Glossary of Terms
A broad term which encompasses various ageing/distressing methods used to achieve a worn look to the stone. Please note, the effect of the various antiquing methods will vary dependent upon the stone and the country of origin.
A method of finishing stone which gives very slight surface texture and sometimes, depending on the material, a subtly softened edge. The effect of brushing and the edge finish created can differ depending on the stone type; some may have a chipped edge finish applied.
A term which refers to slabs which offer mirror images of each other as if opening on the pages of a book. This can be achieved with natural stone whereby two slabs are cut from the same block and the two adjoining faces are finished. Increasingly however porcelain ‘slabs’ are being used to create this effect in a more manageable and affordable way, either way, the finished look is stunning.
Indicating the tiles are of a nominally uniform thickness.
Ceramic is not only the overall name for man-made tiles formed from clay but also used to describe a tile fired at lower temperatures and with greater water-absorbency than those classed as ‘Porcelain’. Ceramic tiles are usually glazed and are often for wall use only because of this, but many can be used on both walls and floors. Ceramic tiles are suitable for all internal, residential applications.
Chevron tiles are cut so that the short edges are at an angle, enabling them to create this on-trend ‘arrow head’ pattern. Left and right Chevrons will be supplied and should be fitted accordingly.
Generally a smaller stone or porcelain format of greater thickness which is used externally.
A unique firing method which gives a cracked and glossy surface, where no two tiles are the same. Unusually for man made tiles, Crackle Glaze tiles require sealing with Fila MP/90.
Exclusively relates to Travertine indicating the blocks are cut so that the planar face of the tile is at right-angles to the predominant course of the veining.
Decor tiles are strikingly patterned or have an ornate shape to serve as a counterpoint to more neutral base tiles within their range.
Decorative tiles have intricate and beautiful, hand-designed patterns applied to the surface by various means.
The process of creating bespoke worktops, vanity tops, bath surrounds, stair treads & risers etc. from large stone slabs or sometimes large porcelain sheets.
This term is related primarily to Travertine, which is characterised by surface pits and holes. These holes can be pre-filled at source by a stone resin which is as similar as possible to the colour of the stone. Once filled the stone is then worked to a Honed or Polished finish. Not every single pit/hole will be completely filled, and therefore even a pre-filled Travertine may require some filling by grout during the fixing process. It is not unusual for any natural stone tile to have some degree of surface fill present. Ongoing resin filling may be required as part of your maintenance regime.
This is a thin line of mineral veining which normally contrasts with the base colour of the stone and so can be mistaken for a crack in the tile.
Generally used to refer to a larger stone tile of a greater thickness which can be used externally or internally. Many 20mm thick outdoor porcelains have large ‘flag’ options available.
An antique finish obtained by searing the surface of the stone with high temperature flames. Only available in our Granite range, this finishing method gives a textured surface as the various component crystals are affected by the heat. Once Flamed, the stone can also be subsequently brushed for a more subtle feel.
A mix of a square and rectangle tile which are laid in courses and alternated to achieve a more random appearance than the use of one size alone.
Fossils are remnants of past animals or plants. Fossils are generally found in Limestones, Marbles and occasionally Sandstone and can take many forms.
A laying format for tiles, where the width of the product is static i.e. 400mm or 600mm and the lengths of the tiles vary randomly or are a mix of a minimum of two different lengths, offering a look which is reminiscent of traditional stone floors. Please see Stone Layouts for available stones.
A coloured glaze is applied to tiles prior to firing; colours range from muted neutral shades through to bold, vibrant tones.
A reflective lustre which is applied to Porcelain, Ceramic, Decorative or Glazed tiles.
A method of laying whereby tiles are laid perpendicular to each other to give a staggered ‘V’ pattern. This fixing pattern works well with small rectangular tiles but can be achieved with any rectangular tile format.
A smooth non-polished finish to the face of the stone. Edges are either straight or beveled which gives a contemporary/classic look.
A non-reflective, more natural finish applicable to Porcelain, Decorative or Glazed tiles.
One, two or more minerals combine to form rock. They are non-living solids that are found in nature and may be sensitive to prolonged exposure to moisture, giving various results. Quartz and Calcite are two of the minerals most commonly found in stone.
