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Common Tile Installation Terms
Tiles are a popular way to decorate a room, especially the kitchen and bath. Before you install tile, below are some common terms to keep in mind.
Scoring – Cutting tiles so they can be snapped in two for installation along the edges of floors and walls. Scoring is good for ceramic and porcelain but not for marble.
Wet saw – A tool for cutting tile equipped with a diamond edged carbide blade. The super sharp teeth have little impact on tile and are excellent for granite, slate and marble. Keep in mind wet saws are expensive.
Backer board – A sub material in building projects, especially ceramic tile undertakings. Commonly compressed cement between two sheets of fiberglass. Water resistant greenboard is also an option. Choose backer board according to where you want to install it.
Grout – The material that is applied between tiles to strengthen the pattern. There are two kinds of grout. Non-sanded are tiles that are close together while sanded grout is for wider spaced tiles.
Sealant – A clear liquid coat applied to the surface of stone, glass, tile or grout. It protects from oxidation, aging, especially on a valuable floor mosaic or design.
Caulk – A finishing material to fill in gaps on various surfaces. Caulk prevents cracks and leakage in high moisture areas such as the kitchen or bath.
Handcrafted – Tiles made by hand. Each is slightly different in shape, color, thickness and finish giving the room a unique aesthetic. Common materials are glass, porcelain and marble. Slightly more expensive and difficult to install.
Tiles are created out of hard-wearing material such as stone, ceramic, porcelain, vinyl, or glass. They have been used in homes for thousands of years, ever since stone constructions replaced mud brick and could support the weight of roof tiles. Tiles can be installed on virtually any surface inside or outside a home, business, or other building. Tiles are often used in the construction of floors in kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms in the house. They can also be used on doors, roofs, showers, table tops, patios, and pools. Tiles come in all shades, shapes, and sizes, and can be used to create a custom design for your home or office building.
Tiles can be made out of stone, such as granite, travertine, marble, or slate. Natural stone is often used when laying down floors. It has several benefits, including natural beauty and being resistant to showing dirt, stains, and heavy use. However, it is heavier than ceramic and glass, and is more prone to breakage during shipping. Also, as marble and granite tiles are often polished to create a smooth surface, they can become slippery when wet. Ceramic also can become slippery; solutions include using smaller tiles so that the grout between them acts as traction. Ceramic tiles can be glazed or painted in an endless number of colors and shades.
Decorative tiles come in a variety of cuts, colors and patterns. Mosaics are designs created through the use of many tiny pieces of tile. People around the world, from Italian to Mexican artists, have used tiles in murals, mosaics, and for decoration as well as for practical uses. Contractors may be able to help you find the right tile to meet your style and budget. Contact a local contractor for an installation price estimate.