In the tile industry, there are several commonly used terms that you may come across during your tile shopping or installation process. Familiarizing yourself with these terms can help you better understand and communicate about tiles. Here are some of the most frequently used terms:
1. Ceramic Tile: A type of tile made from clay that is kiln-fired at high temperatures.
2. Porcelain Tile: A type of ceramic tile that is made from a more refined clay and fired at even higher temperatures, resulting in a denser and less porous tile.
3. Natural Stone Tile: Tiles made from natural stones such as marble, granite, travertine, limestone, or slate.
4. Subway Tile: Rectangular-shaped tiles typically measuring 3x6 inches, inspired by the tiles used in subway stations.
5. Mosaic Tile: Small tiles, usually less than 2 inches, mounted on a mesh or sheet to create a pattern or image.
6. Grout: A cement-based material used to fill the joints between tiles, providing stability, support, and aesthetic appeal.
7. Thinset Mortar: A type of adhesive used to bond tiles to surfaces, typically made of cement, sand, and additives.
8. Backsplash: A vertical surface located behind a sink or stove to protect the wall from splashes. Backsplashes are often tiled for easy maintenance and added style.
9. Bullnose: A finishing trim or edge piece with a rounded profile, used to create a smooth, rounded edge on tiles.
10. Sanded Grout: Grout that contains fine sand particles, suitable for wider grout lines in floor tiles or tiles with irregular edges.
11. Unsanded Grout: Grout without sand, used for smaller grout lines (less than 1/8 inch) or delicate tiles to prevent scratches.
12. Rectified Tile: Tile that has been precisely cut during the manufacturing process to ensure perfectly square and uniform edges.
13. Sealer: A protective substance applied to tiles, especially natural stone, to enhance stain resistance and make cleaning easier.
14. Subfloor: The underlying structural layer of a floor, providing support for the finished floor surface.
15. Efflorescence: A white, powdery residue that can sometimes appear on the surface of tiles or grout due to moisture migration.
16. Waterjet: Intricate tile designs created using a water cutting technique, where high-pressure water jets are used to precisely cut intricate sha[es.
Understanding these tile-related terms will assist you in selecting the right materials, discussing specifications with professionals, and effectively communicating your tile needs.