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Confused about 'rectification', or unfamiliar with terms like 'back buttering'? Whatever your existing knowledge, this is a layman-friendly guide to all terms tiling related.

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Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance is a classification that indicates how well-glazed floor tiles withstand friction, scratching, wear and tear, etc. when subjected to different levels of traffic.


All tiles are given a rating according to their level of water absorption, which also indicates a tile's frost resistance and its suitability for external use. This varies greatly depending on the material of the tile, for example, porcelain tiles have a 0.5% absorption rate making them suitable for outdoor use whereas glazed stoneware tiles have 6% making them only suitable for indoor use. A tile's absorption rating is calculated by the ratio of the weight of the water absorbed into the weight of the dry tile, which is then displayed as a percentage.

  • Porous bodied glazed: More than 10% for indoor use only.

  • Medium water absorption: 6% to 10% for indoor use only.

  • Semi-vitrified: 3% to 6% for indoor use only.

  • Vitrified: 0.5% to 3%, and suitable for external use, but may require sealing.

  • Fully vitrified (porcelain): Less than 0.5%, frost-proof, and suitable for external use.


Acrylic is a synthetic polymer-based on resins made by the polymerisation of acrylic monomers, such as ethyl acrylate and methacrylate, and used in the manufacture of baths, shower trays, adhesives, grouts, tanking membranes, and sealants.


Any substance which uses a surface attachment to hold materials together. In tiling, typically an organic substance is used to bond tiles to a wall, floor or other surfaces. Rubber solutions, reaction resin-based and rubber emulsions are also sometimes used.


A material is other than water added to an adhesive or grout before or during mixing as a means of modifying its properties, such as increasing its flexibility.

Anti-bacterial/ Anti-Fungal

The property of a substance to prevent or retard the spread or growth of fungus, typically through the use of specialist ingredients.

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