Installing a beautiful tile backsplash can add style and personality to any kitchen. But properly finishing the corners of a tile backsplash can be tricky. This guide will provide helpful tips for creating clean, professional-looking corners on your tile backsplash.
Planning Your Tile Layout
Before starting your tile installation, take time to plan the layout. Consider the following:
- Decide whether you want the tiles to run horizontally or vertically. This will impact the look of the corners. Vertical tiles can create a more seamless corner transition.
- Smaller tiles allow for easier shaping on outside corners. Larger tiles may require cutting for proper fit.
Inside vs Outside Corners
- Inside corners where two walls meet are easier than outside corners where the wall meets countertops/cabinets. Plan the order of installation accordingly.
Pattern and Design
- A repeating or geometric tile pattern will help disguise any uneven cuts on the corners. Busy patterns can hide imperfections.
Cutting Tiles for Corners
Cutting tile for an exact fit on corners takes precision. Here are some tips:
- For simple 90-degree inside corners, miter tiles at a 45-degree angle. Use a wet saw for clean cuts.
- For outside corners and irregular angles, make cardboard templates first. Trace and cut tiles to match.
- Use a tile nipper for small nips and grinds after main cuts. Take your time for a perfect fit.
- Keep tile cuts slightly smaller than the space, using spacers to adjust small gaps. Don’t force tiles.
- Make sure cut edges will be concealed by grout lines as much as possible.
Setting Tiles on Corners
To achieve a seamless finish for corners:
- Work from the center outwards, completing one quarter of the backsplash at a time.
- Apply adhesive mortar carefully with an even layer and use a notched trowel.
- On outside corners, start tiles wrapped partially around the edge for stability.
- Use tile spacers and be precise where tiles meet for consistent grout lines.
- Press and wiggle tiles into the adhesive for optimal adhesion, especially on cut edges.
- Tap gently with a rubber mallet to flatten any raised edges or gaps between tiles.
Grouting Corner Seams
Grout fills small gaps and creates a finished look. Follow these grouting tips:
- Allow adhesive mortar to fully cure before grouting, typically 24-48 hours.
- Apply grout carefully on corners working in small sections for easiest clean up.
- Use a grout float or squeegee to spread grout into corners and wipe diagonally across tiles.
- Pack grout thoroughly into corner gaps and allow proper drying time.
- Polish and wipe corner grout lines so they are free of excess haze or film.
- Use caulk instead of grout for larger gaps, especially where tiles meet the countertop.
Achieving a Professional Finish
With careful planning and patience, you can achieve beautiful, polished corner transitions for your tile backsplash. Other tips include:
- Select high-quality tiles and materials for longevity. Don’t compromise.
- Level wall surfaces and prepare properly before tiling for best results.
- Review installation guides and videos before starting work.
- Invest in proper tile cutting and installation tools. Don’t cut corners.
- Take your time laying out tiles before permanently adhering.
- Clean as you go and protect completed sections from damage.
- Polish and seal the finished backsplash for easier cleaning.
With the right skills and techniques, you can handle the intricate tile shapes and fitted corners that give a backsplash its refined look. Just remember to double check your tile layout, make precise cuts, properly adhere and grout the tiles, and clean thoroughly for a flawless finished product. With a little patience and dedication, you can achieve striking backsplash corners that will upgrade your whole kitchen’s style.
Frequently Asked Questions About Corners on Tile Backsplashes
What is the easiest way to cut tile for corners?
For simple 90-degree inside corners, the easiest technique is to miter the tiles at a 45-degree angle. Use a wet saw fitted with a diamond blade to make clean 45-degree cuts.
How do you finish an outside corner on a tile backsplash?
For outside corners, start tiles wrapped partially around the edge for stability. Use caulk instead of grout where tiles meet the countertop. Take extra care applying mortar and grout for a seamless finish.
What should I put in gaps between tile and wall corners?
Apply caulk in any gaps between the tile and wall corners, especially along the counter-wall junction. Caulk flexes and adheres better than grout for larger spaces.
How do you make uneven tile corners look good?
Use a small tile nipper tool to shape and grind cut tiles for a precision fit on uneven corners. Disguise imperfect corners with busy tile patterns, decorative accents, or trim pieces. Take time to get the best possible fit.
Can you use bullnose tiles on corners?
Yes, bullnose tiles with one rounded finished edge are great for finishing outside corners on backsplashes. They create a smooth transition from countertop to wall with continuous tile.
Creating clean, professional-looking finished corners really elevates a tile backsplash and makes it look seamless. With smart planning and layout, precision cutting, careful installation, and proper grouting, you can achieve beautiful results. Just take your time, use the right tools, and don’t cut corners on the details. Finished properly, your backsplash corners will stand out as an impressive focal point in your kitchen for years to come.