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Skirting Tiles: What They Are and How to Use Them

Skirting tiles offer an outstanding replacement for conventional wooden skirting boards due to their enhanced durability and diverse range of shapes and colors tailored for every home.

Often, there’s no need to retouch skirting boards, especially in high-traffic zones like hallways or moisture-prone spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. With superior water resistance and resilience, tiles stand out as a preferred choice over pine or MDF boards. Explore the options below as you contemplate this modern alternative.

We also have an article about: What Are Drain Tiles?

Table of Contents

What Are Skirting Tiles?

skirting tile 01

Skirting tiles are specifically designed tiles positioned at the junction of a room’s wall and floor, like the traditional skirting boards. Instead of using customary wooden boards, these tiles can be employed, presenting a neat skirting appearance. Depending on the floor tile dimension, their height can be adjusted to mirror that of conventional skirting.

These tiles serve two purposes – practicality and decoration. They seamlessly bridge the gap between the wall and the floor, ensuring a fluid transition.

Beyond just aesthetics, skirting tiles offer several advantages. Their presence allows for comprehensive cleaning up to a room’s edges, eliminating concerns about damaging wooden skirting paint. Once sealed, they stand out for their minimal maintenance requirements. This durability means frequent replacements, common with wooden skirting, become a thing of the past.

Types of skirting tiles

Skirting tiles come in various forms, tailored for diverse requirements and aesthetic choices. Here’s a closer look at the primary categories:

Floor Skirting Tiles

Installed at the intersection of the wall and the floor, these tiles serve to cover and protect the joint between the two surfaces. They safeguard against potential damage from footfalls, furniture movement, and cleaning equipment. 

Furthermore, they ensure a seamless transition between different flooring types. Depending on the room’s design, they are available in a range of heights and patterns.

skirting tile 02

Wall Skirting Tiles

Though not as prevalent as floor skirting tiles, wall skirting tiles are gradually becoming a preferred choice for those aiming for a distinct and refined appearance. Positioned just above the floor and extending upwards, these tiles act as an elegant decorative feature. They’re especially potent in areas where an added sense of luxury or detailed architecture is desired.

Wall Skirting Tiles

Border Skirting Tiles:

Specifically crafted to amplify the skirting area’s visual appeal, border skirting tiles are positioned along the top perimeter of the floor skirting tiles. Typically narrower with more detailed designs than the usual skirting tiles, they introduce vibrant patterns, shades, and contrasts to the skirting region, thereby enhancing the room’s overall look.

Border Skirting Tiles

Diverse Uses of skirting tiles

Skirting Tiles in the Bathroom

While possible to use timber skirting boards in high-humidity areas, tiles emerge as a more practical and cost-efficient alternative. They prove to be more economical than traditional timber skirting without demanding the extra maintenance. Achieve a coordinated look by using tiles with similar wood effects or the same tiles cut to the desired size for skirting, complemented by a subtle trim.

Ceramic Tiles for High-Traffic Areas

The debate between porcelain and ceramic tiles for skirting finds resolution in the location of application. Ceramic tiles, ideal for high-traffic zones like hallways and living areas, provide durability. For moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens, the less porous porcelain tiles might be more suitable.

Porcelain Skirting Tiles in Wet Areas

Choose porcelain tiles for skirting in wet areas. Apart from their aesthetic appeal, they stand out for their robustness, easy cleaning, and suitability for moist environments. Though heavier and more expensive than ceramic tiles, choosing a thinner profile compensates for these aspects.

skirting tile bathroom

Distinguishing with Shapes in Skirting Tiles

Skirting tiles, taking cues from traditional patterns, can be crafted into specific shapes such as pencil-round or ogee. This offers a refined transition between the wall and floor, enhancing the room’s aesthetics. With tiled skirting, cleaning becomes hassle-free without concerns over timber damage. The sophistication is accentuated when these tiles are paired with elements like a pseudo-dado rail, reminiscent of period-style bathrooms.

Skirting Tiles for Uneven Walls

For older, uneven walls, skirting tiles provide an advantageous alternative. The tile adhesive can be adjusted to accommodate the unevenness, ensuring a smooth, level finish without the need for intricate scribing or caulking.

Contrasting Tiles for Modern Look

For homes with older, uneven walls, tile adhesive can be adjusted in thickness when installing skirting tiles, ensuring a polished, even finish. This flexibility can be more accommodating than the precision required for wall tiles.

Half-Wall Tiling in Hallways

Incorporate a novel approach with half-wall tiling in hallways or stairwells. Especially beneficial in narrow spaces, it prevents the plaster from getting scratched or cracked due to excessive use, while adding a unique stylistic element to the area.

Half-Wall Tiling in Hallways

Installation of Skirting Tiles

1. Preparation of the Wall Surface

Begin by ensuring the wall where the tiles will be installed is both level and clean. A smooth and clean surface is essential for the tiles to adhere properly.

2. Dry-Fitting the Skirting Tiles:

Before applying any adhesive, place the skirting tiles atop the floor tiles and against the wall. This gives you an opportunity to see how they align, allowing for any necessary adjustments.

3. Cutting the Tiles to Fit:

In instances where the tiles need to be resized or reshaped to fit corners or specific dimensions, use the appropriate tile cutters. It’s worth noting that the same tools used for cutting floor tiles can also be employed for skirting tiles.

4. Application of Adhesive:

Apply a suitable adhesive to the back of the skirting tiles. This ensures that there’s a strong bond between the wall and the tiles once they’re placed.

Using Tiles for Skirting

5. Proper Positioning of the Skirting Tiles:

Press the tiles gently onto the adhesive, ensuring they align seamlessly with the floor tiles and are flush against the wall. To maintain consistent spacing between each tile, it’s recommended to use plastic spacers.

6. Removing Excess Adhesive:

Post the positioning of tiles, any adhesive that has seeped out from the edges should be promptly cleaned using a brush. This ensures a neat finish.

7. Securing the Skirting Tiles:

To guarantee the tiles are firmly in place and have bonded well with the adhesive, gently tap them using a mallet. Use a leveller to ensure they’re even and aligned.

8. Grouting the Joints:

The gaps between the skirting tiles should be filled with grout. This step not only offers additional stability to the tiles but also enhances the overall visual appeal.

9. The Final Touches:

Upon the grout curing, inspect your installation for any potential imperfections. If deemed necessary, apply a grout sealant to shield the grout from potential moisture and stains. Finally, to achieve a polished and professional look, make sure to clean away any excess grout or sealant residues.

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