Small chips of stone are arranged on a mesh backing or have a plastic sheet on the face for ease of installation, The chips can vary in size and format from squares or rectangles through to hexagons. This covering is designed to hold the chips together during transportation and installation, so excessive handling should be avoided. Because of this method of production, nominal variation of both chips and spacing should be expected.
A small variation from stated sizes and thicknesses which occurs due to production methods used. This variation should always be expected and can be more pronounced the larger the tile.
Unlike Rectified products, Non-rectified Porcelain or Ceramic tiles are not cut to size after the firing process. The firing process then causes expected shrinkage and warpage. These tiles are graded after firing but do not undergo any additional cutting. Because of this, greater variation in size between tiles should be expected than with a rectified tile. Non-rectified tiles are usually smaller, patterned or glazed tiles which would mean cutting after firing would affect the overall look of the material.
In tile format, a large square tile that has each corner cut off in order to accommodate a smaller ‘inset’ tile, normally of a contrasting coloured material. Please see stone layouts.
A repeating modular pattern made up of at least three different tile sizes in order to give a random effect to the floor. There are various Opus patterns available in specific products. Please note you cannot choose a material to come in a particular Opus, the material will come in the Opus stated. Please see individual product pages and Stone Layouts. NB. Where a product is available in an Opus pattern, tiles are sold to the nearest full module but priced per m².
A highly–reflective, gloss finish applied to the surface of stone and some porccelain. Polished tiles can have either straight or bevelled edges.
Porcelain tiles are generally formed from kaolin clays and fired at upwards of 1,200°C. They tend to be denser and less porous than Ceramic tiles.
A broad term which encompasses various finishing methods used to achieve a traditional antique floor effect. Each piece of stone is finished by hand; some pieces will have a soft stippled surface, whereas others will have smooth undulations or pillowed edges. These finishes generally create the most authentic looking time-worn floors.
This term is applied to Porcelain or Ceramic tiles that are cut to size after the firing process. Rectified tiles are ‘dimensionally stable’ and will exhibit little variation in size of tiles from one production run. Tiles from different production runs will tend to exhibit greater variation and so enough tiles to complete the installation should be ordered in the first instance. Different sizes within ranges will vary significantly however so should not be mixed.
A naturally cleft face which is achieved by splitting blocks of stone along natural laminations. This term usually relates to Slate, Schist, Sandstone and occasionally Limestone.
Achievable in ranges that have several tiles which share a common width. Tiles are laid in courses of the same width and the sizes alternated to give a more random appearance.
A large piece of stone which can be fabricated into worktops, vanity tops, bath surrounds etc.
A term referring to how much grip a tile offers. This can be measured in several ways, the two most common methods being the Pendulum or Ramp test. This property is more relevant to commercial applications than residential however, additional grip in wet areas or externally is always preferable to increase safety. This information is readily available for Porcelain products.
A method of hand finishing which gives a highly textured, variegated and tactile surface. Often used as a feature wall, Splitface products come in many different materials and are available in cladding blocks and wall panels. This method of finishing is also used to give texture to the external surfaces of some Stone Basins.
A rectangular, glazed tile with a raised profile giving texture to walls.
A method of ageing stone, whereby the tiles are ‘tumbled’ to give them a rounded, antique edge finish. On certain stones, this process may also leave the surface more open and slightly textured.
These materials vary in thickness both between tiles and across individual tiles. Normally found in Riven materials. Expected thickness variation is detailed in the sizes of the tiles. Grading is required prior to fixing and more adhesive is generally required for bedding up.
This term primarily relates to Travertine which is characterised by surface pits and holes. An unfilled finish leaves these holes open. Unfilled Travertine will need to be ‘slurry grouted’ across the surface of the stone in order that the holes are filled. Small holes can sometimes be found in Limestone and Marble which can be left unfilled or filled with grout dependent on preference.
The occurrence of irregular lines of minerals found in stone, most notably Marble although it can be present in all natural stone.
A Travertine specific term which means the tiles or slabs are cut so that the planar surface runs parallel to the natural veins present in the stone. These striations give a banded appearance to the finished surface of the tile or slab.
As porcelain or ceramic tiles are fired they can shrink and bow or warp. This is usual with man-made tiles but can be more pronounced with larger tiles. To avoid emphasizing this warpage, larger tiles should not be ‘brick-bonded’.