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Step Treads & Bullnose Paving Slabs

Bullnose tiles and step treads can enhance your project both visually and practically. These details are often overlooked by paving suppliers, but here at PrimaPorcelain, we think they can be a great addition to any project.

What is a Bullnose Finish?

The term ‘bullnose’ is used to describe a tile edge with a convex radius. This means its edge or surface is curved rather than straight. This finish creates a softer look and feel to the edge of tiles that would normally have sharp corners or edges. These tiles are often used to create smooth step edges or rounded pool edges, but can be installed anywhere to achieve a subtle finish.
Full Bullnose
Half Bullnose

What’s the Difference Between Full and Half Bullnose?

  • Full Bullnose – Both the top and bottom 90° edges of a tile are machined down to create a completely rounded edge.
  • Half Bullnose – Only the top surface edge of the tile is machined down to meet the bottom edge of the tile.

Which Tiles Achieve the Best Results When Bullnosed?

The best tiles to bullnose are tiles with a smooth, flat surface. If the tile has an uneven or structured surface, the finished tile might appear chipped or imperfect.

Generally, lighter coloured tiles offer a more uniform, desirable finish because the inside of the tile is a closer colour match to the outside of the tile.

The best tiles for bullnosing are “through body tiles” which have a consistent colour running through them from surface to base.


Step-tread tiles are a requirement for some projects, particularly commercial projects, because they offer additional grip and a visual marker on steps or stairs, meaning a slip or fall down is unlikely to happen. You could also use step-tread tiles to add an interesting aesthetic element to your outdoor staircase.

Step-treading is easily done prior to installing your tiles using a wet jet-cutter to add the required score marks. The grooves that are created can be filled with metallic strips, beading or a grip compound material, giving you lots of practical and aesthetic options.

Bear in mind that there is also an option to combine the two manufacturing techniques we have just discussed and have step-tread tiles bullnosed for an even more unique and safety conscious finish!
Please contact a member of the PrimaPorcelain team for advice on which of our tiles are better for bullnosing if this effect would complement your project, or to find out if step-tread tiles would be an appropriate addition to your project.
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