Apparently, something is changing in the surrounding world. Recently, more and more often sellers in hardware stores or foremen-repairmen, according to their own reviews, hear the phrase “make me beautiful”, although a few years ago they insistently sounded “make me cheaper.” Why? This is a question for a separate study. Maybe people have more money? Or are we rapidly developing a sense of beauty? Or maybe we began to love ourselves more, and save on ourselves, beloved, just the hand does not rise? And not only on myself, but also on what surrounds us every day. But no matter how beautiful and expensive the surroundings are, it is worth missing out on some trifle – and the whole picture will fall apart.
After all, beauty is in the details. As the saying goes, “Life is a chain, and little things in it are links. One cannot but attach importance to a link.” Therefore, when starting to transform the world within the framework of a single apartment or office, do not forget about the details. They will give completeness to your joint creativity with the foreman. For example, do you know how many special things are produced for ceramic tiles? Dozens! And all are badly needed.
Little “joys” for floor tiles
Everyone knows what a skirting board is. In our opinion, it is a wooden plank that covers the gap near the wall, more precisely, the joint between the wall and the floor. Figuratively speaking, a plinth is an aesthetic alliance of wall and floor. It is clear that this “alliance” is by no means wooden at the floor, laid with ceramic tiles. And the ceramic skirting board looks a little different than the usual one. By the way, now we are talking about collections of floor tiles, which are placed in rooms where the walls are non-ceramic (in halls, living rooms, restaurants, shops, offices, etc.). We will tell you later about which skirting boards are needed for bathrooms and kitchens..
The skirting board in the floor tile collections is primarily a functional element. It closes the gap between the wall and the floor and protects the wall from dirt and moisture
So that’s it. Very often builders, in order to save money, use tiles simply cut into strips as a baseboard. Such a “plinth” has an ugly cut, not to mention the fact that the sharp top edge is unsafe. But we agreed that such “folk art” is not suitable for us. We will not save. Moreover, the price of skirting boards in the total cost of floor tiles is not so high (one ceramic skirting board costs from $ 2, and porcelain stoneware – from $ 3).
Today, almost all European factories complete their floor tile collections with ceramic skirting boards. Therefore, when buying a tile, immediately ask the seller if there are baseboards for it, so that later you do not rush and search. The factory plinth has a strictly defined height, which the designers calculate based on the size of the tiles. A rounded cut is made on the upper edge of the plinth – the so-called chamfer. Because of this smooth cut, the skirting board is perceived as less massive..
The length of the ceramic skirting board is usually the same as the tile size, sometimes it can be longer, but never less. So, the Spanish factory “Vives” offers a plinth with a size of 8 x 31.6 cm for floor tiles in the format 20 x 20 cm, which is one and a half times wider than the tiles. Visually, it looks more solid, and when it is laid, there are fewer joints.
Skirting boards are sold individually or in boxes. If you have a few extra things left, do not rush to the store and hand them over. After all, the skirting board is more likely than tiles to crack or split. Therefore, it is better to keep a few pieces in reserve..
Is it possible to do without skirting boards at all? In theory, yes, but it’s best not to. After all, you will need to fit the floor tiles close to the wall, without a gap, and this is not so easy. Floor tiles are generally very durable and can be difficult to cut without chipping. And if the tile has an uneven edge, it looks ugly. But it’s not just aesthetics. When cleaning the floor, the lower ten centimeters of the wall are subjected to an intensified attack by a vacuum cleaner, rags, etc. And if there is light wallpaper on the wall? So, the plinth will protect them from dirt and moisture. And, finally, if a flood happened in the apartment (God forbid, of course), this ceramic piece will “protect both” – both the walls and the neighbors below. At least for a while.
Corners for skirting boards
If the apartment (or office) has external or internal corners (I dare to assume that they do exist), ask if your chosen tile collection has special corners for the baseboard. A couple of such corners (it is unlikely that more will be needed) will not cause serious damage to finances – after all, they cost $ 2-4 per piece. But the beauty will be indescribable. True, if skirting boards are produced by all serious manufacturers of ceramic tiles and porcelain stoneware, then corners are far from every factory. An example of the most complete set of collections with special elements is the Italian factory Casalgrande Padana, one of the largest producers of porcelain stoneware. In the collections of this factory, in addition to skirting boards of different shapes, there are external and internal corners to the skirting boards, repeating their profile.
Competent tiling of steps, as it turns out, is not such a simple matter. And for this, special “devices” have also been invented..
If you do not want to periodically fall on the stairs, buy tiles with notches or embossed stripes that will prevent your foot from slipping.
If you nevertheless chose a smooth surface, then be aware: lately most factories offer “prefabricated” steps with a curly edge – cornice. Moreover, the cornice is an independent detail. Why is that? It is clear that the edges of the steps are subjected to heavy loads, which means they can crack or break off. In this case, it is easier to replace one cornice than to break out the entire step. Another advantage of the prefabricated step – you can choose a cornice of a different color.
Cornice steps give the staircase a finished look
Most often, a step is the same size as the main tile in the collection. But there are also exceptions. For example, the Casalgrande Padana factory produces 60 cm wide porcelain stoneware steps or a 123 cm wide step glued from two halves (the seam is almost invisible). It is clear that such solid slabs on the stairs look much better than type-setting.
In addition to the usual ones, there are also two-sided corner steps, which are placed on the corner of the stairs. Such a “model” can have either a rounded edge on both sides, or two cornices.
The price of a step depends on the shape (a step with a curly cornice is more expensive) and on the material (mostly ceramic steps are cheaper than porcelain stoneware steps). The cheapest steps are sold at a price of about $ 5 apiece, the most expensive ones that could be found (corner, with a prefabricated cornice from the collection of elite porcelain stoneware) – $ 60 apiece.
