GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A broad term which encompasses various ageing/distressing methods used to achieve a worn look to stone. Please note, the effect of the various antiquing methods will vary depending on the stone type and the country of origin.
A method of finishing stone which gives only slight surface texture and can give a subtly softened edge. The effect of brushing and the edge finish created can differ depending on the stone type.
Indicates that the tiles are of a nominally uniform thickness.
A tile produced from clay and fired at lower temperatures than porcelain tiles, usually colour glazed to a matt or gloss finish.
This indicates that the blocks are cut horizontally relative to the veining.
A timber board which consist of more than one layer of timber. By placing each layer so that the grain runs perpendicularly it becomes virtually impossible for the timber to swell or shrink with changes in humidity, thus dramatically increasing the stability of the board. The top layer of an engineered board is solid timber (usually hardwood) and may be anything from 2mm thick. Not to be confused with laminate or veneer – laminate uses an image of wood on its surface while veneer uses only a very thin layer of wood over a core of some sort of composite wood product like fibreboard.
The process of creating bespoke worktops, vanity tops, bath surrounds etc. from large stone slabs.
This term is related primarily to natural stone (like 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 can then be honed, polished or tumbled. 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. On-going 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.
An antique finish obtained by searing the surface of the stone with high temperature flames. This finish is generally only done on granite. It 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 laying format for tiles, where the width of the stone 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.
Stone: In the context of stone, a mix of free length formats in different widths. They are laid in alternating courses of the different thicknesses to give a more random look than free lengths alone.
Timber: In the context of timber, boards or different widths laid in alternating rows.
Non-rectified porcelain or ceramic tiles are cut to size prior to the firing process. The firing process 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.
PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the world's largest international forest certification program. It is non-governmental and sets high standards for certification (including the maintenance of biodiversity, the protection of ecologically important areas, the prohibition of hazardous chemicals and GMO' and the protection of workers' rights and welfare.
Porcelain tiles are generally formed from kaolin clays and fired at upwards of 1200°C. They tend to be denser, less absorbent and more hard-wearing than ceramic tiles.
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.
The younger, outermost wood that serves the purpose of conducting water from the roots to the leaves in a living tree (as opposed to the heartwood).
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, 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 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 surface pits and holes found in natural stone and knots in timber. 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, marble and basalt which can be left unfilled or filled with grout dependant on preference.
This indicates that the blocks are cut vertically relative to the veining, with the natural veins being visible in the stone. These striations give a banded appearance to the finished surface of the stone.