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The Italian

The Italian Ceramic Tile Dictionary


Assopiastrelle (the Association of Italian Ceramic
Tile and Refractories Manufacturers) has com-
piled this dictionary as a reference for anyone
involved in the selection and installation of Italian
ceramic tile.
It is intended to assist the dealer as well as the
Ceramic Tile
consumer, the contractor, architect, designer,
or installer.
The first section of this publication supplies
definitions for the most frequently encountered
Dictionary
trade terms, while the second section provides the
translation of these terms from English to Italian A dictionary of the most common
and vice-versa. terms used in the ceramic tile trade
Promoted by

ASSOPIASTRELLE
Association of Italian Ceramic Tile
and Refractories Manufacturers
Sources
41049 Sassuolo (MO) - Italy Ceramic Tiles: The International Standards, CERLabs,
Viale Monte Santo, 40 Bologna, Italy
Tel. +39 0536 818 111
Fax +39 0536 807 935
www.assopiastrelle.it The Guide to Italian Ceramic Tile, Produced by the
info@assopiastrelle.it Italian Trade Commission, Tile Center in cooperation
with Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile
In collaboration with and Refractories Manufacturers), New York, New York
D. Grosser & Associates Ltd.

Text revised by Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile: Performance and


Centro Ceramico di Bologna Controversies, C. Palmonari and G. Timellini,
EDI.CER., Sassuolo, Italy

Printed by: Calderini Industrie Grafiche - Ozzano Emilia (BO) Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation, TCA (Tile
DTP: Diemmi Gino Srl - Reggio Emilia
Design: Maiarelli Rathkopf Council of America), Clemson, South Carolina

1999
American National Standard Specifications for
Copyright by Edi.Cer S.p.A Ceramic Tile, TCA (Tile Council of America), Clemson,
40122 Sassuolo - Viale Monte Santo, 40 - Italy South Carolina
Tel. +39 0536 220 736 - Fax +39 0536 237 758
E-mail: info@ceramictiles.it
American National Standard Specifications for the
Installation of Ceramic Tile, TCA (Tile Council of
Italian ceramic tiles are America), Clemson, South Carolina
displayed at :

International exhibition of ceramics for the building industry


and bathroom furnishing
Contents
8 Introduction

9 Classification and
Manufacturing of Italian
Ceramic Tile

19 Lexicon for the ceramic tile


industry

Ceramic tile dictionary


56 English / Italian

72 Italian / English

85 Sources
3

Introduction
Ceramic tile is a building material unpar-
alleled for its combination of practicality
and beauty. For centuries, it has been
used to adorn humble kitchens and
majestic palaces. Its values have
remained unchanged. What has
changed, however, is the variety of
ceramic tile offered. New technology has
introduced an ever-widening selection of
tile for almost every application.

As the worlds leading manufacturer of


ceramic tile (with an yearly production
of 600 000 000m2), Italy is at the fore-
front of design and technological innova-
tion. New firing techniques produce
tiles suitable for tough industrial installa-
tions. New glazing techniques produce
floor tiles in colors and finishes never
before possible. Tile size can range up to
4

Introduction

60cm2. The variety of shapes is nearly


endless.

Today, Italy produces 43% of tile in


international commerce, supplying con-
tractors and dealers around the globe.
As the variety of tile and its application
has increased, so have the terms and
nomenclature used to describe it. In
addition to the abundance of newly
coined expressions, there is a great lati-
tude in commonly used terminology. A
contractors term may be understood dif-
ferently from a laymans term or that of a
retailer.

This dictionary is intended for everyone


involved in the selection and installation
of Italian ceramic tile, from the dealer
and contractor to the consumer and
5

specifier. It is a two-part reference tool.


In the first section, definitions are sup-
plied for the most frequently encoun-
tered trade terms from production to
end-use. The second section supplies
translations of these terms from English
to Italian and vice versa.

We hope that this dictionary will con-


tribute to the users knowledge and
enjoyment of Italian ceramic tiles.

A NGELO B ORELLI
President, Assopiastrelle
(Association of Italian Ceramic Tile
and Refractories Manufacturers)

Please note that this reference is intended for general information only and is not
intended for use in specification of ceramic tile or installation materials.
The Italian
Ceramic Tile
Dictionary
A dictionary of the most common
terms used in the ceramic tile trade
8

Classification and M
of Italian Ceramic T
Notes

Ceramic tiles are derived from mixtures of clay, sand


and other natural materials that are shaped into slabs
and fired at high temperatures, up to 1250 C. Their
composition is the same as that of all ceramic material,
from tableware and sanitary ware to roofing tiles. Like
all ceramic material, ceramic tiles are durable, hygien-
ic, non-combustible, fire-resistant, and easy to main-
tain. Tiles are also rigid and feature relatively low
resistance to shock. These features are intrinsic to the
nature of ceramic materials.
As floor and wall covering, ceramic tile serves a dual
function: an aesthetic function as a design component
and a technical function as a finishing building materi-
al. As a building material, ceramic tile must be able to
withstand a range of environmental stresses. Features
defined by international norms govern the technical
function of ceramic floor and wall tiles.

1 - Classification and application


According to current international norms (ISO13006),
ceramic tiles are classified into 9 groups based on two
features: the level of water absorption and the shaping
method (see Table 1). This simple classification is war-
ranted given the extremely wide range of products
9

Manufacturing
Tile
with different trade names and countries of origin.
The chosen features are also significant factors in
defining the performance specifications of the differ-
ent products.
As will be discussed later, there are norms and accep-
tance requirements for standardized characteristics
within each group.

Table 1
Tile technical classification according to ISO

Shaping method Water absorption W.A. (%)


I II a II b III
W.A. 3 3 < W.A. 6 6 < W.A. 10 W.A. > 10

A Extruded
AI A II a A II b A III
tiles
B Dry-pressed
BI B II a B II b B III
tiles

In the new ISO norms (ISO 13006), the group BI is


devided in two subgroups: BIa (W.A. 0,05%) and
BIb (< W.A. 3%). In addition to the ISO norms,
other well-established classification systems (technical
and artistic) are still used in trade. Table 2 shows the
technical-commercial classification used in Italy.

Most ceramic tiles are shaped by dry-pressing (B


groups). About 95% of tiles produced in Italy are dry-
10

Classification and Manufacturing of Italian Ceramic Tile

pressed. Their usage can be roughly outlined as follows:


- Unglazed tiles (clinker, cotto, red stoneware and
porcelain stoneware) are used mainly for floors.
Clinker and porcelain stoneware have also been suc-
cessfully used on walls, particularly in exterior appli-
cations.
- Majolica and white body-earthenware are typical
materials for tiling indoor walls.
- Single-fired tiles (red and white body) are generally
used for floors. However, in recent years, mono-
porosa, a porous single-fired material, has been
developed for wall applications.
- Cottoforte is used for tiling indoor floors and walls.
- Vitrified, dry-pressed tiles (BI) and extruded tiles,
mostly unglazed (clinker and cotto), are used mostly
in exterior installations.

