How to Tile Inside Corners

Last Update:

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Learn more

When tiling a space, one of the most challenging parts is getting the corners right. 

It may seem easy but if you want to have clean, seamless lines, it will require some extra effort. All gaps need to be filled and corners can present some unique challenges. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can fill those gaps and end up with a clean final product. 

In this article, we have laid out one of the easiest ways to tile inside corners. By following the below steps, you can get the beautiful tiled wall you have been looking for. 

how to tile inside corners

Tiling Inside Corners: Basic Idea 

When installing wall tile, you will need to find a way to cover the corners. One of the best and quickest ways to do this is to: 

  • Prep the Wall
  • Start installing wall tiles 
  • Install the plastic trim piece 
  • Finish tiling the wall

Why is Tiling Inside Corners Difficult?

why is tiling inside corners difficultWhen you are tiling a wall, the main objective is to make it as sealed as possible

With wall corners, the issue arises because the tiles are raised. When they meet at a corner, there will be a gap behind them. 

If you are tiling a shower, this can be a major issue. Water can get into the gap and cause mold, mildew, and deterioration. 

Even if you are tiling a standard wall, you don’t want this gap there. All kinds of dirt and debris can get into it and cause issues with the drywall behind it. 

Because of this, you need to find a way to fill that gap without making it look messy. Fortunately, there are some high-quality and simple ways to do this. 

Prepare the Wall 

The first thing you need to do whenever you are installing tile is prepare the wall. 

If you have used drywall, make sure the joints are sealed with tape. This will ensure that you don’t encounter problems with moisture further down the line.  

If the wall is brick or cement, smooth out the surface using a scraper. The wall needs to be completely flat for the mortar to stick properly. 

If you are going to be using water anywhere near the tile, consider using backer boards

This is especially important if you are tiling a shower. However, it can also help if you are tiling in a bathroom near a sink. 

Water can cause serious damage and backer boards can help protect your home. 

Install the Wall Tiles 

Once you have prepped the walls, you can then start installing the tiles. 

Start from the furthest point away from the corner and work your way in. Make sure to use tile spacers to ensure that you will have room for grout. 

Using a spirit level, check the tiles periodically to make sure they are plumb with the wall. You can tap them with a rubber mallet if you need to make adjustments. 

If you get any adhesive or mortar on the tiles, wipe it off immediately with a wet rag. It will be very difficult to remove once it dries. 

Install the Trim 

install the trim on tiling corners

To tile the corner, you will use a plastic trim piece designed to fill in the gap. 

Once you get to the corner, cut your tiles to leave room for the trim piece. The tiles should slip under the lip of the trim and sit flush with the wall. 

Use the same adhesive you have been using for the tiles to attach the trim piece. Apply the adhesive to the corner and press the trim into it. 

You must leave an expansion gap of about 1/10” between the tiles and trim piece. This will allow for any small movement as the adhesive dries without cracking the tiles. 

Finish the Wall Tiles 

Once your trim piece is in, you can let the adhesive dry and remove the spacers from the tiles. 

Then, you can apply the grout or caulk between the tiling. Make sure to allow everything to dry for at least 72 hours before testing it or running water on or near it.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

faq how to tile inside corners

What is the difference between caulking and silicone?

Silicone is a much softer and more pliable material than standard caulk. It also has more waterproofing capabilities. 

If you need a filler for an area that gets a lot of moisture, silicone will be your best bet. 

Will tile mortar stick to silicone?

Tile mortar will stick to silicone but the silicone itself may not be as strong. 

If you need to attach tile to an area that has silicone, it is best to remove it first. It can usually be removed with a putty knife and white vinegar. 

Can you start wall tile in a corner?

If you are going to start wall tile in a corner, make sure you have measured carefully. 

You may need to make some adjustments to the cuts as you get closer to the further corner. Make sure that you are using the correct equipment for cutting tile and that you always wear safety goggles. 

Conclusion 

Tiling inside corners is relatively easy as long as you measure properly and use trim for the corner itself.  

Waterproofing your tile is incredibly important and doing the corners right will provide a tight seal. By following the above steps, you can be sure your tiling will be attractive and waterproof. 

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

Leave a Comment

three × five =