A custom tile shower is one of the best ways to add style and class to your bathroom. One of the most common questions when building a shower is how to tile a shower niche without bullnose. Some manufacturers make bullnose pieces to accompany their most popular tiles, but many styles lack this accompaniment. Luckily, there are several ways to solve this problem.

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how to tile a shower niche without bullnose
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What is a Shower Niche?

A shower niche is a shelf or cubby built inside your shower wall. It is generally used for holding soap, shampoo, and other shower products. 

What is Bullnose?

Bullnose is a construction term for a rounded exterior angle. Some tile styles have accompanying bullnose pieces that you use when the edge of the tile is exposed.

Why Do You Need Bullnose on a Tile Shower Niche?

When tiling a shower niche, you will have a ninety-degree outside corner where your shower wall meets the niche. Most ceramic and porcelain tiles have glazing that gives the face of the tile a different sheen and sometimes a different color than the rest of the tile. This can cause problems on the outside corner where the wall and niche meet by exposing the un-glazed edge of the tile. Leaving exposed, un-glazed edges of tiles give your shower an unfinished look and are generally considered to be installed incorrectly.

how to tile a shower niche without bullnose
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How to Tile a Shower Niche Without Bullnose?

The two best solutions for how to tile a shower niche without bullnose are;

  1. Using tile edge trim.
  2. Mitering your tile corners.

How to Tile a Shower Niche Without Bullnose- Tile Edge Trim

Tile edge trim is a product that creates a clean, finished edge where an unfinished tile edge would otherwise be. These tile edge trims come in various shapes, colors, and finishes. Schluter is the most well-known brand for its tile edge trim; you can find their products at most big box home improvement stores.


  1. Tile the inside of the niche.
  2. Slowly and carefully cut a forty-five-degree angle at one end of your tile edge trim on a miter saw.
  3. Measure the height of the left side of your niche. Treat the inside of the tile as your niche.
  4. Mark the measurement on your tile edge trim from the short end of the forty-five-degree angle you cut in step one.
  5. Cut a forty-five-degree angle at the mark you made on the tile edge trim, with the short point of the angle being at the mark.
  6. Trowel thin-set outside the left side of the niche, where the tile edge trim will go. Use the same notched trowel you have been using for your tile.
  7. Press your tile edge trim into the thin-set, so it is flush with the tile, and the short points of your forty-five-degree angles are even with the top and bottom tile.
  8. Clean off excess thin-set with a lightly dampened sponge and trowel.

Repeat this process for the other three sides, leaving a small gap between the miters. This small gap will get grouted the same way the tiles do. 

How to Tile a Shower Niche Without Bullnose- Mitered Corners

Another solution for how to tile a shower niche without bullnose is by mitering the outside corners of your tile. The best way to miter your outside corners accurately and consistently is by using a wet saw with a miter adjustment.

Special Tools Required

  • Wet saw that has a forty-five-degree bevel or miter adjustment.
    • This saw allows you to cut perfectly straight forty-five-degree miters or bevels consistently.
  • (Optional) Grinder with a diamond blade.
    • If necessary, you can use a grinder to clean up cuts or cut angles beyond forty-five degrees.

How to Tile a Shower Niche Without Bullnose- Mitered Corners

  1. Cut your tiles for the inside of the shower niche, but leave them long to extend past the outside corner. 
  2. Holding the tiles in place, mark the outside corner on the back side of the tiles so that it is flush with the shower wall.
  3. Cut your tiles at a forty-five-degree angle, with the mark you made being the short point of the angle.
  4. Set your tiles inside the niche. Ensure that the short points of your miters are flush with the outside of the wall.
  5. For your tiles outside the niche, measure from the previous tile laid to the long edge of the miter cut on the tile inside the nice. Subtract the size of your grout joint (space between tiles) twice. Once for the grout joint between the previous tile and once for the grout joint between the miters. 
  6. Mark the measurement found in step five to your tile and cut it so that the long edge of your miter is on the mark.
  7. Set your tile.

How to Tile a Shower Niche Without Bullnose- In Conclusion

So, the tile you have chosen for your dream shower does not have corresponding bullnose pieces—no big deal. Using the information provided in this article, you now know how to tile a shower niche without a bullnose. Problem solved.

Editorial Contributors
Andrew Arena

Andrew Arena

Andrew Arena is an accomplished writer specializing in a wide range of home improvement topics, including flooring, plumbing, and other essential aspects of home maintenance. With a passion for empowering homeowners with practical knowledge, Andrew's writing is known for its clarity and ability to break down complex concepts into easily digestible information. His expertise spans various flooring materials, plumbing systems, and maintenance techniques, making him a reliable source for readers seeking guidance on enhancing their living spaces. Andrew's articles provide valuable insights, tips, and step-by-step instructions, helping readers make informed decisions about flooring options, troubleshoot plumbing issues, and undertake DIY projects with confidence. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a homeowner in need of professional guidance, Andrew's writing is sure to equip you with the necessary knowledge to transform your home into a functional and aesthetically pleasing haven.

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