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A canvas is the number of tiles before patterns repeat. This is designed to recreate the variability of natural products such as stone and wood. The average number is 15 tiles before you begin to see a repeat in the pattern.
Ceramic is the overall name for man-made tiles formed from clay. It is, however, also used to describe a tile fired at lower temperatures and with greater water-absorbency than those classed as ‘Porcelain’. Ceramic tiles are usually glazed and are often for wall use only because of this, but many can be used on both walls and floors.
Chevron is the name of an on-trend ‘arrow head’ pattern for tiles. To achieve this tiles need to have the short edges are at an angle.
A smaller stone or porcelain format of greater thickness normally used externally.
The process of creating bespoke worktops, vanity tops, bath surrounds, stair treads & risers etc. from large stone slabs or sometimes large porcelain sheets.
Generally used to refer to a larger stone tile of a greater thickness which can be used externally or internally.
A coloured glaze is applied to tiles prior to firing; colours range from muted neutral shades through to bold, vibrant tones.
A method of laying whereby tiles are laid perpendicular to each other to give a staggered ‘V’ pattern. This fixing pattern works well with small rectangular tiles but can be achieved with any rectangular tile format.
A non-reflective, more natural finish applicable to Porcelain, Decorative or Glazed tiles.
Small chips of stone are arranged on a mesh backing or have a plastic sheet on the face for ease of installation, The chips can vary in size and format from squares or rectangles through to hexagons. This covering is designed to hold the chips together during transportation and installation, so excessive handling should be avoided. Because of this method of production, nominal variation of both chips and spacing should be expected.
Unlike Rectified products, Non-rectified Porcelain are not cut to size after the firing process. The firing process can shrink the tile slightly causing a slightly higher tolerance in size. These tiles are graded after firing but do not undergo any additional cutting. Because of this, greater variation in size between tiles should be expected than with a rectified tile. Non-rectified tiles are usually smaller, patterned or glazed tiles which would mean cutting after firing would affect the overall look of the material.
A highly–reflective, gloss finish applied to the surface of some porcelain tiles.
A broad term which encompasses various finishing methods used to achieve a traditional antique floor effect. Each piece of stone is finished by hand; some pieces will have a soft stippled surface, whereas others will have smooth undulations or pillowed edges. These finishes generally create the most authentic looking time-worn floors.
This term is applied to Porcelain tiles that are cut to size after the firing process. Rectified tiles are ‘dimensionally stable’ and will exhibit little variation in size of tiles from one production run.
A naturally cleft face which is achieved by splitting blocks of stone along natural laminations. Modern manufacturing techniques. This can also be recreated in porcelain.
Tiles that as a result of their thickness (2cm and above), can be laid onto mortar or onto pedestal system.
Achievable in ranges that have several tiles which share a common width. Tiles are laid in courses of the same width and the sizes alternated to give a more random appearance.
A large piece of stone but now also commonly used to denote 2cm thickness porcelain.
A term referring to how much grip a tile offers. This can be measured in several ways, the two most common methods being the Pendulum or Ramp test. This property is more relevant to commercial applications than residential however, additional grip in wet areas or externally is always preferable to increase safety. This information is readily available for Porcelain products.
A method of hand finishing stone which gives a highly textured, variegated and tactile surface. This can be recreated in porcelain (see Apsley) and is often used as a feature wall.
A method of ageing stone which can be recreated in porcelain, whereby the stone is ‘tumbled’ to give them a rounded, antique edge finish. On certain stones, this process may also leave the surface more open and slightly textured.
This term primarily relates to Travertine which is characterised by surface pits and holes. An unfilled finish leaves these holes open. Unfilled Travertine will need to be ‘slurry grouted’ across the surface of the stone in order that the holes are filled. Small holes can sometimes be found in Limestone and Marble which can be left unfilled or filled with grout dependent on preference.
What is veining?
The occurrence of irregular lines of minerals found in stone, most notably Marble although it can be present in all natural stone.
A Travertine specific term which means the tiles or slabs are cut so that the planar surface runs parallel to the natural veins present in the stone. These striations give a banded appearance to the finished surface of the tile or slab.