What is a butt joint and are there other tiling terms to know?

See this glossary of tiling terms so you'll know how to speak the language when you call a tiling contractor.
Items affixed to or inserted in tile work-for example, towel bars, paper, grab bars, and so on.

Bisque Cracks
Any tile fractures visible on both the face and back.

Broken Joint
Ceramic tile installation featuring each row offset for half its length.

A trim tile with a convex radius on one edge. Used for finishing the top of a wainscot panel.

Bullnose Corner
Type of bullnose trim with a convex radius on two adjacent edges.

Butt Joint
The act of placing two tiles together closely to create a small grout joint.

Button Back Tile
A tile with round projections on the bondable side.

Cement Tile
A thin, ceramic surfacing unit made mostly from clay.

Composition Tile
A hard tile surfacing unit made from a mixture of chemicals.

The random pattern of fine lines or cracks on the surface of a crackle-glazed tile.

Double Bullnose
A trim with the same convex radius on two opposite sides.

Dry Spots
Small areas on the tile face which have been insufficiently glazed.

A cut tile used as filler in a wall or floor area.

Tile decorated with inlaid colored clays. Typically, laid in a wall or floor to form a pattern.

Epoxy Grout
A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener used to fill joints between tile units.

Epoxy Mortar
A two-part mortar system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener used to bond tile to back-up material where bond resistance exists.

Expansion Joint
A joint made through tile down to the substrate.

Extruded Tile
A tile or trim unit formed when plastic clay mixtures are forced through a pug mill opening (die) resulting in a continuous ribbon of formed clay. A wire cutter is used to cut the ribbon into appropriate lengths and widths of tile.

Field Tile
An area of tile that covers a wall or floor, bordered by trim.

Fire, Bisque
Kiln-firing ceramic before glazing.

Fire, Single
Maturing an unfired ceramic body and its glaze in a single firing.

Floor Tile
A ceramic paver or mosaic tile that is resistant to abrasion and impact.

Frost-Proof Tile
Tile used in freezing/thawing conditions.

Glass Mosaic Tiles
Glass tiles mounted on sheets of paper.

A glassy ceramic coating applied to a ceramic article.

A rich or strong cement or chemical setting-mix used for filling tile joints.

Grout Saw
A saw-toothed steel blade used to remove old grout.

In/Out Corner
Trim tile used for turning a right-angle either inside or outside a wall corner.

Kiln Crack
Cracks that occur when firing tiles.

Lap Joint
A joint made by overlapping adjacent edges to provide facing surfaces.

A condition where liquids ooze out of the joint between ceramic tiles.

A ceramic glaze having low gloss.

Organic tile adhesive.

Mexican Paver Tile
Terra cotta-like tile. Used mainly for floors.

Small bits of tile, stone, or glass used to form a surface pattern.

Mounted Tile
Tile assembled into units to facilitate handling and installation.

Paper and Wire
Tar paper and wire mesh used as a backing for tile installation.

Thick, unglazed tile (similar to ceramic mosaics) with a large facial area.

Imperfections in the surface of a ceramic body/glaze.

A mortar that has been allowed to harden prior to bonding tile to it.

Quarry Tile
A tile made from clay that is fired at a very high temperature to make it durable.

A metal grid used to space and align floor tiles.

Rubbing Stone
A stone used to smooth the rough edges of tile.

Running Bond
Also known as brick bond. A tile pattern that has the classic staggered "brick" pattern.

Self-spacing Tile
Tile that spaces the tile for grout joints.

Splash Wall
The walls of a tile drain board/bathtub.

The underlying support for tile installation.

Bonding tile with substances applied at about 1/8 inch thick.

Tile Cutter
An important tool that cuts tile into appropriately preferred dimensions.

Tile Nipper
Pliers that cut away little pieces of ceramic tile to create small, irregular cuts.

A tool used to straighten tiles on walls and floors, mark floated surfaces, fill small depressions, butter tiles and trim work, and place mortar in areas.

Unglazed Tile
A tile whose color, texture, and characteristics are created from the materials by which it is made.

Vapor Barrier
Waterproof membrane placed under concrete floor slabs. Also called a shower pan.

The lower part of an interior wall when finished in a material different from that of the upper part.

Wall Tile
A glazed-tile suitable for interior use. Wall tiles are not expected to withstand excessive impact.

Wet Area
Tiled areas subject to frequent moisture - for example, showers, sunken tubs, pools, and so on.

To find excellent tile contractors in your area, search Kudzu.com.

Popular on Kudzu

  1. How much could I pay for carpet cleaning?
  2. DIY Network Video: Easy Garage Door Check-up
  3. Video: How do I choose a garage door?
  4. How much does it cost to install new gutters?
  5. Incredible Lighting in 4 Steps

ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? Sign up for more articles, tips and savings

From Our Experts

  • The Four P's of Burst Pipes

    It's one of the worst experiences a homeowner can endure, and unfortunately, it's also...