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Terra Tile’s Accessory Tiles: Everything You Need to Know

Terra Tile offers a number of different accessory tiles with unique features that are perfect for a variety of applications including standard floors, stairs, and even walls. We have standard Field Tile, Bullnose, and Decorative Tile, and we also carry an old and a new style of Step Nose tile, the latter being called Safety Step Nose which has ridges on the edge of the step that increase visibility. Each type has its own distinct look and features. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about each type of tile and when/how they are used so that you can decide which tiles are best for your project.

Field TIle

Field Tile is a flat, square tile with unfinished edges. It’s our standard tile and our most popular. Most tiling projects will consist predominantly of field tile, which is generally used anywhere that the edges are not exposed. Field tiles are most often bordered by either a wall or other tiles because their edges are sharp. However, they can be used on the outer edge of some outdoor spaces like a flower bed if the exposed edges aren’t a problem to you.

Old Style Step Nose

Old Style Step Nose is a square tile with a piece that protrudes down from the edge of one side. It’s a great choice for your steps if you prefer your stair nosing to have a long overhang. It’s most often used on staircases or steps but it can also be used as a cap for walls. This style is only available in the color Mission Red, and it has a smooth finish with no ridges. Old Style Step Nose has a classic look that many people prefer and it is more difficult to find, but Terra Tile still has it in stock at this time. One thing to note about Old Style Step Nose is that the Mission Red is not a perfect match to its Field Tile counterpart. The reason for the variation in colors is that the shade is determined by the temperature in which it’s fired and the length of time. Different shapes require different times and temperatures. The New Style Safety Step Nose tiles are much closer in color to the Field Tiles in the same shade, so you may prefer that accessory if a more cohesive look is a priority for your project.

New Style Safety Step Nose

The New Style Safety Step Nose has a shorter nosing than the Old Style Step Nose. The overhang is three quarters of an inch long as opposed to an inch and a half, which you can see in the photo below. It’s also a bit thinner, making it easier to work with. As previously mentioned, the shades of these tiles are a closer match to the Field Tile shades because they’re similar in shape. They also have ridges that make the edge of the steps more noticeable, which is why we call it Safety Step Nose. This can be an important safety feature particularly for steps in commercial properties where foot traffic is high.


A Bullnose Tile is actually a Field Tile with one edge ground down so that it’s finished rather than sharp. Because they’re made from a Field Tile, these colors will be an exact match. It’s a very versatile tile and is often used to border Field Tiles, but it can also be used as an alternative to Step Nose Tiles on stairs. Bullnose comes only in a smooth finish like our Old Style Step Nose, but unlike both Step Nose styles it has no overhang. The diagram below shows the profiles and dimensions of our Field Tile and each accessory tile for comparison.

Decorative Tile

Our Decorative Tiles are small four by four tiles with a border around the edge and a flower shape in the middle. These are great for adding some variation and breaking up a uniform tile floor. The decorative tiles are closest to the shade Mission Red, but they’re not an exact match.

If you have any questions about which types of tiles are right for your project, please contact us and one of our tile pros can walk you through the decision making process. You can also order samples here on our website.


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