This outline demonstrates the range and variety of


product types that can be included in the classification
of ceramic tile for floors and walls. The range of tech-
nical and aesthetic features and of the performances
by the different types is vast as well. The performance
range in particular has expanded in recent years,
thanks to the development of glazed and unglazed
products with superior resistance to a variety of envi-
ronmental stresses. Once relegated to kitchens and
baths, ceramic tile is now a viable alternative for any
11

public and industrial application. The versatility of


ceramic tile is further enhanced by the almost endless
range of colors, textures, and decorative motifs, and
by the range of sizes from less than 10 x 10cm to more
than 60 x 60cm.
Table 2
Commercial Classification of the Italian Tiles

Technical/ Structure Surface Body color Class


commercial name according
to UNI EN
G zed
d

ed

87
Vi us
fie

la

O e
er
laz

t
ro

ng
tri

hi
th
Po

W
U

Majolica B III

Cottoforte B IIb-B III


White single-fired material B I-B IIa
Red single-fired material B I-B II-B III
Earthenware-white body B III
Clinker A I-A IIa
Cotto AII-AIII
Red stoneware BI
Porcelain stoneware B I (BIa)

2 The Manufacturing of Ceramic Tile


Raw materials for the body: The range of tile bodies is
as vast as the above-mentioned range of products.
Majolica, cottoforte, red body single-fired products,
cotto and red stoneware are mainly obtained from a
natural mixture, i.e. a mixture of few clays coming
from the same quarry. White or light body tiles (earth-
12

Classification and Manufacturing of Italian Ceramic Tile

enware, white single-fired products and porcelain


stoneware) are obtained from mixtures prepared in
the factory. Illitic and kaolinitic white clays, calcite and
dolomite, sand, talc and feldspars generally form the
earthenware body.
Mixtures of kaolin, white-firing plastic clays, feldspars
and sands are used for white single-fired products and
porcelain stoneware.

Body preparation: The dry process with traditional


wetting is generally used for all products obtained
from a single raw material (majolica, cottoforte, red
stoneware). The dry process with granulation is used
for medium-sintered or porous red single-fired prod-
ucts to be fired in slow-firing kilns. The wet process
(wet grinding and spray drying) is used for all the
white body products (earthenware, white single-fired
products, and porcelain stoneware) and for red single-
fired and highly vitrified products to be fired in fast-
firing kilns.

Shaping: With the exception of cotto and clinker,


which are shaped by extrusion, all types of ceramic
tiles are shaped by dry-pressing, generally with
hydraulic presses.

Drying: Hot-air, rapid dryers are most commonly used.


13

Glazes and glazing: Glazes are mixtures of frits, sand,


kaolin, coloring agents and opacifiers, mostly applied
wet using different systems. Decoration is often
obtained by silk-screening. The double-firing tech-
nique, in which glaze is applied to the previously fired
body, is still used today for products in majolica and
cottoforte. In the single-firing method, glaze is applied
to the dried raw body before firing. Many innovative
techniques have been developed to improve the
mechanical features of the glazed surface. Some of the
most important are dry applications and press-glazing
(the application of the glaze in powder form when
pressing the tile body).

Firing: Single-layer fast-firing kilns are used for most


products. The firing temperatures range between
1000-1020 for porous products; 1050-1100C for red
single-fired products; 1150-1200C for white single-
fired products; and 1200 1220C for porcelain
stoneware.

3 Characteristics and norms


The characteristics that ceramic floor and wall tiles
must have, according to their intended use, are indi-
cated and classified in Table 3. The norms currently in
force require their check.
14

Classification and Manufacturing of Italian Ceramic Tile

Table 3
Tile characteristics

Floor Wall

t.

t.
t.

t.
Ex

Ex
In

In
Water absorption
STRUCTURAL
Characteristics Porosity and apparent density
Characteristics of Size and aspect
REGUALRITY
Modulus of rupture
MASSIVE
MECHANICAL Breaking load
Characteristics
Impact resistance
SURFACE
Hardness
MECHANICAL
Characteristics Abrasion resistance

Frost resistance

Thermal shock resistance


THERMO
HYGROMETRIC Thermal expansion
Characteristics
Moisture expansion

Crazing resistance (Glazed tiles)

Stain resistance
CHEMICAL
Characteristics Resistance to chemicals

Lead and Cadmium release


SAFETY
Characteristics Slipperiness (friction coefficient)
15

Without examining all the characteristics in detail,


some general aspects should be noted.

Water absorption, a measurement of open porosity,


is one of the determining parameters in the technical
classification of ceramic tiles. Porosity significantly
influences many other characteristics and, therefore,
the performance of the product.

Water absorption is an important aspect in deter-


mining frost resistance. Not only the quantity of
pores, but also their size must be considered. In
dry-pressed ceramic tiles, which feature roughly
round and generally small pores, a lower absorption
level reduces the risk of frost damage, as in porce-
lain stoneware, with a water absorption level of less
than 0.5%.

The mechanical and chemical characteristics of


glazed tiles surface depend on the composition and
microstructure of the glaze which also affect its
durability. Micropores in the glaze can contribute to
surface damage, such as ingrained dirt, as wear
increases. However, as mentioned above, in recent
years, innovative glazing techniques have been devel-
oped that have improved the glaze microstructure
and produced glazed tiles capable of withstanding
16

Classification and Manufacturing of Italian Ceramic Tile

the high levels of chemical and mechanical surface


stress often present in contract and commercial
flooring applications.

Finally, it should be noted that in addition to fea-


tures defining ceramic tile performance in a given
installation, the new ISO norms also require checks
for features relating to ceramic tiles impact on the
environment and safety in use.
17
Lexicon for the
Industry
e Ceramic Tile
20

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

A
1. Abrasion resistance
The degree to which a floor tiles surface will with-
stand friction (the wear of foot traffic). Resistance is
determined by abrasion tests, and tiles are grouped
accordingly.

2. Abrasion test
ISO Abrasion resistance standards for Glazed tiles
(ISO 10545-7) classify tiles from Group I (suitable for
light residential traffic) to Group V (suitable for
Commercial traffic and passing stain resistance tests).
Unglazed tiles may be tested for resistance to deep
abrasion (ISO 10545-6); results are expressed as volu-
me of material removed, in cubic mm.

3. ACI
American Concrete Institute

4. Acid resistance
(see Chemical resistance)

5. Adhesive
(see Bonding Material)

6. Aggregate
1) A mixture of diverse minerals or other loose materials
in a cementing agent. 2) Fine sand for mortar and grout.
21

A/B
7. Alkali resistance
(see Chemical resistance)

8. ANSI
American National Standards Institute, responsible for
establishing standards and testing methods for ceramic
tiles in the United States. (see Standards)

9. Anti-slip tiles
(see Slip resistant tiles)

10. Antistatic tiles


(see Conductive tiles)

11. Apparent joint


Decorative feature that simulates grout lines or joints
on a single tile, so that a large tile, for example, may
appear to be four smaller tiles.

12. Attached to net


(see Mounted tiles)

B
13. Bas-relief
Decorative technique in which design elements are
sculpted or carved to be raised slightly from back-
ground.
22

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

B
14. Base tiles
Trim tiles with a curved edge used at a perpendicular
junction for desired sanitary or aesthetic design.

15. Bed (tile)


Layer of mortar or other adhesive that covers the sur-
face to be tiled and onto which the tiles are set.

16. Biscuit or Bisque


(see Body of Tile)

17. Body (of tile)


The structural portion of a ceramic article, as distinct
from the glaze, or the material or mixture from which
the item is made.

18. Bonding Material


Any of the mortars or adhesives used to install ceramic
tile. Choice of bonding material is determined by the
selection of tile and requirements of area to be tiled.

