchased or consult with a home construction contractor or mason. You may also be able to find seminars hosted by your local home improvement centers on the topic of shower tile installations with live demonstration and hands-on training.

Step 2: Prepare to Bullnose the Tiles

Before using the electric grinder, be sure to put on your safety equipment. You will be working at low speeds during the process of bullnosing the tiles, however, you do not want to have a stray piece make contact with your face or eyes. Wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask at all times.

Take the grinder and set it to its lowest speed. Hold it flush to the Travertine tile surface and turn the grinder on, slowly making contact with the tiles. This should produce some dust, which your mask will prevent you from inhaling.

Step 3: Move the Grinder in Different Angles
Working slowly, so you do not remove too much of the tile surface, modulate the angle in which you grind the tiles. Move both parallel and perpendicular to the tile surface so that you are rounding the tiles as oppose to simply grinding them down.

The process of creating a rounded tile surface will take about 10 minutes. Work slowly across the entire shower tile area until each tile has been ground with the grinder.

Step 4: Polish the Tiles

Use either a diamond or resin polishing pad to polish the Travertine tile after you have completed the grinding. The pads will produce a shiny, glossy look to the tiles, in contrast to the dusty, gritty look you witnessed after grinding. Work the grinder with the polishing pads in the same angular motion as you did with the grinding pad to ensure that the entire tile area is polished.

When you have completed the bullnosing and polishing task, use a shop vacuum to clean the shower area and remove all of the dust particles and debris that has formed. Use a brush attachment to clean the remaining debris on the tiles as well and any dust that may have formed in the tile grout.