Tile Dictionary

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Abrasion Resistance : A measure of the ability of a tile to withstand wear by friction.
Absorption : The penetration of water into the particles of a tile.
Antiskid-slip resistance : Glazed ceramic tiles whose surface has been treated with corundum or an abrasive grit to increase its resistance substantially. Normally, the more slip resistant a tile is , the more difficult it is to clean.
Bicottura Tiles (Double-Fired) : Glazed tiles produced by an initial firing of the shaped, raw materials to produce a hard tile body or bisque and then a re-firing of the bisque once the glaze or decoration has been applied.
Bisquit or Bisque : The clay body with no glaze applied. The body under the glaze of the tile (i.e., the body).
Breaking strength : The ability of a material to resist breaking or rupture from a tension force.
Brush Hammered : An uneven surface to the tile.
Bull-Nose Tiles : Trim tiles featuring one rounded edge used to finish wall installations or trim outside corners.
Ceramic Tile : A ceramic surfacing unit, usually relatively thin, composed of a clay body or a body composed of a mixture of ceramic materials, and having a glazed or unglazed surface. Ceramic tiles are used principally for decorative effects and sanitary purposes.
Chemical resistance : The ability of a material to resist breaking or rupture from a tension force.
Clay : Earth which has been processed in the course of milleniums resulting from the distintegration of volcanic rocks.
Coefficient resistance : Measurement that shows the degree of slip resistance that a floor has.
Corundum : An abrasive or grit added to a tile glaze in order to increase tile slip-resistance.
Cotto : A natural red clay fired tile.
Crazing : A fine hair-line cracking which sometimes appears on the glazed surface of a tile caused by tensile stress between the tile body and the glaze. May also be produced intentionally for decorative effect.
Cushioned Edges : Rounded corners rather than square.
Dust-Pressed Tiles : Raw materials are dried and pressed into shape before firing. The powder-like condition of clay that is die-stamped to the desired shape.
Earthenware : Non vitreous, ceramic whiteware, glazed or unglazed.
Efflorescence : The residue deposited on the surface of a material by the crystallization of soluble salts.
Expansion Joints : A joint in an installation sometimes filled with an elastic material, which will permit expansion, contraction or other movement without the development of excessive stresses or damage to the installation and to the tiled floor.
Fast firing (single , double) : Firing process of the ceramic raw material completed in less than two hours.
Frit : The raw material used for producing the glaze.
Frost-Proof Tiles : The qualification of a tile to withstand temperatures of below Zero (0) centigrade.
Glazing : Processing phase during which the support is covered with a layer of very fine particles which form the glossy and decorated surface of the tile.
Grout : The material used in installations to fill the joints between tiles.
Impact resistance : Ability of ceramic tile to resist breakage - either throughout the body or as surface chipping - as the result of a heavy blow.
Impervious Stoneware Tiles (Porcelain) : Also known as China, these are unglazed tiles composed of raw materials which produce a non-porous bisque of high mechanical strength.
Inserts : Small, sometimes decorative tiles, used in combination with larger or plain tiles to create patterns.
Jolly Tiles (Mitered Tiles) : Tiles mitered along one or two edges used in corner and counter edge installation.
Linear thermal expansion : The change in the dimensions of a given material as a result of changes in temperature.
Lippage : in finished installation, the condition where one edge of a ceramic tiles or stone is higher than and adjacent tile. May be unavoidable even for tiles that are within the tolerances of dimensional standards.
Listellos : Glazed color trim and decorative accessories, usually for wall tile.
Lug(s) : Small button-like protuberances on the underside of many Italian produced tiles to facilitate adhesion.
Matt Finish : A glazed surface with very little shine. Sometimes called Satin.
Mohs scale -scratch hardness : scale used to express the measure of a material?s hardness from moh?s 1(hardness to talc) to 10(diamond).
Moisture expansion : change in dimension a porous tile may undergo as a result of moisture absorption, analogous to change produced by temperature increase.
Monocottura Tiles (Single-Fired) : Glazed tiles produced by the single-fired method in which the raw tile body and glaze undergo a single pass through the kiln. Also called Monoporosa.
Mortar : Tile setting material.
P.E.I. : Porcelain Enamel Institute , responsible for research, testing, and analysis of ceramic materials.
Pencils : Thin, glazed trim, usually 3/8" by 6" in length. Comes in decorative colors.
Picket : A picket shaped tile which may be used alone or as a border for squares creating a more intricate pattern.
Pillowed Edges : Same as cushioned edges. Softly turned rather than square edge.
Polished : A clay or marble tile that has a shine due to a friction type of sanding.
Quarry Tile : A natural clay tile.
Red Body Clay (Bisque) : A natural clay that is fired for strength. The color is brown in its raw state, but turns red under heat.
Red Stoneware Tiles : Tiles composed of typically Italian raw materials which produce a red, vitrified tile body suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Generally unglazed.
Ribbed Finish : A ridged or ribbed tile face which provides a slip resistant surface.
Rustic Finish : A rough or uneven tile surface designed for a non-mechanical or artisan effect.
Sealer : Clear coatings sometimes applied to unglazed tile floors to protect the surface from grease spills or add luster to a surface.
Silk-Screening : Glazing phase in which the glaze is enriched with different decorative patterns.
Single-Fired : A system called Monocottura where the glazed and clay bisque is fired at one time.
Slip-Resistant Tiles : Tiles treated to prevent slipping, particularly for commercial showers or swimming pools. An abrasive grit is often added to the surface of glazed tiles.
Spacers : Small plastic or wood pieces used during installation to maintain even joint wrath between tiles.
Terracotta : Traditional Italian raw material used to produce unglazed red body tiles generally extruded and 1/2" thick or more. Surfaces may be rustic or smooth and waxed for lustre. Red clay.
Thick-Bed : Method of installation using cement based mortar applied in a minimum thickness of 3/4" to create the backing surface on which tiles will be installed.
Thin-Set : Alternative to thick-bed installation, using a bond-coating less than 1/8" thick. Requires a level and sound surface for success.
Trim Tiles : Designed to meet requirements of specific applications.
Unglazed Tiles : Tiles left untreated after firing. Highly durable.
Veined : A design that imitates the coloring in marble.
White Body Clay : The clay compound that is formed by using only white clays.