Tile Guru Vaults: Product Information and Tile Glossary
So you're planning a decorating project, and you've settled on the idea of inviting tiles into your home, and you're researching what tiles you'd like to include as part of your project. There is lots of information to take in when it comes to choosing the right tiles for you, and there are several terms that are used. To make things simpler, I've answered some FAQ's about our products, and have formed a bit of a glossary. If your question or query isn't answered, ask me directly at email@example.com and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Q. What does “Nominal Sizing” mean?
A. A nominal size is an approximate size that the factory will advertise for a tile. However there can be minor variations between the “Nominal” and “Working/Actual” size. For example, if a tile is shown as 200x100mm, this is the Nominal Size. However the actual working size may be 197x97mm. If you are matching up tiles or looking to use two tiles of the same Nominal Size, we’d strongly recommend ordering a sample prior to your main purchase to ensure they are suitable for your required design.
Q. What is a 'vitrified' tile?
A. A vitrified tile is fired at an extremely high temperate to make it very hard wearing and have a moisture absorption rate of less than 0.5%, such as a Porcelain tile. A vitrified tile can be “glazed”, or “full bodied”. A glazed vitrified tile will have a base of porcelain that is then printed and glazed, giving the tile two layers. A Fully vitrified tile is a single layer that has the pigment running through the full thickness of the tile.
Q. What is the difference between Granite and Quartz?
A. Granite is 100% pure natural stone, cut to size and highly polished. It is also one of the hardest wearing stones available. The Quartz however is a conglomerate stone tile. This means the quartz starts off as tiny gravel sized pieces that are then bonded and hardened together using a pigmented resin. They are then made to size and polished to give a similar look to polished granite.
Q. What does the CE mark on a box of tiles mean?
A. The CE Mark confirms the verification by a manufacturer that these products meet required EU performance, or safety, health or environmental requirements. CE marking is a key indicator of a product's compliance with EU legislation and enables the free movement of products within the European market.
CE marking does not indicate that a product was made in the EU, but merely states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market and thus satisfies the necessary legislative requirements and harmonised standard requirements.
Q. What is the difference between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles?
A. The way they are both made is very similar. But the Clay used in porcelain (called Kaolin) is much denser than the clay used in a ceramic. With the introduction of Feldspar and being fired at temperatures up to 1400oC, this makes Porcelain much harder than ceramic.
Q. How slip resistant are floor tiles? Are some more resistant than others?
A. Non slip tiles will have an R or a Group Class rating which will determine the grade of slip resistance. Please follow This Link for further information and suggested ranges.
Q. What is a Ceramic Tile made from and how is it made?
A. The main ingredients for a ceramic tile are Clay and Sand. These materials are ground down into a fine powder, water is added and the mixture is then compressed in a mould at high pressure making the “Biscuit”. These are then dried out, primed, painted then glazed, before being fired in a kiln at approximately 1000oC.
Q. Are tiles Frost Proof?
A. Most full bodied porcelain tiles natural stone tiles are frost resistant and suitable for external use. Please follow THIS LINK for our list of suggested ranges.
Thank you for reading, and I hope these FAQ's have answered a few of your queries. If not, fire your question over to me at or on Facebook / twitter @wallsandfloors with hashtag #TileGuru. Many thanks.