19. Border tiles


(see Trim tiles)

20. Breaking strength


The ability of a material to resist breaking or rupture
from a tension force. (ISO 10545-4).
23

B/C
21. Bullnose tiles
Trim tiles featuring one rounded edge used to finish
wall installations or turn outside corners.
Also Double-Bullnose tiles with two rounded edges.

22. Buttering, also Back-buttering


Applying bonding material directly to the back of a
tile to provide additional coverage in the setting bed.
Technique usually applied to large (8x8 and up) tiles.

23. Button-back
Small, button-like protrusions on the back of a cera-
mic tile.

C
24. Cap tiles
(see Bullnose tiles)

25. Carton
Box in which tiles are packed. Cartons generally con-
tain 1 1.5 sq. meters of tile.

26. Carton marking (labelling)


ISO standards specify that tile or its packaging shall
indicate the manufacturer and country of origin; the
mark of first quality; the type of tile and classification
(ISO 13006 annex); nominal and work sizes; whether
24

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

C
the tile is glazed or unglazed. In addition, symbols
may indicate whether the tile is suitable for floors or
walls, the class of abrasion resistance, and whether the
tile is frostproof.

27. CCB
Italian Ceramic Center of Bologna (Italy). (Centro
Ceramico di Bologna) CCB is the official laboratory for
Research, Testing, and Analysis of Ceramic Materials
and Products in Italy. The Center is located at Via
Martelli 26, Bologna, 40138 Italy. e-mail: centro.cera-
mico@cencerbo.it

28. CEN
European Committee for Norms and Standards,
responsible for establishing standards and testing
methods for ceramic tiles in Europe. (see Standards)

29. Ceramic litho


(see Decal)

30. Ceramic tiles


A flat, cladding or building material, of relative thin-
ness, composed of clays and fired to hardness.
The face may be glazed or unglazed.
25

C
31. CERLABS
European network of National Ceramic Laboratories.

32. Certification system


(see Standards)

33. Chemical resistance


The ability of a tile(s) surface to withstand damage from
chemicals, acids, alkalis and swimming pool salts in
accordance with ISO testing methods (ISO 10545-13).

34. China tiles


(see Impervious Tiles)

35. Chip resistance


(see Impact resistance)

36. Cigar tiles


(see Pencil Tiles)

37. Cladding
Covering, particularly wall covering.

38. Classification system


Ceramic tiles are classified by the ISO according to
the method of manufacture (extruded, dry-pressed,
other) and to the level of water absorption (see
page 9).
26

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

C
39. Clay
Natural earthen material, plastic when wet, that is the
basic raw material of ceramic tiles.
40. Cleavage membrane
Sheeting or underlayment panel that separates the
backing surface from the mortar bed and tile, required
when the surface to be tiled is in poor or unsuitable
condition or may be damaged by water.
41. Clinker tiles
Natural clay tile, generally extruded, with properties
similar to red stoneware. (also Klinker)
42. Coefficient of friction
Measurement, either dynamic or static, used to deter-
mine different aspects of slippage on a tiled plane.
Measures include wet and dry conditions, speed of
subject, required force to move subject, and critical
angle of tiled surface.
Area use and maintenance directly affect a tiles coeffi-
cient of friction. (ISO 10545-17, annex A, B, and C
define methods for determining a tiles coefficient of
friction.)
43. Coefficient of restitution
Measurement used to determine a ceramic tiles impact
resistance. (ISO 10545-5)
27

C
44. Conductive tiles
Tiles specially manufactured to absorb electrostatic
charges and conduct them to ground, used in hospital
operating rooms and computer installations.

45. Construction joint


The surface where two successive layers of concrete
meet. (ACI)

46. Contraction joint


Groove in concrete structure to regulate location of
cracking resulting from dimensional change of diffe-
rent parts of structure (ACI)

47. Control joint


(see Contraction joint)

48. Coordinating size


Work size of tile plus the joint width.

49. Corner tiles


(see Trim Tiles)
50. Corundum
An abrasive or grit added to a tile glaze in order to
increase tile slip-resistance.

51. Cotto
(see Terracotta)
28

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

C
52. Cove base tiles
Cove trim tiles with rounded top edge, used to finish
tile installation as baseboard, backsplash, etc.
Also known as Sanitary Cove Base.

53. Cove tiles


Trim tiles featuring one curved edge to tile inside
corners.

54. Crackle glaze


Special glaze featuring fine-line cracks for antique
effect.

55. Crazing
A fine, hair-line cracking which sometimes appears on
the glazed face of a tile. Usually caused by tensile
stress between tile body and glaze.
May be intentionally produced for artistic effect.

56. Crazing resistance


Testing for crazing resistance of glazed tiles (except
when a decorative feature) is defined by ISO 10545-11.

57. Crystalline finish


Extra thick glaze usually applied to small tiles for arti-
stic effect, sometimes used on counter-top tiles for
additional protection.
29

C/D
58. Curing
Process allowing new tile installation to set.

D
59. Decal
Transfer design used to decorate ceramic tiles.

60. Decorated tiles


Ceramic tiles that have been embellished by means of
hand-painting, silk-screening, decals or other technique.

61. Dimensional Standards for ceramic tiles


First quality ceramic tiles must meet the ISO stan-
dards of their class for length, width, thickness, strai-
ghtness of sides, rectangularity, and surface flatness.
(ISO 13006 normative annex). (see also Standards)

62. Double-extruded tiles


Split tiles (see also Extruded tiles)

63. Double-fired tiles


Glazed tiles produced by an initial firing of the shaped
tile body and then a second firing once the glaze or
decoration has been applied.

64. Dry-pressed tiles


(see Dust-pressed)
30

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

D/E
65. Dust-pressed tiles
Tiles formed by the dust pressed method in which the
finely milled raw materials are shaped in molds at high
pressure before firing. (see also Extruded tiles)

E
66. Earthenware tiles
(see White-body)

67. Edge tiles


(see Trim Tiles)

68. Efflorescence
Crystalline deposit that sometimes appears on the sur-
face of grout joints or unglazed tiles as a whitish pow-
der or crust, caused by moisture reacting with impuri-
ties in the mortar.

69. Electrical resistance


Degree to which ceramic tiles conduct electrical cur-
rent.
Ceramic tile is an electrical insulator, highly resistant
to conductivity and electrostatic build-up.
In areas such as operating rooms and certain laborato-
ries where conductivity is desirable, special ceramic
tiles are manufactured. (see Conductive tiles)
31

E
70. Engobed surface
Clay based covering with a matte finish. May be per-
meable or impermeable. Engobed tiles are considered
unglazed tiles.

71. Epoxy
Resin material used in mortars and grouts for thin-set
tile installations. (see Thin-set installation)

72. Expansion (of tile)


(see Linear thermal expansion, Moisture expansion)

73. Expansion joint


1) Separation provided between adjoining parts of a
structure to allow movement at stress points to prevent
cracking. 2). Separation between pavement slabs on
grade, filled with a compressible filler material (ACI)

74. Exterior tiles


Tiles suitable for outdoor applications because of their
frost resistance.

75. Extruded tiles


Tiles formed by the extrusion process wherein the still
malleable or plastic raw material is forced through a
mold and then cut into shape before firing.
Extruded tiles are further classified as Precision or
Natural based on technical characteristics relating to
32

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

E/F
dimensional and surface qualities (ISO 13006).
single extruded tiles are produced in a long slab which
is then cut to shape.
double-extruded tiles, also known as split tiles, are pro-
duced in a column that must be split before tiles are
cut. (see also Dust-pressed tiles)

F
76. Faience tiles
Highly decorated glazed earthenware tiles.

77. Fast firing (single, double)


Firing process of the ceramic raw material completed
in less than two hours.

78. Finishes
Textural or visual characteristics of a tile surface. For
glazed tile this may be bright or high gloss, satin or
matte. For glazed or unglazed tiles, examples would
be a flashed finish, textured, polished, raised, embos-
sed, dimpled, etched, scored, ribbed etc.

79. Fire resistance


Ability to withstand burning by flame. Ceramic tiles
are fireproof at any temperature and will not feed a
fire or release toxic emissions.
33

F
80. Firing
Final step of tile manufacturing process when raw mate-
rial is baked at high temperature (up to 1250C for
impervious tiles) to harden tile body and glaze, if any.

81. Flashed appearance


Decorative effect achieved by flashing the tile with a
thin layer of colored or opalescent glaze.

82. Flat-back tiles


Tiles without buttons on the back.

83. Floor tiles


Glazed or unglazed tiles of sufficient strength, impact
and abrasion resistance to withstand the weight and
wear of foot traffic.

84. Fluted tiles


(see Ribbed tiles)

85. Formella
Square tile of classic style with antique glazed or bas-
relief decoration.

86. Freccia
Trim tile, a type of zigzag mosaic tile.
34

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

F/G
87. Frostproof tiles
Tiles specifically designated by the manufacturer to
withstand freeze/thaw conditions with minimal effect,
hence suitable for exterior applications exposed to
high humidity and low temperatures.

88. Frost resistance


Ability of certain ceramic tiles to withstand
freeze/thaw conditions with minimal effect. Frost-resi-
stance of ceramic tile is dependent on the tiles poro-
sity and water absorption levels. Frost-resistance
testing is defined by ISO 10545-12.

89. Fully vitrified stoneware


(see Impervious stoneware tiles)

G
90. Glass mosaic
Mosaic tiles composed of glass, rather than ceramic,
material; mosaic tiles coated with a layer of colored or
transparent glass.
91. Glaze
Glassy coating fired on a ceramic tile.
92. Glazed tiles
Ceramic tiles with an opaque or transparent coating
that has been fused to the tile body by firing, creating
35

G/H
a smooth, impermeable surface that may also be highly
decorated.

93. Grade sorting


Process in the production cycle when tiles are sorted
to eliminate defective tiles, to separate higher quality
tiles from lower, and to group tiles according to work
size and shade.

94. Grs tiles


(see Impervious tiles)

95. Grout
Installation material used to fill the joints between tiles.

96. Grout joint


Space left between tiles to be filled with grout. This
space may be extremely narrow or wider depending
on the required installation and/or its aesthetics.

H
97. Hand-pressed tiles
Special tiles pressed by hand into molds for decora-
tive effect.

98. High traffic tiles


Floor tiles with sufficient abrasion resistance to be
36

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

I
used in areas of high foot traffic, such as hotel lobbies
and airports.

I
99. Impact resistance
Ability of ceramic tile to resist breakage either
throughout the body or as surface chipping as the
result of a heavy blow. In general, ceramic tile is not a
resilient material, and care should be taken to avoid
dropping heavy or sharp objects on its surface.
Glazed tiles are more susceptible to surface chipping
than unglazed tiles. International Standards are establi-
shed for the impact resistance of ceramic tiles by mea-
suring their coefficient of restitution (ISO 10545-5).

100. Impervious stoneware tiles


Dust-pressed ceramic tiles with water absorption levels
<0.5% and high mechanical and chemical characteristics.
The surface of these tiles may be glazed or unglazed.
Often specified for exterior installations.
Also known as Fully Vitrified Stoneware or Porcelain
Stoneware.

101. Inserts
Small, sometimes decorative tiles used in combination
with larger or plain tiles to create patterns. Small squa-
re inserts are known as insets.
37

I
102. Installation
The process of bonding tiles to the intended surface;
the finished tiled surface (also known as tile laying or
tile fixing).

103. Installation bed


The components of a tile installation applied to the
subsurface, including reinforcing or protective
backing, bonding materials, tile and grout.
104. Interior tiles
Tiles suitable only for indoor installation.
105. Iridescent tiles
Tiles decorated with a lustrous glaze that contains
many seemingly changing colors.
106. ISO
International Standards Organization, a worldwide
federation of national standards bodies.
ISO/TC 189 Ceramic Tiles has drafted international
standards for ceramic tiles.
ISO Standards will be used by tile manufacturers
worldwide.
107. Isolation joint
A separation between adjoining parts of a vertical con-
crete structure designed to allow for relative move-
ment in three directions.
38

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

I/J/K/L
108. ISO Standards
Standards established by the International Standards
Organization to unify product standards and testing
methods for ceramic tiles worldwide.
These are the standards referred to in this dictionary.

J
109. Joint
See particular type of joint, i.e. expansion, grout, isola-
tion, mortar.

110. Jolly tiles


Trim tiles mitered along one or two edges, used in cor-
ner and countertop installations. Also called angled
(45) tiles.

K
111. Klinker
(see Clinker)

L
112. Linear Thermal Expansion
The change in the dimensions of a given material as a
result of changes in temperature.

113. Lippage
In finished installation, the condition where one edge
39

L/M
of a tile is higher than an adjacent tile.
May be unavoidable even for tiles that are within the
tolerances of dimensional standards.

114. Low-relief
(see Bas-relief)

115. Lozenge
(see Picket)
116. Lug
(see Spacer lug)
117. Luster
An iridescent decorative surface appearance on glazes,
usually produced by the application of a very thin
metal film, such as gold, silver, platinum or copper,
over the coating surface.

M
118. Majolica tiles
Tiles composed of raw materials that produce a yellow-
pink body of relatively high water absorption level.
119. Matte glaze
Glaze that produces a non-shiny finish.
120. Mechanical strength
(see Breaking Strength)
40

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

M
121. Mesh backed tiles
(see Mounted Tiles)

122. Mitered tiles


(see Jolly Tiles)

123. Modulus of rupture


A measure of the cohesive characteristics of the mate-
rial forming the tile, relating to the degree of compact-
ness and consistency. (ISO 10545-4)

124. Mohs scale


Scale used to express the measure of a materials hard-
ness from Mohs 1 (hardness of talc) to 10 (diamond).

125. Moisture barrier


A component of the installation bed that provides
protection from wetness to mortar and tiles.

126. Moisture expansion


Change in dimension a porous tile may undergo as a
result of moisture absorption, analogous to change
produced by temperature increase (see Linear
Thermal Expansion). (ISO 10545-10)

127. Monocottura tiles


Tiles produced by the single-firing method.
41

M
128. Monoporosa tiles
Single-fired tiles with higher porosity and water
absorption levels than traditional monocottura tiles.
129. Moorish tiles
Ornate curve-shaped tiles, also known as Ogee or
Provenal tile.

130. Mortar
The setting material used to bond tiles to a given
surface. Different types of mortar are suitable for
different backing and conditions.

131. Mortar bed


The layer of the installation bed to which tiles are
directly bonded; the installation bed.

132. Mortar fixing


(see Installation)

133. Mortar joint


Joint composed of, or embedded in, cement mortar.

134. Mosaic tiles


Ceramic mosaic tiles are defined by their size, general-
ly less than 6 square.
Their composition is the same as ceramic tiles. They
may be glazed or unglazed.
42

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

M/N
135. Mounted tiles
Tiles assembled into units or sheets by the manufactu-
rer for easier installation. Back and edge mounted tiles
are bonded to material (mesh, paper, resin or other)
that becomes a part of the installation.
Face mounted tiles are bonded to a material that is
removed prior to grouting.

136. Mud-set
(see Thick-bed installation)

N
137. Natural clay tiles
Tiles made from clays producing a dense body and
having a distinctive, textured appearance. May be
extruded or dust-pressed.

138. Net, attached to


(see Mounted Tiles)

139. Nominal size


The approximate size of tiles face or thickness used
for general purposes.

140. Non-slip tiles


(see Slip-resistant tiles)
43

N/O/P
141. Non-vitreous tiles
Tiles with a water absorption level higher than 6%
based on ISO 10545-3.

142. Notching
Use of a notched trowel to comb the mortar bed to
improve tiles adhesion.

O
143. Ogee tiles
Double-curve shaped tiles, also known as Provenal or
Moorish tiles.

144. Orange peel


A pitted, textured face, resembling orange skin, which
provides a slip-resistant surface.

145. Outdoor tiles


(see Exterior tiles)

P
146. Paver
Glazed or unglazed dust-pressed tile having a surface
of 6 or more (ANSI); unglazed floor tile.

147. P.E.I.
Porcelain Enamel Institute, responsible for research,
44

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

P
testing and analysis of ceramic materials in the United
States.

148. Pencil tiles


Narrow rectangular tiles (e.g. 2x20cm) sometimes with
rounded surface, used on walls as accent pieces.
Also called Cigar tiles.

149. Picket
Rectangular trim tile, pointed at the narrow ends

150. Plastic method


(see Extruded Tiles)

151. Polished finish


The shiny surface of an unglazed tile, achieved by
mechanical polishing at the final stage of production.

152. Porcelain tiles


(see Impervious Tiles)

153. Porosity
Volume of pores relative to volume of tile body that
are capable of absorbing moisture.
See also water absorption.

154. Portland cement


Type of hydraulic cement often used in tile installation
45

P/Q/R
155. Precision tiles
Extruded tiles with technical characteristics subject to
less change in dimensional quality and surface flatness
than Natural extruded tiles.

156. Pressed tiles


(see Dust-pressed tiles)

157. Provenal tiles


Decoratively curved and shaped tiles. Also known as
Ogee or Moorish tiles.

Q
158. Quality grade
(see ISO Standard)

159. Quarry tiles


Traditional term for single-extruded, natural clay tiles
with a water absorption level not exceeding 6%

R
160. Red stoneware tiles
Tiles composed of typically Italian raw materials that
produce a red vitrified tiled body suitable for indoor
or outdoor use.
Generally unglazed.
46

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

R/S
161. Relief
(see Bas-relief)
162. Ribbed tiles
Tiles with a ridged or ribbed finish that provides a slip
resistant surface.

163. Rustic finish


Rough or uneven tile surface designed for a non-
mechanical, artistic effect.

S
164. Sanitary Cove Base
(see Cove base tiles).

165. Satin glaze


Glaze that produces a low-gloss finish.

166. Scratch hardness


(see Mohs scale)

167. Screeding
Leveling the mortar bed by dragging a screed across it.

168. Sealers
Clear coating sometimes applied to unglazed tile floor
to protect the surface from grease spills or to add
luster (also known as sealants).
47

S
169. Semi-vitreous tiles
Tiles with water absorption levels over 3% but below
6%, determined by ISO 10545-3.

170. Silk-screening
Technique for applying decoration to tiles using sten-
cils and forcing color through a mesh.

171. Sill tiles


(see Window sill Tiles)

172. Single-extruded tiles


(see Extruded tiles)

173. Single-fired tiles


Glazed tiles produced by the single-firing method in
which the raw tile body and the glaze undergo a single
pass through the kiln at high temperature.
Also known as Monocottura tiles.

174. Skirting tiles


Rectangular trim tiles used along baseboard.
Length of tile is generally 3 to 4 times height.
Also known as baseboard tiles.

175. Slip resistant tiles


Tiles treated to prevent slipping either by adding an
abrasive grit to the glaze or texture to the surface such
48

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

S
as ribs, studs or orange peel finish.
(see Coefficient of Friction)

176. Spacers
Small plastic or wood pieces used during installation
to maintain even joint width between tiles.

177. Spacer lug


Built-in protrusion on the side of a ceramic tile as a
spacer.

178. Special trims


(see Trim tiles)

179. Split tiles


Traditional term for double-extruded tiles.
(see Extruded tiles)

180. Stain resistance


The ability of tile to withstand permanent staining by
a variety of substances. ISO standards are established
based on testing methods for stains with tracing,
oxidizing, and filming action. ISO 10545-14

181. Standards for Ceramic tiles


Grading procedures for the dimensional, structural,
and chemical characteristics of ceramic tile. In the
United States, standards are established by ANSI
49

S
(American National Standards Institute). In Europe,
the CEN (Comit Europen de Normalisation) stan-
dards are used. ISO (International Standard
Organization) standards have now been approved by
member organizations to unify standards worldwide.
These are the standards referred to in this dictionary.
182. Step-nose tiles
(see Step-tread tiles)

183. Step-tread tiles


Trim tiles for stairs featuring a ridged or abrasive strip
to prevent slipping; can be overhanging or abutted.
Also known as Step-nose tiles.

184. Stoneware tiles


(see Impervious stoneware tiles)

185. Strip tiles


Rectangular tiles generally used on walls as accent pie-
ces, sizes range from 6x20cm to 16x32cm.

186. Studded finish


Non-slip surface featuring a raised pattern of squares
or rounds.

187. Swimming pool tiles


Tiles suitable for application in or around a swimming
50

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

T
pool because of their frost resistance and/or slip resi-
stance.

T
188. Terracotta
Traditional Italian raw material used to produce ungla-
zed, red body tiles generally extruded and 1/2 thick
of more.
Surface may be rustic, smooth, polished, or waxed for
luster.

189. Thermal shock resistance


Ceramic tiles ability to resist alteration when subject
to rapidly fluctuating extreme temperatures, determi-
ned by ISO testing method. (ISO 10545-9)

190. Thick-bed installation


Method of tile installation using cement based mortar
applied in a minimum thickness of 3/4" (20mm) to
create the backing surface that will receive the tile.
Also known as Mud-set installation

191. Thin-set installation


Alternative to thick-set installation, thin-set method
uses a bond-coating less than 1/8" (2 mm). Requires a
level and sound surface for application.
51

T/U/V
192. Thrice-fired tiles
Decorated, glazed tiles that undergo a third firing after
the initial glaze has been applied. This technique is
used either to obtain special effects or because the
materials used (e.g. gold) require it. (also known as
Third-firing)

193. Trim tiles


Tiles of various shapes designed to meet the specific
architectural or sanitary needs of a given installation.
(see bullnose, caps, coves, skirting, mitered tiles, etc.
also known as Special trims)

U
194. Unglazed tiles
Tiles which may be left untreated after firing.
Unglazed tiles derive their color and texture from
their raw materials or may be colored by means of
oxides dispersed throughout the body.

