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tile glossary

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Sample/Sample Board

A small piece of flooring that acts as a representation of the final product.

Sampling

Using a small piece of a product as a sample.

Sand Mix

A mixture of sand and cementious material applied not more than 2" thick to patch or level mortar beds.

Sandblasting

Propelling sand at a high speed onto a surface to clean or roughen it.

Screed

aka:

Using a straightedge or other tool to level mortar in a mortar bed.

Sculptured Tile

Tile that has been sculpted or molded for decoration.

Sealant Coating

aka:

See Sealer

Sealer

A coat that is applied to the surface of a floor before applying finish or other coats, which prevents the finish from being absorbed into the flooring itself. Also may be applied as a final finishing step to a flooring surface to add protection and moist

Self-Spacing Tile

Tile that has built in spacers or lugs.

Semi-Rubbed Finish

A finish obtained by rubbing high areas of a surface down while leaving some lower areas with their natural texture.

Semi-Vitreous Tile

Semi glass-like tile with a water absorption rate between 3% and 7%.

Shear

Applying the stress of two forces acting in opposite directions on an object.

Shot-Sawn Finish

A rough finish obtained by using a gang saw to saw random, textured markings with chilled steel shots.

Sill

A flat finishing piece often installed horizontally under windows and other openings.

Slab

A rectangular or square cut of stone from a quarry which has two parallel surfaces.

Slip Resistance

A measurement of the frictional resistance of an object from moving across a surface.

Smooth Finish / Smooth Planer Finish

A finish obtained using a planer machine with any tool marks removed after use.

Soffit

The visible underside of an arch, portico, or other piece generally installed over a door way.

Spacer

Small device in a cross, T, or Y shape that is used to evenly space tiles during installation.

Special Purpose Tile

Tile that has been specially made to fit a certain requirement. This can range from a specific color, size, shape, decoration, strength, or other physical property.

Straight 90° Edge

An edge of a tile that forms a right angle, creating a clean look.

Straight Joint

Joints installed in alignment with each other.

Structural Defects

A defect in the body of flooring, which diminishes the overall appearance or structural integrity.

Subfloor

The base floor of a structure on top of which the flooring is installed. Typically this is made of wood or concrete.

Substrate

The surface that the flooring is installed on. Generally it is the subfloor.

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