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Tile Glossery

Adhesive: material, usually in a semi-liquid state, that adheres or bonds tiles to the wall, floor or exterior surface . Adhesives come from either natural or synthetic sources.

Backer board: 12mm used as an alternative to plasterboard for tiling on walls, or 6mm in place of a plywood overlay on a floor.

Beveled edge: A tile that has a subtle slope or slant down to a thinner edge.

Biscuit of a tile: The main base structure of a tile.

Bullnose: An additional finishing process to give a rounded edge, used to create a smooth and round transition between the tile surface and the adjacent wall or floor. Usually used for steps and coping.

Ceramic Tile: A clay-bodied tile typically glazed and fired at lower temperatures, less dense, and with greater water-absorbency than a porcelain tile. Suitable for indoor use, mostly applied to walls.

Cushion Edge Tile: a distinct edge curvature that results in a slightly recessed joint. Usually to achieve a natural stone effect look.

Decoupling Membrane (Anti-fracture matting): A layer installed between the substrate and tile to absorb movement, preventing cracks in the tile and grout.

Epoxy Grout: A two-part grout system that consists of an epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Formulated to have impervious qualities, stain, and chemical resistance.

Expansion Joints: Joints that extend through tile, mortar, and reinforcing wire from the substrate. Found in larger tiled floors and walls to accommodate changes of plane and allow for flexible movement.

Full Bodied: Porcelain tiles made from a single layer of porcelain, with pigmentation present through the full depth of the tile.

Glazed: tiles that are coated with hardening glassware.

Grout: Typically made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Available in various colours to complement or contrast tiles, which is used to fill in the spaces between tiles that are fixed to a wall, contributing to the overall aesthetic of tiled surfaces.

Honed Finish: completely flat and smooth matt finish.

Large Format: Tiles larger than 120cm x 120cm.

Lappato: A semi-polished tile that goes through a process similar to fully polished tiles, creating a surface with approximately 50% polished finish and 50% textured surface.

Matt Finish: A tile with a dull surface offering virtually no reflection regardless of atmospheric lighting.

Mitred Edges: The process of cutting the edges of tiles at a precise angle, usually 45 degrees, to create a beveled edge. When two tiles with mitred edges are placed together at a right angle, the beveled edges align seamlessly.

Nominal Size: A term used to describe the approximate thickness or facial size of a tile for general reference.

Non-rectified: Porcelain or ceramic tiles cut to size before firing, with greater variation in size compared to tiles with rectified edges.

Polished: A tile, commonly porcelain or natural stone, mechanically polished with a fine abrasive diamond wheel to give it an extremely high shine.

Porcelain Tiles: Made using a mixture of finer clay packed at higher pressures and baked at higher temperatures in the kiln. More durable, low absorbent, and less subject to wear and tear.

PTV (Pendulum Test Value): A slip resistance test generated by swinging a rubber-footed pendulum over the surface of a floor or tile to record friction or slip resistance.

Rectified: Ceramic or porcelain tiles that have undergone an additional mechanical cutting process after firing, allowing for tight and minimal grout lines.

R Rating: A tile’s slip resistance rating, usually given as R9 to R13. Where R9 classed as low slip resistance rating and R13 is high slip resistance rating.

Satin Finish: A tile with a slight sheen, offering a small amount of light reflection when viewed at a certain angle.

Screed: A thin, top layer of material (traditionally sand and cement), poured in situ on top of the structural concrete or insulation, on which other finishing materials can be applied.

Shade Variation: A difference in colour or texture from one tile to the next. In most cases, deliberate for creating textures that mimic natural variation.

Tolerance: The margin in which a tile’s sizing difference or warping is accepted.

Tumbled Edge Finish: A worn or rounded edge on tiles, achieved through a tumbling process, giving them a more aged or rustic appearance.

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