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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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Fast Setting

BS EN 12004: 2007 defines a minimum early tensile adhesion strength development after not more than six hours.  As a general rule, if tiles are ready for grouting within two to three hours of fixing, the adhesive used is deemed to be fast setting.

Field Tile

The main base tile used in covering a floor or wall.


Voids, pits and holes (a natural characteristic of some stone) in a tile have been filled with a resin to create a smooth surface.

Floating Screed

Screed laid over the sub-floor but not bonded to it, typically separated from it by a thermal or acoustic insulating layer.

Frost Resistance

The ability of a ceramic tile to resist frost is tested against the standard EN ISO 10545-12.


The main component of a ceramic glaze. A glaze is usually made up of one or more frits with the addition of pigments, salts, etc.


This refers to tiles whose surface colour is the same all the way through the tile. Also known as 'through-bodied' or 'technical' porcelain, these tiles are made of a single material with no glaze applied making them extremely hard wearing and perfect for any application.

Fully Vitrified

Vitrification (turned to a glass-like state) describes the extent to which a tile’s porosity is reduced by the heat of kiln firing.  A fully vitrified material is effectively impervious, completely resistant to water penetration.  BS EN 14411 defines a floor and wall tile with a water absorption lower than 0.5% as being fully vitrified (or porcelain).

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