How to Make a Bull Nose on Marble Tile
Creating the perfect bullnose edge on a marble finish can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. Since marble is a natural stone, however, it can be sanded and molded into curves and shapes that ceramic or porcelain cannot. Having the knowledge to contour your marble edges into exactly the shapes you want brings you one step closer to having the perfect aesthetic for your marble-enhanced areas.
Assess the area you are going to bullnose. Shaping the edge of marble tile is a dusty process, and if you are in a delicate area, such as a master bathroom or a kitchen countertop, you will want to cover areas with drop cloths in order to keep the dust to a minimum. Also, open any windows and/or doors to the area.
Start with the roughest pad in your kit. The point of the various pads in the polishing kit is to gradually wear down the edge of the marble until you have achieved the polished and rounded look you are going for. The roughest pad allows you to smooth out the roughest spots that might tear one of the smoother pads into shreds. Simply turn the grinder on and gently run the pad over the edge until you can see the sharp edge being softened and rounded off. You can gently tilt the edge of the pad one way or another to accentuate the level of curve, and vary the pressure accordingly, depending on if the piece of marble is hard or soft. Always start with a light touch and go from there.
Work your way down through the first two or three roughest pads. Usually three or four passes with each pad is enough to suffice. If you are doing individual tiles, the best way is to simply give the edge a pass with your polishing pad, set the tile aside and repeat with the next piece. When you have gone over all of your tiles with the first pad, change to the next pad and repeat the process until you have cycled through the first few pads.
Appraise the edging before you move onto the "finishing" pads, or the final few. These are the pads that will add polish to the edge. If you want to add a little more contour, simply give it another pass with one of the rough pads.
Polish the edges. The last few pads within the kit are for this purpose alone, and the level of polish you want to obtain is determined by which pad you use. The softest pads give the highest level of sheen, but if you simply want a more natural look, use the third or fourth pad, or try each until you find the look you are going for.
- When purchasing a polishing kit, look for a kit that includes a variable-speed grinder. This is optimal for polishing, as a high RPM grinder can sometimes polish "too fast," which can lead to mistakes being made. An adjustable-speed grinder will allow you to use the number 2 or 3 setting and will have a lower RPM, which allows you greater control over the area you are bullnosing. Kits can be purchased at either Home Depot, Lowes or your local hardware store. Additionally, hand-held polishing kits are available for smaller areas.
- Always wear protective gear when working with machinery.
Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.