V
195. Vitreous tiles
(see Impervious stoneware tiles)

196. Vitrified tiles


(see Impervious stoneware tiles)
52

Lexicon for the ceramic tile industry

W
W
197. Wall tiles
Generally glazed, non-vitreous tiles, for use on walls
where mechanical strength and impact or abrasion
resistance are not considerations.

198. Warpage
Dimensional defect of a tile's surface flatness; condi-
tion where one corner of a tile is not in the same plane
as the other three. Tolerances are given in ISO 13006
Normative annex.

199. Water absorption


The quantity of water a tile can absorb expressed as a
percent of the dry tile weight.
High water absorption corresponds to a porous struc-
ture, while compact, vitrified structures feature low
water absorption.
Water absorption is measured in accordance with
ISO 10545-3.

200. Water proofing


Preparing a surface to be protected from exposure to
water, usually by installing a pan or waterproof membrane.

201. Wet areas


Areas that are subjected to moisture or saturation
53

W
(usually by water) such as tub enclosures, gang showers,
steam rooms, swimming pools and exterior areas.

202. White-body earthenware tiles


Tiles composed of raw materials producing a white tile
body that can be coated with a transparent glaze and
takes color easily. Normally used for wall tiles.

203. Window sill tiles


Trim tiles for walls with a curved or overhanging edge
used around window casements.

204. Work size


The size of a tile specified for manufacturing to which
the actual (measured) size must conform, with speci-
fied tolerances.
Ceramic Tile D
English/Italian
ictionary:
56

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

A/B
1. Abrasion Abrasione
2. Abrasion resistance Resistenza allabrasione
3. Abrasion test Prova di resistenza allusura
4. Abrasive Abrasivo
5. Absorption Assorbimento
6. Acid resistance Resistenza agli acidi
7. Adhesive Adesivo, collante
8. Aggregate Aggregato
9. Alkali resistance Resistenza agli alcali
10. Anti-slip tiles Piastrelle antiscivolo
11. Antistatic tiles Piastrelle antistatiche
12. Apparent joint Fuga finta

B
13. Back Retro, parte posteriore
14. Baseboard, skirting Battiscopa
15. Bas-relief Basso rilievo
16. Bed, (tile) Strato di contatto
17. Beveled Bugnato, smussato a spigolo vivo
18. Biscuit or Bisque Biscotto
19. Body (of tile) Biscotto
20. Bonding Material Materiale legante
21. Border Bordo
22. Breaking strength Carico di rottura
23. Bullnose base Torello battiscopa
24. Bullnose tiles Torelli, Becco di Civetta
25. Button-back tiles Piastrelle con retro in rilievo
57

B/C
C
26. Candy twist Listello arrotondato ritorto a corda
27. Carton Scatola
28. Carton marking (labelling) Marcatura delle
scatole
29. Cement Cemento
30. Ceramic litho Decalcomania
31. Ceramic tiles Piastrelle ceramiche
32. Certification system Sistema di certificazione
33. Chair-rail London
34. Chair-rail angle Angolo london
35. Chair-rail outside corner Angolo london esterno
36. Chemical resistance Resistenza agli agenti chimici
37. Chemical Standards for Ceramic Tiles Norme
chimiche per piastrelle ceramiche
38. Chip resistance Resistenza alla scagliatura
39. Cigar tiles, rounded liners Sigari
40. Cladding Rivestimento generalmente di pareti
41. Classification system Sistema di classificazione
42. Clay Argilla
43. Cleavage membrane Strato di separazione
44. Clinker tiles Clinker, Klinker
45. Coefficient of conductivity Coefficiente di con-
duttivit
46. Coefficient of expansion Coefficiente di dilatazione
47. Coefficient of friction Coefficiente di attrito
48. Coefficient of restitution Coefficiente di restituzione
58

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

C
49. Color matching Abbinamento di colore
50. Color shade/shading Sfumatura di colore, stona-
lizzazione
51. Concave Concavo
52. Concrete Calcestruzzo
53. Concrete floor Soletta in calcestruzzo
54. Concrete slab Massetto in calcestruzzo, caldana
55. Conductive tile Piastrella conduttiva
56. Contraction joint Giunto di contrazione
57. Convex Bombato, convesso
58. Corner bullnose Torello angolo
59. Corner round bullnose Torello angolo tondo
60. Corner step Angolo scalino, scalino angolare
61. Corner tiles Piastrelle dangolo
62. Corundum Corindone
63. Countertop edge trim Bordo piano di lavoro,
cucina
64. Countertop trim corner Angolo piano di lavoro,
cucina
65. Cove base, inside corner Sguscio, angolo interno
66. Cove base, outside corner Sguscio, angolo ester-
no
67. Cove round top Zoccolo a sguscio con becco di
civetta
68. Cove, straight top Zoccolo a sguscio, con termina-
le piatto
69. Cove tiles Piastrelle per zoccolo a sguscio
59

C/D
70. Crackle glaze Smalto ad effetto anticato
71. Crazing Cavillo
72. Crazing resistance Resistenza al cavillo
73. Cross joint Giunto incrociato
74. Crystalline finish Smalto cristallizzato
75. Curb Torello doppio
76. Curing Tempo di presa
77. Curved base Fondo ricurvo

D
78. Decal Decalcomania
79. Decorated tiles Piastrelle decorate
80. Defect Difetto
81. Dimension Dimensione, misura
82. Dimensional Standards for ceramic tiles Norme
dimensionali per piastrelle in ceramica
83. Dimple Avvallamento
84. Discoloration Scoloritura
85. Double bullnose Torello doppio
86. Double-extruded tiles Piastrelle estruse doppie;
trafilate doppie
87. Double-fired tiles Piastrelle in bicottura
88. Dovetail Coda di rondine
89. Drain Scarico
90. Dry-pressed tiles Piastrelle pressate a secco
91. Dust-pressed tiles Piastrelle pressate a secco
60

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

E/F
E
92. Earthenware tiles Cottoforte
93. Edge Bordo
94. Edge tiles Piastrelle di bordatura
95. Edge trim Cordolo perimetrale, bordo
96. Efflorescence Efflorescenza
97. Electrical resistance Resistenza elettrica
98. Engobed surface Superficie ingobbiata
99. Epoxy Resina epossidica
100. Expansion Dilatazione
101. Expansion joint Giunto di dilatazione, giunto
elastico (di espansione)
102. Exterior tiles Piastrelle per esterni
103. Extruded tiles Piastrelle estruse

F
104. Face (of tile) Faccia (di piastrella)
105. Faience tiles Piastrelle in maiolica
106. Fast firing (single, double) Cottura rapida (sin-
gola, doppia)
107. Feldspar Feldspato
108. Finish Finitura
109. Fireplace tiles Piastrelle per caminetti
110. Fire resistance Resistenza al fuoco
111. Firing Cottura
112. Flashed appearance Superficie ad effetto fiam-
61

F/G/H
mato
113. Flat-back tiles Piastrelle a retro liscio
114. Flatness Planarit
115. Floor Pavimento
116. Floor tiles Piastrelle da pavimento
117. Fluted tiles Piastrelle con superficie scanalata
118. Freeze/thaw conditions Condizioni di gelo-
disgelo
119. Frostproof tiles Piastrelle ingelive
120. Frost resistance Resistenza al gelo, ingelivit
121. Full body Impasto a tutta massa
122. Fully vitrified stoneware Grs porcellanato

