The majority of tile projects will require some form of trim to finish and protect your tile. You can opt for bullnose or glazed edge tile or perhaps ceramic trim pieces. But maybe you've chosen glass or brick tile, or perhaps you're after a more minimalist look. If either of these things is the case, Schluter might be for you.
Not sure what Schluter is? We're here to tell you all about it!
What is Schluter Trim?
Schluter is a company that makes, among other things, finishing and edge protection profiles. Schluter was a German tile contractor who noticed that when tile was installed next to soft surfaces like wood or carpet it would chip. He created a product that protected the tile edge so that it would not chip.
These profiles are strips of metal or PVC trim. The profiles protect tile edges from chipping as well as provide a clean appearance by covering unglazed or unfinished tile edges. You’ll hear our Design Consultants refer to these trim profiles simply as Schluter.
Priced by the foot, these metal strips are available in several sizes, materials and finishes at Lowe's or perhaps your local store. Applications include outside edges of a backsplash, corners of tiled shower niches, floor covering transitions and movement joints.
Why do we Recommend Schluter?
We're fans of finishing tile with Schluter, as all of their products work to increase the longevity of tile installations and as an added bonus, like us, Schluter aims to incorporate recycled content into their products. Here are a few reasons to consider Schluter:
Prevent Chipped Edges and Corners
Prevent Tripping Hazards
Accommodate Movement (e.g. expansion / control joints)
Make installations easier to clean
Provide easy transitions
Provide finished appearances
Offer more design possibilities
Eliminate the need for caulking
Where to Use Schluter
You have likely seen Schluter at work in commercial or hospitality settings, but we're seeing more people opt for it as a design choice in residential spaces too. Applications include outside edges of a backsplash, corners of tiled shower niches, floor covering transitions and more.
Appropriate Materials by Application
Heavy commercial: Stainless steel and Brass
Light commercial: Stainless steel, Brass, Aluminum, PVC
Below, we're sharing some great examples of Schluter trim in action.
In the Kitchen
Schluter comes in a wide variety of finishes from stainless steel to brass, so that it can match the other chosen hardware in your space. Or you can choose something that will seamlessly blend into the color of your tile.
You'll have to look close, but the edge of this backsplash is trimmed with white Schluter that's virtually invisible when paired with white grout and white walls.
The top of this backsplash is finished with a stainless steel Schluter profile to blend in with the stainless range and hood but still add a touch of character.
This kitchen is a good example of a situation where some form of trim would be necessary. Our tiles do not come glazed on all edges, so with an exposed wall like this one you would need to either specify glazed or bullnose edges, choose a trim piece (like a Flat Liner) or opt for Schluter.
Glazed edge and bullnose edge tiles aren't available for mosaic sizes. The Schluter here not only gives the edges a finished look, the brass adds an incredible accent against the bold green tile.
Here are two kitchenettes from the same boutique hotel that use the same brass Schluter. On the cool blue tile, the brass pops with a lovely accent.
While with the bold yellow tile, the backsplash and trim blend together.
With a cool toned steel or silver color profile, the opposite will be true, blending with blues and greens and contrasting warm neutrals and brights.
This kitchen backsplash is also a great example of how Schluter can cleanly finish off a shape like a hexagon or other specialty shape that would require cuts (and leave an exposed, unfinished edge) in an installation.
When you've chosen a more intricate pattern, like our Small Diamonds in an Escher pattern or our interlocking Chaine Homme, the addition of a ceramic trim piece might take away from the installation. You can see how the thin Schluter profile allows the pattern to be the main focus.
This specialty shape is is a showstopper as is and a couple feet of minimalist Schluter keeps the design looking clean.
Schluter is a great way to turn outside corners on a kitchen backsplash while barely interrupting the pattern, especially with a specialty shape. The silver-colored Schluter installed here is almost unnoticeable.
You may want to contain your backsplash just to the width of your range, especially with a bold color or pattern. In this case, there will likely be exposed edges on either side that Schluter can make quick work of.
In the commercial kitchen below, a polished Schluter profile completes the tile installation without competing with the intricate pattern.
In Your Bathroom
Schluter is often found in bathroom settings too. It is an easy way to trim tiled shower walls or finish off a wainscot height wall and shower niches. The bathroom below has both its walls and niches finished in a sleek silver Schluter.
Trim? What trim? The bathroom below features Schluter trim in a white so close to the tile and wall color that it becomes nearly invisible.
Alternatively, Schluter can be designed to stand out, like the brass trim on the shower niche and curb of this shower with matching hardware.
Here's another brass moment you might at first miss. Matching the impressive brass hardware and sconces, a narrow band of brass Schluter runs along the baseboard of the tiled floor. It's all about the details.
Schluter not only decorates this shower niche, it's also featured on the corner of the shower bench.
This powder room is like a jewelry box with its encrusted walls of mosaic glass tile, so the bling of brass Schluter makes perfect sense.
Similarly, this shower niche gets a decorative design touch with brass Schluter to play with the glass tile. Notice how the herringbone pattern is virtually uninterrupted even with the added accent.
In this shower, the Schluter blends in discretely with the hinges of the glass door.
In this shower niche window, the dark Schluter looks almost invisible against the dark blue glass tile.
On the other hand, the same Shluter adds an interesting contrast as it frames the niche and outside edge of a tub surround featuring lighter blue glass tile.
A great thing about Schluter is it's barely noticeable but can really tie a design together, like the top of this wainscot that matches the brass accents throughout the bathroom.
Brass Schluter lines the outside edge of this shower and the top of the baseboard tile, but also notice how it elegantly runs between the tile and marble that make up the shower curb.
These twin powder rooms in the same home each feature half walls of tile in an interesting pattern and both are finished with an understated aluminum Schluter.
In this contemporary bathroom with polished hardware throughout, the silver colored aluminum Schluter is an obvious choice.
This bathroom is big on the brushed steel and luckily there's a Schluter to match, cleanly covering the outside edges of this corner tub surround.
We love the way the simple aluminum Schluter looks with the contemporary large format tiles, framing out the more intricate shower niche detail.
This transition from hardwood hallway to tile powder room is finished with a elegant minimal reveal. Not only does this strip of Schluter add a decorative detail to the design, it protects the tile against the wood from chipping.
For Your Fireplace
Schluter can essentially be used in any tile installation, which includes your fireplace too! If you have a dividing fireplace, like the one below, that features a specialty shape, it really comes in handy:
Even more traditional fireplaces can use Schluter, like this hand painted tile fireplace with a barely there Schluter profile covering the rectified edges.
Have more questions about Schluter and trim? Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly