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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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Capable of returning to its original state after deformation.  An elastomeric adhesive will deform under stress, then return to its starting condition.


Whitish residue deposited on the surface of bricks, tiles, mortars or grouts caused by the crystallisation of soluble salts.

Epoxy Resin

A polymerised synthetic resin composed of epoxy used in conjunction with a curing agent (hardener) to form a reaction resin, chemical-resistant adhesive, or chemical-resistant grout.


A natural mineral (hydrated calcium aluminium sulphate hydroxide) found in a hydrated Portland cement system as a result of the reaction of calcium aluminate with calcium sulphate, both present in Portland cement.  Its expansive nature can lead to tiles de-bonding if not treated/removed prior to tiling.

Expansion Joints

A joint extending through tile, adhesive, and any reinforcing wire from the substrate, typically used in larger tiled floors and walls.  Expansion joints are required when a tiled floor may be subject to movement, to prevent cracking of tiles and grout.  In such cases, these will always be needed at the floor perimeter. See Movement joint.

Extruded Tile

Tiles formed by forcing a dense clay mixture through a shaped die.  This creates a continuous ribbon of formed clay of uniform width, which is then cut to length.

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