G
123. Glass mosaic Mosaico vetroso
124. Glaze Smalto
125. Glazed tiles Piastrelle smaltate
126. Glossy Brillante
127. Grade sorting Scelta
128. Grout joint Giunto di stuccatura, a stucco
129. Grout (material) Malta per fughe

H
130. Hand-pressed tiles Piastrelle pressate a mano
131. Hardness Durezza
132. Height Altezza
62

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

H/I/J/K
133. Hexagonal tiles Piastrelle esagonali
134. High-gloss Alta brillantezza
135. High traffic tiles Piastrelle per pavimento ad alto
traffico
136. Horizontal corner cove base tile Angolo a sgu-
scio orizzontale, battiscopa
137. Horizontal cove base tile Battistraccio

I
138. Impact resistance Resistenza allurto
139. Impact resistance test Prova di resistenza allurto
140. Impermeable Impermeabile in superficie
141. Impervious Impermeabile a tutta massa
142. Impervious stoneware tiles Grs porcellanato
143. Indoor tiles Piastrelle per interni
144. Inserts Inserti
145. Insets Tozzetti
146. Installation Posa
147. Installation bed Piano di posa
148. Interior tiles Piastrelle per interni
149. Iridescent tiles Piastrelle iridescenti
150. ISO Standards Norme ISO

J/K
151. Joint Giunto, fuga
63

L/M
L
152. Labelling (of cartons) Marcatura (delle scatole)
153. Laying Posa
154. Length Lunghezza
155. Linear Thermal Expansion Dilatazione termica
lineare
156. Liner bars Listelli
157. Lippage Dislivello di giunzione
158. Listels Listelli
159. Low-relief Bassorilievo
160. Lozenge Piastrella a losanga, a rombo
161. Lug Distanziatore laterale

M
162. Majolica tiles Piastrelle in maiolica
163. Matte (glaze) (Smalto) opaco, naturale
164. Mesh backed tiles Piastrelle incollate su rete
165. Mitered tiles Jolly, piastrelle con bordo smussato
166. Modulus of rupture Modulo di rottura
167. Mohs hardness Durezza Mohs
168. Moisture barrier Strato impermeabilizzante
169. Moisture expansion Dilatazione per umidit
170. Moorish tiles Piastrelle moresche
171. Mortar Malta
172. Mortar bed Letto di malta (di posa)
173. Mortar fixing Posa a malta
64

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

M/N/O/P
174. Mortar joint Fuga con malta
175. Mosaic tiles Piastrella a mosaico
176. Mounted tiles Piastrelle incollate (su rete, su
carta)
177. Mud-set installation Posa con malta a cemento

N
178. Natural clay tiles Piastrelle estruse singole
179. Nominal size Dimensioni nominali, formato
nominale
180. Non-slip tiles Piastrelle anti-scivolo
181. Non-vitreous tiles Piastrelle non greificate
182. Nose (on step tread) Angolo esterno del gradino
183. Nosing Sporgenza del gradino
184. Notching Spatolatura a solchi

O
185. Octagonal tiles Piastrelle ottagonali
186. Ogee tiles Piastrelle ogivali, a ogiva
187. Orange peel Buccia darancia
188. Outcorner Unghia esterna
189. Outdoor tiles Piastrelle per esterni

P
190. Paver Piastrella non smaltata per pavimenti esterni
191. Pencil tiles, rounded liners Matite, listelli a
65

P/Q/R
matita
192. Picket Piastrella a losanga, a rombo
193. Polished finish Superficie levigata
194. Porcelain tiles Gres porcellanato
195. Porosity Porosit
196. Porous single-firing Monocottura porosa,
Monoporosa
197. Portland cement Cemento Portland
198. Precision tiles Piastrelle estruse doppie
199. Pressed tiles Piastrelle pressate
200. Provenal tiles Piastrelle di tipo Provenzale

Q
201. Quality grade Classe, scelta
202. Quarry tiles Piastrelle estruse singole
203. Quarter round Sguscia
204. Quarter round angle Sguscia esterna
205. Quarter round beak Unghia esterna
206. Quarter round cap Sguscia esterna
207. Quarter round cove Sguscia interna
208. Quarter round inangle Pi doca interno
209. Quarter round inside corner Unghia interna
210. Quarter round outangle Pi doca esterno

R
211. Raw material Materia prima
66

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

R/S
212. Rectangular tile Piastrella rettangolare
213. Red stoneware tiles Grs rosso
214 Ribbed tiles Piastrelle a superficie scanalata, rigata
215. Riser Alzata (di gradino)
216. Rope liner Listello arrotondato ritorto a corda
217. Round bullnose Torello tondo
218. Rounded liners Matite, sigari, listelli a matita
219. Rustic finish Superficie rustica, finitura rustica

S
220. Sample Campione
221. Sanitary cove Zoccolo a sguscio con becco di
civetta
222. Satin glaze Smalto satinato
223. Scratch hardness Resistenza alla scalfittura
224. Scratch hardness test Prova di resistenza alla
scalfittura
225. Screeding Livellamento dello strato di posa
226. Screen Setaccio
227. Sealants Sigillanti
228. Sealers Sigillanti
229. Semi-vitreous tiles Piastrelle semi-greificate
230. Shape Forma
231. Silk-screening Serigrafia
232. Sill tiles Piastrelle per davanzale
233. Single extruded tiles Piastrelle estruse singole
234. Single-fired tiles Piastrelle in monocottura
67

S
235. Sink (basin) Lavabo
236. Sink rail tiles London
237. Size Formato, dimensione
238. Skirting tiles Battiscopa
239. Slip resistant tiles Piastrelle antiscivolo
240. Smooth Liscio
241. Spacer Distanziatore
242. Special trims Pezzi speciali
243. Split tiles Piastrelle estruse doppie/trafilate dop-
pie
244. Square tiles Piastrelle quadrate
245. Stain resistance Resistenza alle macchie
246. Stair Scala
247. Standards for Ceramic Tiles Norme per
piastrelle ceramiche
248. Step-nose tiles Piastrelle per sporgenza gradino
249. Step-tread tiles Pedate
250. Stove tiles Piastrelle per stufa
251. Strip tiles Listelli
252. Studded Bugnato, a punta di diamante
253. Subfloor Sottopavimento
254. Surface Superficie
255. Surface bullnose Becco di civetta (per posa
lineare)
256. Surface cove incorner Angolo interno a sguscio
257. Surface cove outcorner Angolo esterno a sguscio
258. Surface rail London (per posa lineare)
68

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: English/Italian

S/T/U/V
259. Swimming pool tiles Piastrelle per piscina

T
260. Tensile strength Resistenza alla trazione
261. Terracotta Cotto rustico
262. Test Prova
263. Test method Metodo di prova
264. Thermal conductivity Conduttivit termica
265. Thermal shock resistance Resistenza agli sbalzi
termici
266. Thick-bed installation Posa a strato spesso, con
malta cementizia
267. Thickness Spessore
268. Thin-set installation Posa a strato sottile, con
collante
269. Third-firing Terzo fuoco
270. Thrice-fired tiles Piastrelle a terzo fuoco
271. Tile Piastrella
272. Trade mark Marchio (di fabbrica), marca
273. Trim tiles Pezzi speciali

