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Glossary of Terms

Here is a guide to all of the terms used to describe natural stone flooring. This should help to make choosing your perfect tile as easy as possible. Our fantastic staff are always available to help with any questions you may have.

Antiqued Finish - A finish that replicates distressed textures of an old worn stone. Produced through mechanical or chemical means to simulate the naturally occurring effects of the aging process.

Bevelled edge – A term used to describe the edge of a tile cut at a slight angle on the edges to create what is also known as a chamfer. A bevel is most commonly used for mirror edges but can establish a more distinctive grout line when tiling.

Brushed – a finishing method used to remove softer parts of the stone and give it a worn appearance providing subtle surface texture. The stone is wet-brushed with a coarse rotary-type abrasive brush to give it a worn surface which is textured and smooth in parts.

Calibrated - These tiles have been machine cut to the same tile thickness.

Chipped and brushed edge – Tile edges have been distressed to give a chiselled look and then brushed to make them softer to touch. This style edge provides a rustic appearance and results in feature grout lines.

Filled - Usually referring to a travertine tile with natural pitting that is filled with grout or resin at source. Once filled the stone can be finished to a honed or polished surface depending on the required look. A filled material may require occasional maintenance to refill original filled areas, an easy process with a travertine repair kit.

Fissure – Often mistaken as a crack in a tile a fissure is a naturally occurring, mineral vein which is noticeable as it is normally differs in colour to the stone itself.

FL (Free Length) - A format for laying tiles of fixed width but varied lengths of 2 or more variations. Eg tiles are consistently 500mm wide so the tiles are laid in rows but will have offset grout lines to create a more traditional look.

Flagstone - A large format tile usually used to create the look of a traditional stone floor, usually suitable for use inside and outside.

Grand Opus Pattern – A larger format version of the Opus Pattern which gives a random look using at least three different sized tiles in a set pattern. The grand opus pattern is often used in larger areas where the opus pattern may look too busy.

Hand-dressed edge – Edges of the tiles have been hand-finished for a distressed appearance showing evidence of craftsmanship.

Honed – The stone has been finished to a smooth, matt finish.

Opus Pattern – One of several laying patterns which uses at least three different sized tiles for a random appearance. This pattern repeats across the floor in a set pattern and can break up large areas or contribute to a more rustic finish.

Polished – Tiles have had a gloss finish applied to give them a shiny, reflective surface.

Riven – A finish achieved by splitting across natural layers in the stone to give an uneven, textured surface.

Sawn edge – Similar to a square edge but with subtle imperfections. 

Sealing - A process of applying a liquid form of sealant to protect tiles from staining.

Split face – Highly textured, small cut sections of stone are pieced together in this contemporary finish which exposes the stones natural textures. Often used for mosaics and as a feature.

Square edge – A clean cut, straight finish to the tile edges.

Tumbled – A process that leaves the stone with a softly, rounded edge and textured surface to achieve a worn appearance.

Unfilled – Natural occurring pits and voids in the stone are left unfilled. These pits can be left unfilled for a more rustic look or filled with grout during the installation process.

Vein-Cut – Specific to travertine, tiles are cut following the direction of the natural vein of the stone.