20 May 2009

A clarification for Brenda et al

I've been talking about mosaics a lot this week and last night, the great and powerful Jamie Goldberg (of Gold Notes fame) asked me a question about ending a sheeted mosaic neatly. I tried to describe my preferred way to deal with that, the Schluter Edge. I think my explanation lost a couple of people. I mentioned to Jamie too that I like seeing offset, brick patterns set vertically rather than horizontally. This seems to have thrown people for a bit of a loop as well. Here are some photos from my archives that will illustrate what I'm talking about.

Here's what I mean by a Schluter Edge.

Schluter is a brand name and Schluter makes some really great metal trims for bridging the gap left when abutting materials are of differing depths.

Here it is from a little closer.

Now, A Schluter Edge isn't the only way to end a tile backsplash. In the trade, mosaic tile manufacturers makes something that's usually called pencil, or pencil edging. Here's some pencil edging at work.

The back splash material here is a blend of travertine and marble and the pencil edge is travertine.

Make sense? Cool.

Now, most sheeted, offset mosaics come looking like this:

The ragged edges interlock and hide the seams between sheets. This works great until you want to either finish an edge cleanly or change the orientation of the pattern to a vertical one. Setting a sheet like this vertically entails cutting off its ragged edges and automatically wasting a lot of the material. I say that's a small price to pay for an effect like this:

Or this:

Here's a closer shot of that same backsplash tile.

It's a personal preference that makes tile setters hate me, but little things like this are what make a kitchen looked designed and not just installed.


  1. Schluter is the only way to go, but then Schluter doesn't just have fans, they have rabid devotees.


    Porcelanosa came out with a similar trim for their Bambu line, but I suspect it was because they needed it for that particular line.

    Jamie's right: ending glass isn't easy. Cutting it takes a VERY experienced tilesetter. I've never heard a setter saying installing glass is easy. But it sure looks good!

  2. Wow, absolutely beautiful. I love the mild retro/mod look of the one with the wood.

  3. You're right, there's something about that Schluter Jolly I used on that red glass up there that sets it apart. Glass isn't an easy material to work with but good stuff's never easy, is it?

  4. Thanks Melody, I think finding the perfect backsplash material is one of my favorite things about what I do.

  5. Wait a minute. You Kelly Morisseau are the queen of all things tile. I've seen your bathroom plans. You should be writing anything that needs to be written about ending tile. I defer to you! If Kelly says that Schluter is the only way to go then Schluter is the only way to go. Look back through Kelly's archives gang and prepare to be impressed! http://www.kitchensync.typepad.com

  6. I also prefer the narrow, offset tiles installed vertically instead of horizontally. A totally different and unexpected look.

    Kelly (the DesignTies one :-)

  7. It was all the rage a tile tradeshow called Coverings last year, which is where I picked it up. I just think it's cool!

  8. Paul, hah! You're the one with all the fancy glass installations. I'm just here for the ride.

  9. Schluter Edge -- that is great! thanks for the tip!

  10. My pleasure Adrienne. Nothing else will give you an edge so clean.

  11. paul.... just wait.... next month we will have our line of tiles.... metallo tile...made from quarter inch plate bronze etc etc...

  12. Woo-hoo Randi! Send me product photography and the details as soon as you guys get them ironed out. I cannot wait to see them!

  13. Paul, not only are you informative but you make a great teacher. Thank you so much as, it all makes sense now. :) -Brenda-

  14. I'm glad I could help Brenda.

  15. Thanks Emily, my archives are full of insider tips and definitions. Feel free to come back and dig around any time.

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