Adhesive, Ceramic: Used for bonding tile to a surface. Rubber
and resin-based emulsions are used as adhesives.
Backing: Material used as a base over which a finished tile is
to be installed.
Balanced Cuts: Cuts of tile at the perimeter of an area which
will not take full tiles. Also, the same-sized cuts on each side of a miter.
Base: One or more rows of tile installed above the floor. (See
Beating Block: A wooden block used to embed tiles in a flat plane.
Method is called "beating in".
Body: Term refers to the structural portion of a ceramic product
and to the material or mixture from which it is made.
Bullnose: A trim tile with a convex radius on one side. Use for
finishing the top of wainscoat or turning of an outside corner.
Buttering: The act of spreading a bond coat to the back of ceramic
tile immediately before the tile is installed on a surface.
Cap: See Bullnose.
Cement Body Tile: Tiles with a structure made from a mixture of
sand and Portland cement. The surface of the tiles can be finished with
Portland cement, spheroids, marble, or other materials.
Conductive Tile: Tile made from a special body composition or
by methods resulting in specific properties of electrical conductivity while
retaining other normal physical properties of tile.
Conventional Installation: Method of installing ceramic tile with
Portland cement mortar.
Cove: A trim tile with one edge a concave radius. Used to form
a junction between the bottom wall course and the floor or to form an inside
Crazing: The cracking which occurs in fired glazed, or from other
critical tensile stresses.
Decorative Tile: Tile with a ceramic decoration on the surface.
Edgebonded Tile: See Pregrouted Tile.
Embossed: A decoration in relief on the wear surface of the tile.
Epoxy Adhesive: A two-part adhesive system employing epoxy resin
and hardener used for bonding ceramic tile to backup material.
Epoxy Grout: A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin
and epoxy hardener. Formulated to have impervious qualities, stain and chemical
resistance. Used to fill joints between tiles.
Facial Defect: That portion of a tile's facial surface which is
readily observed to be non-conforming and which detracts from the aesthetic
appearance or serviceability of the installed tile.
Faience Tile: Tile which features characteristic variations in
the face, edges, and glaze, giving a hand-crafted, non-mechanical, decorative
Feature Strip: A narow strip of tile with contrasting color, texture,
Field Tile: An area of tile covering a wall or floor. Most often
bordered by tile trim.
Fire, Bisque: The process of kiln-firing ceramic ware prior to
Fire, Decorating: The process of firing ceramic or metalic decorations
on the surface of glazed ceramic tile.
Fire, Single: The process of maturing an unfired ceramic body
and its glaze in one firing opration.
Firing: A step during the manufacture of ceramic tile employing
a kiln or furnace to develop desired properties through controlled heat
Floating: A method of aligning mortar with the float strips or
screeds using a straight-edge. Also called dragging, pulling, or rodding
Frost Proof Tile: Product manufactured for use where freezing
and thawing conditions occur.
Glass Mosaic Tiles: Tile made of glass, usually in sheets not
over 2" square and 1/4" thick, mounted on sheets of paper. Sheets
are usually 12" x 12".
Glaze: A ceramic tile coating matured to the glassy state on a
formed ceramic product. Also refers to the material or mixture from which
the coating is made. Bright Glaze: A high-gloss coating with
or without color. Clear Glaze: Transparent or without color. Crystalline
Glaze: Contains microscopic crystals. Fritted Glaze: Uses all
or part of prefused fluxing constituents. Matte Glaze: A low-gloss
glaze with or without color. Opaque Glaze: A nontransparent coating
with or without color. Raw Glaze: Compunded primarily of raw constituents
and contains no prefused materials. Semi-matte Glaze: A medium-gloss
finish with or without color. Speckled Glaze: Features granules of
oxides or ceramic stains of contrasting colors.
Glazed Tile: A fused impervious facial finish composed of ceramic
materials fused to the body of the tile (which may be nonvitreous, semi-vitreous,
vitreous, or impervious.)
Grout: A cement or chemical setting mix for filling tile joints.
Heavy Duty Tile: Tile suitable for areas where heavy pedestrian
traffic is prevalent. Can be specified to meet higher test values as determined
by job requirements.
Impervious Tile: Has water absorption of 0.5% or less.
Latex-Portland Cement Grout: Combines Portland cement with a special
latex additive to make a less rigid, less permeable grout than regular Portland
Latex-Portland Cement Mortar: A mixture of Portland cement, sand,
and special latex additives, used for bonding tile to back-up material.
It is less rigid than regular Portland cement mortar.
Marble Tile: Marble cut into tiles 12" x 12" more or
less, usually 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Available in various finishes,
including polished, honed, and split faced.
Medium Duty Tile: Suitable for entryways in multiple dwellings
Mexican Paver Tile: Used mainly on floors, the hand-made tiles
vary in color, texture, and appearance. The terracotta-like tile is available
in hexagon, octagon, elongated hexagon, fleur-de-lis, squares up to 12",
and other shapes. Must be coated with various types of sealers to provide
a wearing surface.