It is customary to close the vertical “wall” under the step with a riser. This part is also offered as a special item for floor tiles, although it is much less common than skirting boards and steps.
A staircase with a decorative riser is a real work of art
When choosing a riser, you need to not only pay attention to the appearance of this part, but also know the exact height of the steps of your staircase. If the collection does not have risers of the required size, you can simply cut them from tiles. But there are times when they first choose a riser, and only then, based on its size, they make a staircase. Why such difficulties? But look at the riser of the Coruna collection by the Vives factory – and you will understand everything yourself. Nice, isn’t it? A staircase with such a riser looks very elegant. So in this case, right, it’s worth “dancing” not from the stairs, but from the riser.
Skirting boards for steps
Such a special element is less common than a simple plinth, but this does not mean that it can be ignored. If a plinth is laid along the wall throughout the room, it will be simply ugly if it is not on the stairs.
The skirting board for the step is L-shaped and usually consists of two parts (price – from $ 2.5 for both halves). If the step has a curly cornice, then the skirting board will have the same curly slot.
If ceramic baseboards are laid along the walls throughout the house, it is logical to decorate the stairs with them.
And now – “little things” for wall tiles
Now – about the collections of tiles “wall + floor”. Typically, they are intended for the home and are used for cladding bathrooms or kitchens. These collections have their own characteristics and their own special items..
The skirting board in such collections plays primarily a decorative role (in contrast to the skirting boards from the floor tile collections, where they carry a functional load). It does not have a chamfer, like the plinth from the floor collection, and in general they look different. The wall-and-floor plinth can be of any shape: embossed, with a stucco pattern, etc. Its color may match the color of the wall or floor, or it may differ. In short, the main task of such a skirting board is aesthetic. Judge for yourself: a corner without a plinth, when the wall and floor go nowhere, looks poor. But put a three-dimensional strip of plinth, and the wall plane will immediately turn into an architectural structure.
However, in order for this “architecture” to look harmonious, you need to take care of the details. The more prominent the skirting board, the more difficult it is to trim it without chipping. To make the skirting board joint at the corner look beautiful, you need to use the corners. This detail is very tiny, but it can save you a lot of trouble, so you should not neglect it..
Corner elements for edge decoration
If you want to make a countertop, cabinet or other tiled structure in a bathroom or kitchen, the question of beautifully designed edges will immediately arise. So that there is no “bare” edge (when the tile is laid just joint to joint), it is best to use semicircular or embossed corner elements.
As a relief corner element, most factories offer decorative borders (large – from $ 5 / piece, thin “pencils” – from $ 2.5 / piece). The edge turns out to be voluminous, curly and goes well with the wall along which exactly the same curb passes. If you want to get a smoothly rounded edge, you need to take a special corner piece. It is not often found, but it is worth looking for it. In this case, the whole structure looks like a single whole, like ceramic furniture. Such a special element is in the Flagstone collection of the Casa dolce casa factory..
All of the above applies to the design of horizontal edges. True, if the main tile is square, then the corner elements can be used both horizontally and vertically. For the design of vertical edges, special elements are very rarely produced. But nevertheless they are released. It is not by chance that the Spanish factory “Keraben” has included this element in the collection of polished ceramic marble Marmaris. The tiles in this collection have a large format (32 x 59 cm) and can be fitted with virtually no seams during installation. But it is difficult to dock at the corners: the edge needs to be cut on the machine at exactly 45 degrees. Given the large format of the tiles and the thick layer of glaze, it is very difficult to do this without chipping. But even if it succeeds, the corner will still be fragile. It is worth touching it with a heavy object – and chipping is inevitable. If the tiles are not trimmed, a wide and ugly seam will pass along the edge. To avoid these troubles, the factory has released special corner pieces in two sizes: 1 x 29.5 cm from natural marble ($ 30 / piece) and 2 x 59 cm from ceramic ($ 12 / piece)..
Other factories offer to use thin “pencil” borders as a vertical corner element. In especially severe cases, a plastic profile can be laid. True, no matter how hard you try to match it to the color of the tile, it will still differ from it in texture – after all, the profile is made of completely different material.
Bathtub and wall joint
The overwhelming majority of European factories do not offer anything special for the design of this “delicate place”. The fact is that in European bathrooms, the bathtub either stands alone or is inserted into the podium. In neither case does it touch the wall. Salon managers suggest using a regular decorative border or “pencil” border as a plinth for a bath.
And here is the English factory “Johnson” (H&R Johnson) produces a special Bathtrim kit for this business, consisting of a baseboard, two outer rounded corners, trimmed parts for a perfect joint of the baseboard in the inner corners and special glue. The skirting board height is 2.2 cm. The set is designed for a standard domestic bath and has more than 12 color options, the most popular of which is white. All this pleasure costs $ 43.
Today there are three options for the “frame” for the mirror. The easiest one is when a frame for a mirror is made from a decorative border, cutting off its edges at an angle of 45 degrees for joining.
If you like a “frame” with right angles, then the Vives factory offers a special set: a decorative border with squares that are inserted into the corners of the mirror. So you don’t have to cut anything – everything is ready.
And the designers of the Mariner factory have generally developed a special set for a mirror with rounded corners. It includes a decorative border and a corner of an unusual shape. On the side where the corner meets the tile, it has a right angle, and on the side of the mirror it is rounded.
Corners for decorative borders
The main special elements for all decorative borders are corners. If these are pencil curbs (the thinnest curbs that often end the top of a tile), then the corner to them has the shape of a ball (price – from $ 1 / pc). If the curb is wide and embossed, then the corner should exactly repeat its shape (price – from $ 4 / pc). Unfortunately, not all factories produce such corners. But it makes sense to look for them.