The Most Common Tiling Jargons And Their Meaning
Posted on July 6, 2021

Are you on a tile hunt to amp up your space but finding it difficult to understand the terminologies used by the professionals?

To help you with that, we have put together tile terms and definitions.

Are you confused between different kinds of tiles and their features?

Worry not! We have got you covered.

Tile Terms & Definitions

Adhesive: One of the most common terminologies used during almost every phase of construction is ‘Adhesive’. It is a semi-liquid state of glue solution that adheres the materials together. The ones used for tiles are usually comprised of aggregates and bonding agents

Aggregate: Another commonly used term for tiling is ‘Aggregate’. It is a granular material that is used with any cementing agent to create concrete. It can also form hydraulic cement.

Porcelain Tile: It is a variation of ceramic with the inclusion of extra materials that are required for vitrification. Materials like Kaolin, clay, silica and feldspar are used to give it a glazed or unglazed vitreous variation. To start with the vitrification process, porcelain tiles are fired at a very high temperature making their tensile density as well as their strength higher and water absorption rate lower.

| Also Read: A Guide to Porcelain Tiles: How to Cut, Lay, & Clean |

Brushed Finished: It is a type of finish that is created by treating a stone surface with a core wire rotary brush. This adds a beautiful texture which is known as a Brush Finish.

Bullnose: If you have been into Tile hunt for a long time, you must have come across the term ‘Bullnose’ a lot. It is a kind of trim tile with a convex radius that is used for finishing floor base, top of the wainscot or even turning off an outside corner. They are also known as ‘Tile Edges’.

Color Body Porcelain: This term is used when your porcelain tile in which the body of the tile has a similar colour to that of the surface tile. It is another very commonly used term by construction companies and tile manufacturers around the globe.


Decorative Tile: Any tile that has decoration on it is considered a decorative tile. It is used to add colour, depth or simply add a touch of its own. It can be used in your home or office.

| Also Read: Understanding the Different Types of Tiles: Wall, Floor, Bathroom, & Roof |

Split Face Tile: It is a medium to a large-sized tile that is made up of a smaller rectangular piece of natural stone, preferably slate or quartzite. They are glued and butted together to make it a single tile. This type of tile does not require grouting. It works best in dry areas and should not be used for wet places.

Grout: A mixture of silica sand, cement and chemical mix used for filling tile joints is known as grout. They are available in various colours to match your tile.

Granite: Granite is a natural stone that is denser than marble. It is molten lava that never rises above the earth surface. If you need a durable stone, look for granite as it holds polish too very well. They are available in various forms: polished, honed or flamed.


Bowing: Bowing or warping in tiles happens when the manufacturing and cooling process takes place. During the tile making process, a certain amount of warping is expected as well as acceptable.

Limestone: These are sedimentary stones that can have fossils or shells. They are usually available in a matte finish. You won’t get a lot of varieties in colours. They have very few variations as compared to other stones.

Mastic: It is an organic glue that is used for adhering tiles together. They do not have harmful chemicals so it is good to use.

Frost resistant: This type of tile has a water absorbency greater than 3 per cent but less than 0.5 per cent. It means that only 3% of water falling on the tile can be absorbed. If more than 3 per cent falls on it, the tile will be easily damaged.

Frost resistant

British Standard: British Standard is mentioned by the industry specialists for products that are only meant to be sold from British Standards Institution. Various British standards are used by the tile industry. They are included on ceramic and natural stone tiles, fixings, adhesives and grouts.

Spacers: These are plastic pieces that are used during the installation process to evenly separate tiles. They are available in a variety of shapes and thicknesses.

Iridescent Tiles: These are tiles with the same base colour but will display other colours if looked at from a different angle or at different light. They are usually made up of glass. It is perfect for decorative purposes.

Tile Density: The density of the tile purely depends on the material it is produced from. Other aspects that determine it are temperature and compression. This is calculated before the manufacturing process begins for tile and also whether it is for wall or floor purposes. The lower density tile is made up of lighter materials like clay, whereas heavier density tiles are made up of porcelain and are used for floorings.

| Also Read: What is the Difference Between Wall and Floor Tiles? |

These are some common tile terms and definitions that will help you during the entire process. Tile hunting can be difficult which is why Ferreira’s team is always there to guide you. They work with the best manufacturers in Italy and offer premium and luxurious tiles for your home or office.

Choose your favourite tiles from the best!