Translating Flooring to plain English

  1. ¼ Format: An installation method that offsets each tile below it by one half of its length.

  2. ½ Broken Joint: An installation method that offsets each tile below it by one half of its length.

  3. ⅓ Format: An installation method that offsets each tile below it by one third of its length.

  4. Absorption: The state or process of moisture or liquids being soaked up and held.

  5. Alternating Format: An installation method that uses two or more different tile sizes and/or colors in a repeated pattern.

  6. Breaking Strength: The amount of weight a tile can withstand unsupported before it breaks.

  7. Brick: A common installation pattern that has each tile start at the center of the tile below it.

  8. Brillo: A glazed, glossy tile finish.

  9. Bullnose: A trim tile piece with one or two rounded edges.

  10. Ceramic: A tile made from clay that has been permanently hardened by heat.

  11. Concrete-Look Tile: Tile that portrays the appearance of concrete without the risk of stains, scratches, and weight.

  12. Contemporary-Look Tile: The look that is popular currently. It tends to display clean lines, simplicity, and is focused on the following elements of design: line, shape, and form.

  13. Coverage: The amount of surface a tile will cover.

  14. DCOF: Dynamic Coefficient of Friction is a measurement that determines how much friction there is on wet, level floors when walked upon.

  15. Design: The process and art of decorating or laying out an outdoor space, interior room, or building.

  16. Finish: The texture and/or coating on the surface of a tile.

  17. Flooring: Materials used to cover floors. These can include granite, tile, marble, and wood.

  18. Frost Resistance: The ability of tile to withstand freeze/thaw conditions with minimal affect. The frost resistance of tile is dependent on the tile’s porosity and water absorption levels.

  19. Glass Mosaic: Glass tiles usually set in a small format and on a mesh sheet for easy installation.

  20. Gloss: A finish with significant luster and shine. Gloss is measured by the amount of light reflected.

  21. Glossy: A shiny appearance to tile that is achieved through a glazing process.

  22. Grout Haze: Grout residue that has been left to dry on the surface of a tile after grouting.

  23. Grout Joint: The space between tiles.

  24. Grout: A paste or mortar made from cement, aggregates, and water. It is used for filling crevices between bricks, tiles, and stones on walls and flooring.

  25. Herringbone: An installation pattern made up of V-shaped rows of 45-degree angled tiles.

  26. LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

  27. Luxury Vinyl Plank/Tile: Durable, waterproof, layered vinyl tile designed to look like hardwood or stone.

  28. Marble Look Tile: Tile that portrays the appearance of marble yet is affordable and lower maintenance.

  29. Matte: Tile either glazed or unglazed with a traditional look and better traction.

  30. Mosaic Tile: Tiles that are mounted on mesh sheets or adhesive strips that have a pattern or picture.

  31. Mosaic: A picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces of hard material, such as stone, tile, or glass.

  32. Natural: Tile produced from natural materials that are quarried, slabbed, finished, and cut to size, offering a less uniform appearance.

  33. Non-Slip: Tile with a raised texture to provide a level of slip resistance.

  34. Paver: Unique non-slip paving slabs for outdoor use, made from the highest-grade porcelain, and incredibly stain and chemical resistant while never needing to be sealed.

  35. PEI: Porcelain Enamel Institute ratings determine the hardness and durability of tile.

  36. Penny Round: Round mosaic tiles the size of a penny coin, sheet mesh-mounted for installation.

  37. Plank: A thin composite of clay or porcelain used for flooring, walls and countertops.

  38. Polished: Tile with a shiny appearance that is water- and stain-resistant.

  39. Porcelain: A ceramic made from clay that is fired at over 2500 degrees for strength and toughness.

  40. Pressed Edge: Tiles that have been manufactured using standard pressing processes in molds will result in a slight curving on the sides known as a pressed edge .

  41. Protective Coating: A transparent and very hard coating that bonds to the surface of tile and allows for less maintenance.

  42. Rectified Edge: Tile with all its edges mechanically rendered through a cutting or grinding process to achieve a more precise dimension.

  43. Screens: The design template used in manufacturing tile; the number of screens per tile line that determines the variety of a lines pattern.

  44. Shade Variation: The degree to which color, tone, and texture vary among individual tiles in a product line.

  45. Shock Resistance: The ability of a tile to withstand sudden changes in temperature during either heating or cooling.

  46. Stain Resistance: The ability of a tile to repel foreign substances.

  47. Stone-Look Tile: Tile that portrays the appearance of stone yet is affordable and lower maintenance.

  48. Straight Lay: A simple process of tile installation where square or rectangular tiles are set horizontally, square to the wall in parallel rows.

  49. Subway Tile: A style of glazed tile, as used on the walls of the New York City subway stations in the early twentieth century, especially the 3″ × 6″ size then used.

  50. TCA (Tile Council Of America): The professional association of manufacturers of ceramic and porcelain tiles. The leading resource for education and installation techniques.

  51. Tile Patterns: Various tile installation layouts.

  52. Tile: A thin composite of clay or porcelain used for flooring, walls, and countertops.

  53. Trim: Tile that is placed along the edge of a project for a cohesive design.

  54. Variation: The degree to which color, tone, and texture vary among individual tiles.

  55. Water Absorption: A measurement of how much moisture a tile is likely to absorb on an ongoing basis.

  56. Wood-Look Tile: Tile that has the appearance of hardwood, but with higher durability and lower maintenance.