Mosaic Tile: Formed by either dust-pressed or plastic method,
usually 1/4" to 3/8" thick with a facial area of less than six
square inches. Made of porcelain or natural clay composition, in plain or
with an abrasive mixture throughout.
Mounted Tile: Tile assembled into units or sheets, either back
mounted or face mounted, and bonded by suitable material to facilitate handling.
Back mounted has perforated paper, fiber mesh, resin or other suitable material
permanently attached to the back and/or edges so that a portion of the back
of each tile is exposed to the bond coat. Face mounted has paper applied
to the face of the tile, usually by water-soluable adhesives so it is easily
removed prior to grouting of the joints.
Mud: A slang term for mortar.
Natural Clay Tile: A ceramic mosaic or paver tile made by dust-pressed
or plastic method. Made from clays that produce a dense body with a distinctive,
slightly textured appearance.
Nominal Sizes: Approximately facial size or thickness of tile
for general reference, expressed in inches or fractions of an inch.
Non-Slip Tile: Tile with greater non-slip characteristics due
to abrasive admixture, abrasive particles, grooves or patterns in surface
or because of natural non-skid surface characteristics.
Non-vitreous Tile: Has water absorption of more than 7%.
Paper and Wire: Tar paper and wire mesh or metal lath are used
as a backing for tile installation.
Paver Tile: Unglazed porcelain or natural clay tile formed by
the dust-pressed method. Similar to ceramic mosaic tile in composition and
physical properties but relatively thicker with six square inches or more
of facial area.
Pinholes: Imperfections in the surface of a ceramic body or glaze.
Porcelain Tile: A ceramic mosaic or paver tile, generally made
by the dust-pressed method, of a composition that produces a dense, impervious,
fine-grained tile with a smooth and sharply formed face.
Pregrouted Tile: A surfacing unit consisting of an assembly of
ceramic tile, bonded together at the edges by a material (generally elastomeric)
which completely fills the joints. The material (grout) may fill the joint
completely or partially and may cover all, part, or none of the back surfaces
of the tiles. The perimeter of these factory pregrouted sheets may include
all, part, or none of the joint between the sheets. The term edgebonded
tile is sometimes used to designate a type of pregrouted tile sheet
having the front and back surfaces completely exposed.
Quarry Tile: Unglazed tile that is usually six square inches or
more in surface area and 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Made by the extrusion
process from natural clay or shale.
Reducer: A trim unit used to shorten the radius bullnose or a
cove to another radius or to a square.
Sampling: Method of obtaining tile for testing from an agreed-upon
Sculptured Tile: Tile with a decorative design of high and low
areas molded into the finished face.
Self-Spacing Tile: Tile with lugs, spacers, or protuberances on
the sides, which automatically space the tile for grout joints.
Semi-vitreous Tile: Has water absorption of more than 3%, but
not more than 7%.
Slip-Resistant Tile: Tile having greater slip-resistance characteristics
due to an abrasive admixture, abrasive particles in the surface, or grooves
or patterns in the surface.
Spacers: Cross, tee-shaped, and y-shaped plastic pieces used during
installation to separate tile on walls and floors. Manufactured in various
thicknesses from 1/16" to 1/2"
Special Purpose Tile: Glazed or unglazed tile made to meet or
have special physical design or appearance characteristics such as: thickness,
shape, color, or decoration; keys or lugs on back or sides; pregrouted assemblies
or sheets; special resistance to staining, frost, alkalies, acids, thermal
shock, physical impact or high coefficient of friction.
Straight Joint: The style of tile installation which features
all joints in alignment.
Structural Defects: Cracks or laminations in the tile body which
detract from the aesthetic appearances and/or structural soundness of the
Substrate: The underlayment for ceramic tile installation.
Thin-set: The bonding of tile with suitable materials applied
approximately 1/8" thick.
Tile: A ceramic surfacing unit, usually relatively thin in relation
to facial area, made from clay or a mixture of clay and other ceramic material.
Has glazed or unglazed face and is fired above red heat in the course of
manufacture to a temperature suffciently high to produce specific physical
properties and characteristics.
Trim Units: Various shapes of bases, caps, corners, mouldings,
angles, etc. necessary to achieve an installation of the desired sanitary
and/or architectural design.
Unglazed Tile: A hard, dense tile of uniform composition throughout,
deriving color and texture from the materials of which the body is made.
Vertical Broken Joint: Ceramic tile installation featuring the
vertical row offset for half of its length.
Vitreous Tile: Has water absorption of more than 0.5%, but not
more than 3%.
Wall Tile: Glazed tile with a body suitable for interior use.
Usually non-vitreous, it is neither required nor expected to withstand excessive
impact or be subject to freezing/thawing conditions.