Tile Terminology

What is a rectified tile?

Rectified tiles have a clean, neat and symmetrical look due to the way they are manufactured. They are made from ceramic or porcelain, and are machined and ground in a precise way to ensure their edges are perfectly straight.

What is a full-bodied tile?

Tiles often come glazed, which means they are coated in a layer of coloured glass. The opposite of a glazed tile is a full-bodied tile, which is the same colour and material throughout. This means that if you chip the top, the damage is not as apparent.

What is a crackle glaze tile?

Crackle glaze tiles have been put through a special process known as crazing, which causes fine cracks to appear in the glaze. Crazing happens naturally over time, but it has been adopted as an artificial method because the effect is desirable. Because of the cracks in the glaze, it is advised that you seal crackle glaze tiles in kitchens or bathrooms.

What does glazed porcelain mean?

Glazed porcelain is a type of tile made from porcelain and coated in a layer of liquid glass. Glazed porcelain tiles are available in a variety of different styles, colours and finishes, and are more resistant to staining than unglazed tiles.

What is a polished finish tile?

A polished finish tile is typically made of unglazed porcelain or stone. It is mechanically polished, giving a flat, shiny finish. Polished finish tiles tend to be less slip resistant than matt finish tiles, which makes them better suited to walls than floors.

What is a matt finish tile?

Matt finish tiles are often chosen for flooring, as they are durable and have good slip resistance. Unlike polished finish or gloss tiles, they are not shiny or reflective, which means they are less prone to showing marks.

What is a satin finish tile?

Satin finish tiles are a good midway point between matt, and polished or gloss tiles. They have a smooth, soft texture that is not overly shiny, and they are easy to clean and maintain.

What is a split face tile?

Split face tiles are made from strips of material – normally natural stone or wood – that has been cut to different lengths and thicknesses to give a textured, hand-crafted appearance.

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What is meant by 'shade variation'?

Though you may expect a set of commercially manufactured tiles to be identical, it’s become commonplace to see shade variation. This is where tiles from one range display slight differences in colour and finish. This can happen naturally, but it is also carried out artificially to boost aesthetic appeal.

What is the biscuit of a tile?

Biscuit is a term used in reference to glazed tiles. The biscuit is the main base, over which the glass layer is laid. Usually the biscuit is made from clay or porcelain.

What is grout?

Grout is the substance used to fill in the gaps between tiles, creating a smooth, secure finish. It prevents moisture from reaching the back of the tile, and allows for tile expansion or movement.

What is adhesive?

Adhesive is a substance used to secure tiles to a surface. Adhesive and grout are sometimes combined in one substance which can be used to stick tiles to the surface and fill the gaps in between.

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