Tile 101

How to Elevate Your Space with Trim

Q & A with Director of Design Kirsty Froelich

An essential element of your tile design, trim will elevate your space whether you’re finishing a tiled edge or framing an elegant focal point. We sat down with Kirsty Froelich, Director of Design at The Tile Shop to demystify the process of choosing trim. Read on to build your confidence in choosing the finishing element to your design.

What is your approach to designing with trim?

I approach design with trim the same way I do when accessorizing a bedroom or living room, by adding layers. For example, in a bedroom you finish the bed with decorative pillows, a bedskirt, ect. The layered pieces add depth and visual interest. I apply this theory when designing with tile. You need a trim piece to finish off transitions (where two different finishes come together such as tile to painted wall), so I like to layer in pieces that will work with the overall design.

This chic shower niche features glossy and matte beige subway tile and a gold and grey veined marble-look tile and marble and gold trim.
Featuring: Coco Canvas Matte, Coco Canvas Glossy, Alison Victoria Precious Metals Rose, Calacata Evora Barnes Menor and Calacatta Gold Hex.

This shower niche is a great example of a layered trim border using a marble barnes and metal trim pieces.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when

choosing trim pieces for a transition?

Ask yourself, do you want the transition to stand out or do you want it to look seamless? If you want it to stand out, select a different material or color from your main tile. If you’re looking for a seamless transition, choose a trim piece that matches your main tile.

Two examples of transitional edge. The bathroom on the left uses a REL (round edge long) tile to finish the border, matching the subway tile backsplash. The image on the right uses a marble barnes for a contrasting edge between the mosaic tile and the painted wall.

How do you approach creating a focal point with trim and

what are the benefits to creating a focal point in a space?

Creating a focal point with tile is a great way to draw attention to an area. It’s the main point of interest and is the element that first catches the eye when you enter a room. A successful tile focal point is proportional to the space you’re designing. You can add emphasis to your focal point by adding trim around it–this will make it stand out. For example, layering trim pieces around a decorative tile in a picture frame will add dimension and frame the tile.

An elegant shower featuring a decorative picture frame with mosaic herringbone and marble and travertine tile.
Featuring: Arctic White Large Herringbone, Arctic White, Arctic White Barnes, Claros Sliver Somerset, Arctic White Skirting, Arctic White, Claros Silver Curb, Claros Silver Mosaic and Claros Silver Small Versailles Pattern.

This “picture frame” features a mosaic tile with a layered trim border. A perfect focal point for this elegant shower.

How would you advise someone to approach choosing their trim?

I think trim details are often overlooked or an afterthought. I would say, make sure you’re integrating them into the design process. This is one of the reasons why we show a variety of trim throughout our showroom vignettes. Look at the different pieces and applications to see what appeals to you. Do you want a more contemporary trim with a square edge, or do you like the softness of a rounded piece? Take time to explore the options at the same time you’re selecting your tiles.

A photo of Kirsty Froelich.

“I approach design with trim the same way I do when accessorizing a bedroom or living room, by adding layers.”

–Kirsty Froelich, Director of Design

Do you have a favorite trim piece?

I do! I absolutely love our somerset trim pieces. It has a rounded surface and petite size, so it softens transitions and adds dimension without bulk. It’s available in a variety of materials, so it’s easy to design with. I especially love our marble somersets and decorative edging pieces. They’re a sophisticated and thoughtful way to edge tile.

A kitchen backsplash featuring a patterned tile picture frame and square tile wall.
Featuring: Riad White, Cybele Grey, Siberian Pearl Somerset, Siberian Pearl and Siberian Pearl Barnes.

This beautiful picture frame features a marble somerset tile border.

We hope you feel more confident approaching your design. Explore our wide selection of trim and accessories to find the right finishing piece to your tile design. Want more in-depth instruction? Read our comprehensive Guide to Layering Tile Trim and Profiles. And if you need more guidance, schedule a free design consultation. Our tile experts are always on hand to help you achieve your dream space.

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