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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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Tensile Adhesion Strength

Testing for the tensile adhesion strength of tiling adhesives is defined in the standard BS EN 1348 Adhesives for Tiles - Determination of Tensile Adhesion Strength for Cementitious Adhesives. This measures the force required to de-bond a standard tile from a standard concrete substrate when fixed with the adhesive under test.


A natural tile made from clay, typically used for interior flooring.  Such tiles are highly absorbent and should normally be sealed to prevent soiling and staining.


A small unit of stone, ceramic, or glass used to create a mosaic.

Thermal Shock Resistance

Thermal shock occurs when tiling cracks or breaks as a result of rapid changes in temperature, which causes differential expansion or contraction.


There are two main types of porcelain tile: glazed and through-bodied (or full-bodied). A through-bodied tile comprises a mixture of clay, sand and other natural materials, pressed and fired at a high temperature. The term refers to the consistency of composition, with the colour and texture running through a tile’s full-dimensional thickness, so that if the surface is worn down the colour or pattern will not change. These tiles are typically suited to high traffic areas.


A pale stone with inherent pits and holes which can be filled. It's marble-like qualities make it easy to cut making it suited for internal walls, floors, showers and hearths. It is not recommended for outdoor use as it is susceptible to frost damage.


The surfaces of the stone have been textured, worn and weathered by contact with abrasive materials.

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