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Tile glossary

Adhesive = material used to glue the tile to the surface. Other common names are thin sets, glues, mud, mastics, mortars, and pastes.
Backing = Support material used as a base on which tiles are placed.
Battiscopa = Bottom bar, also known as a bull nose, has a finished edge on one side.
Broken joint = tiling with each row offset by half its length. Also known as a brick joint or zigzag pattern. Bull nose a decorative tile with
Bullnose = edges finished. Sealing compound to seal joints and make tile joints watertight.
Cement Board = A usually thick, fiberglass reinforced cement board used as a base for laying tiles.
Coefficient of Friction (COF) = A measure of frictional resistance in terms of how smooth or rough the surface is to prevent it from “sliding” on the surface.
Cove Base = decorative tile with a convex radius and flat shoulders at the bottom. See also plumbing base.
Cure = Hardens the time that the tiled material must harden undisturbed in order to reach full strength.
Epoxy Adhesive = A two-component adhesive system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Used to glue ceramic tiles or stones to the backing material.
Epoxy mortar = A two-component mortar system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Manufactured with impermeable, dirty and chemical resistant properties. To fill the gaps between the tiles.
Feature Strips (Edge) = Narrow strips of tiles of design, texture, or contrasting colors that create a design concept.
Field tile = The main tile used to cover walls or floors.
Floor tiles = durable enough to withstand traffic and wear.
Grout = used to filled the joints between tiles.
Glazed roof = A tile with an impermeable surface composed of a gaseous ceramic material fused to the surface of the tile.
Granite = Hard igneous rock composed primarily of quartz, orthoclase, or microcline. This material can be in the form of tiles or slabs.
Lappato = A tile finish also known as “Semi Polished”.
Limestone = Sedimentary rocks that may contain fossils and shells. This material can be in the form of tiles or slabs of various finishes.
Listel or Listello = Primarily a decorative border on the wall.
Marble of natural stone products extracted from the earth. This material can be in the form of tiles or slabs of various finishes.
Mastix = A wall tile adhesive for gluing tiles to the base of a wall.
Mosaic = Ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, or stone tiles less than 6 square inches. Available in squares, octagons, hexagons, or random shapes assembled for easy installation.
Mud = thick-floor mortar made of sand and cement.
Mosaic or paved tiles = manufactured using a porcelain stone tool dust press process. It features a dense and impervious body.
Quarry Tile = Dense unglazed tile that is generally 6″ or more in surface area and less than 3/4″ thick. Use mostly in commercial spaces because of its slip resistant qualities.
Sanitary Base = A trim tile having a concave radius on one edge and a convex radius with a flat landing on the bottom edge.
Sealer = A penetrant applied to prevent the absorption of liquids or other debris. Used with porous materials including: quarry tile, grout, and natural stone. Sealer is not necessary for glazed ceramic tile.
Slate = A natural material that is known for its dynamic colors and “earthy” appeal. Slate is used outside as well as inside because of its natural look and wonderful colors. Because slate is a product of nature, it is characterized by a high shade variation.
Thinset = Adhesive used to attach tiles to a substrate.
Threshold = A raised member of the floor within the doorjamb.
Travertine = Has a composition similar to limestone, but has holes in the hot springs. This material can also be in the form of tiles or slabs of many different designs.
Unbaked tile = A hard, dense tile with a uniform composition.

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