Tile trims. What are they?
Tile trim (also known as tile bead or tile beading) have been around for many years now. These are long strips of moulded plastic with the average length of 2.2m - 2.4m. They come in a variety of depth and colours. These fit on the tile edge hence the name tile edging, for protecting the tile edges. The thickness varies considerably to accommodate the ever increasing multitude of tiles. Most commonly used are either white or light pastel colours to nearest matching the tiles or grout colour. Most common sizes used are 6 - 8 mm but as the current fashion is to have medium to large format tiles, 9 - 12 mm trims are starting to dominate the UK market.
What are they used for?
Although some tile trims can be used on internal corners, the one most people see and purchase in shops are for external corners and are mainly used for protecting the tiles external edges, where two tiles meet at 90° with each other. Using the tile trim, lets the installer avoid using the "Jolly" tiles; these tiles have one edge mitred usually by the tile manufacture at 45° and give a nice finish to a square corner. Unfortunately some tile shops will not stock these tiles as the mitred edges are prone to break during transport. These tiles are also much dearer than the plain ones and tile trim offers a cheaper alternative.
What type of finishes are there?
The aesthetic of a tiletrim can enhance or detract from the tiling project and you will (as usual) pay more for better and/or a nicer one. Within the plastic range you may find matt, silk or glossy finishes, open shoulder or closed, multi height adjustable and an end cap and int./ext. corner kit on some makes.
Tile trims (or tile edging) can also be found in simulated chrome, brass, simulated brass, stainless steel, chromium plated brass, aluminium, anodised aluminium, gold and chrome bright anodised aluminium, coated aluminium, marble effect with matching "listello borders" (used as border tiles). The edges can also differ, as you can get these in round or square face. Some square edge trims could also be used as a listello or border to separate rows of tiles but will require a straight and flat surface to tile on to.
Other tile trims are suitable for use for vinyl. These have an open section that will accommodate a vinyl skirting (mostly used on commercial businesses).
Floor tile trims are commonly used for bridging between the tile and other coverings such as carpet, vinyl and wood.
If the tile installer has not before used tile trim he/she will find it quite tricky at first, as you would need to make sure you are cutting it the right way round. This will differ depending on if it is a window revere or a section of boxing. There are different ways of cutting tile trims but the common way is to use a mitre box and a small toothed saw.
If you require some mosaic trims for use with mosaic tiles, these can be found in stainless steel and are approximately 3 mm thick. Some special tile metal trims can also be purchased like the formable trim. This is used to contour around pillars by using a trim forming machine and are suitable for floor as well as for wall tiling.
Protecting tile edges makes sense and is cost effective.