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Our Definitive Guide to Tile Terminology: D-L

Posted by: Kali • Dec 13

Our Definitive Guide to Tile Terminology: D-L

Our decorative Cuerda Seca Tiles being handpainted

It's that time again!  Another Friday, another dose of Tile Terminology!  This week we have you covered from the D's to the L's.  Study up and you'll be talking about tile like a pro in no time!


Decorative Tile – Any tile face with a decoration on the surface.

Diagonal Set – Tile set at a 45° angle to the wall.

Dry Set Mortar – Cement based setting material for thin–bed installations.

Our Debris Series Raised Tile Palo Alto 6x6 multi color


Epoxy Adhesive – A two part adhesive system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Used for bonding ceramic tile or stone to backing material.

Epoxy Grout – A two–part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener. Made to have impervious qualities, stain and chemical resistant. Used to fill joints between tiles.

Exterior Tiles – Tiles suitable for outdoor applications because of their frost resistance.


Field Tile – The primary tile used to cover a wall or floor.

Floating – A method of aligning mortar with the float strips or screeds using a straightedge.

Floor Tile – A ceramic tile or natural stone tile durable enough to withstand traffic and abrasion.

Frit – A ceramic composition that has been fused in a special fusing oven, quenched to form a glass, and granulated.

Frost Resistant – The ability of certain ceramic tiles to withstand freeze/thaw conditions with minimal effect. Frost resistance of ceramic tile is dependent on the tile’s porosity and water absorption levels. Frost resistance does not guarantee 'frost proof.'

Frost Proof – Impervious tile that absorbs 0% to 0.5% Product manufactured for use where freezing and thawing conditions occur.

Grout shown with our Wave design in Cyclone


Grout – Silica sand, cement and chemical mix for filling tile joints.


Lippage – In finished installation, the condition where one edge of a tile is higher than an adjacent tile. May be unavoidable even for tiles that are within the tolerances of dimensional standards, seen especially in very large format tiles.

Listello – A decorative border, primarily for walls.

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