U
274. Unglazed tiles Piastrelle non smaltate

V
275. V-cap Elemento ad elle
69

V/W
276. Vitreous tiles Piastrelle in grs, greificate, gres
porcellanato
277. Vitrified tiles Piastrelle in grs, greificate, gres
porcellanato
W
278. Wall tiles Piastrelle da rivestimento
279. Warpage Curvatura, svergolamento
280. Water absorption level Livello di assorbimento
dacqua
281. Waterproof Impermeabile allacqua
282. Water proofing Impermeabilizzazione
283. Weight Peso
284. White-body earthenware tiles Piastrelle a pasta
bianca
285. White-body single-fired tiles Monocottura chiara,
a pasta bianca
286. Width Larghezza
287. Window sill tiles Piastrelle per davanzale
288. Work size Dimensioni di fabbricazione, calibro
Ceramic Tile D
Italian/Engli sh
ictionary:
72

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

A/B
1. Abbinamento di colore Color matching
2. Abrasione Abrasion
3. Abrasivo Abrasive
4. Adesivo Adhesive
5. Aggregato Aggregate
6. Alta brillantezza High-gloss
7. Altezza Height
8. Alzata (di gradino) Riser
9. Angolo battiscopa a sguscio orizzontale
Horizontal corner cove base tile
10. Angolo esterno del gradino Nose (on step tread)
11. Angolo london Chair-rail angle;
12. Angolo london esterno Chair-rail outside corner
13. Angolo piano di lavoro cucina Countertop trim
corner
14. Angolo scalino Corner step
15. Argilla Clay
16. Assorbimento Absorption
17. Avvallamento Dimple

B
18. Basso rilievo Bas-relief, low-relief
19. Battiscopa Baseboard, skirting
20. Battistraccio Horizontal cove base tile
21. Becco di civetta per posa lineare Surface bullnose
22. Biscotto Biscuit, bisque, tile body
23. Bombato, convesso Convex
73

B/C
24. Bordo Border, edge
25. Bordo piano di lavoro cucina Countertop edge
trim
26. Brillante Glossy
27. Buccia darancia Orange peel
28. Bugnato, a punta di diamante Studded
29. Bugnato, Smussato a spigolo vivo Beveled

C
30. Calcestruzzo Concrete
31. Caldana Concrete slab
32. Calibro Work size
33. Campione Sample
34. Carico di rottura Breaking strength
35. Cavillo Crazing
36. Cemento Cement
37. Cemento Portland Portland cement
38. Classe, gruppo (di qualit), scelta Quality grade
39. Classificazione Classification system
40. Clinker Clinker tiles, klinker
41. Coda di rondine Dovetail
42. Coefficiente di attrito Coefficient of friction
43. Coefficiente di conduttivit Coefficient of con-
ductivity
44. Coefficiente di dilatazione Coefficient of expansion
45. Coefficiente di restituzione Coefficient of restitu-
tion
74

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

C/D
46. Collante Adhesive
47. Concavo Concave
48. Condizioni di gelo-disgelo Freeze/thaw conditions
49. Conduttivit termica Thermal conductivity
50. Convesso Convex
51. Cordolo perimetrale Edge trim
52. Corindone Corundum
53. Cottoforte Earthenware tiles
54. Cotto rustico Terracotta
55. Cottura Firing
56. Cottura rapida (singola, doppia) Fast firing (sin-
gle, double)
57. Curvatura Warpage

D
58. Decalcomania Decal, ceramic litho
59. Difetto Defect
60. Dilatazione Expansion
61. Dilatazione per umidit Moisture expansion
62. Dilatazione termica lineare Linear thermal
expansion
63. Dimensione Dimension
64. Dimensioni di fabbricazione Work size
65. Dimensioni nominali Nominal size
66. Dislivello di giunzione Lippage
67. Distanziatore Spacer
68. Distanziatore laterale Lug
75

D/E/F/G
69. Durezza Hardness
70. Durezza Mohs Mohs hardness

E
71. Efflorescenza Efflorescence
72. Elemento ad elle V cap

F
73. Faccia (di piastrelle) Face (of tile)
74. Feldspato Feldspar
75. Finitura Finish
76. Fondo ricurvo Curved base
77. Forma Shape
78. Formato, dimensione Size
79. Formato nominale Nominal size
80. Fuga Joint
81. Fuga con malta Mortar joint
82. Fuga finta Apparent joint

G
83. Giunto Joint
84. Giunto di contrazione Contraction joint
85. Giunto di dilatazione, giunto elastico (di espan-
sione) Expansion joint
86. Giunto di stuccatura, a stucco Grout joint
87. Giunto incrociato Cross joint
76

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

G/I/J/K/L
88. Grs porcellanato Fully vitrified stoneware, por-
celain tiles, impervious stoneware tiles
89. Grs rosso Red stoneware tiles

I/J/K
90. Impasto a tutta massa Full body
91. Impermeabile (a tutta massa) Impervious
92. Impermeabile (in superficie) Impermeable
93. Impermeabile allacqua Waterproof
94. Impermeabilizzazione Water proofing
95. Ingelivit Frost resistance
96. Inserti Inserts
97. Jolly Mitered tiles
98. Klinker Clinker tiles

L
99. Larghezza Width
100. Lavabo Sink (basin)
101. Letto di malta (di posa) Mortar bed
102. Liscio Smooth
103. Listelli Strip tiles, liner bars, listels
104. Listelli matita Pencil tiles, rounded liners
105. Listello arrotondato ritorto a corda Candy twist,
rope liner
106. Livellamento dello strato di posa Screeding
107. Livello di assorbimento dacqua Water absorp-
77

L/M/N
tion level
108. London Chair-rail; sink rail tiles; surface rail
109. Lunghezza Length

M
110. Malta Mortar
111. Malta per fughe Grout (material)
112. Marcatura delle scatole Carton marking (labelling)
113. Marchio (di fabbrica), Marca Trade mark
114. Massetto in calcestruzzo Concrete slab
115. Materia prima Raw material
116. Materiale legante Bonding material
117. Matite Pencil tiles, rounded liners
118. Metodo di prova Test method
119. Misura Dimension
120. Modulo di rottura Modulus of rupture
121. Monocottura chiara, a pasta bianca White-
body single-fired tiles
122. Monocottura porosa, Monoporosa Porous sin-
gle-firing
123. Mosaico vetroso Glass mosaic

N
124. Norme chimiche per piastrelle ceramiche
Chemical Standards for Ceramic Tiles
78

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

N/P
125. Norme dimensionali per piastrelle di ceramica
Dimensional Standards for ceramic tiles
126. Norme ISO ISO Standards
127. Norme per piastrelle ceramiche Standards for
Ceramic Tiles

P
128. Pavimento Floor
129. Pedata Step-tread tile
130. Peso Weight
131. Pezzi speciali Trim tiles, special trims
132. Piano di posa Installation bed
133. Piastrella Tile
134. Piastrella a losanga Lozenge, picket
135. Piastrella a rombo Lozenge, picket
136. Piastrella conduttiva Conductive tile
137. Piastrella non smaltata per pavimenti esterni
Paver
138. Piastrella rettangolare Rectangular tile
139. Piastrelle a mosaico Mosaic tile
140. Piastrelle anti-scivolo Non-slip tiles, anti-slip
tiles, slip resistant tiles
141. Piastrelle antistatiche Antistatic tiles
142. Piastrelle a pasta bianca White-body
earthenware tiles
143. Piastrelle a retro liscio Flat-back tiles
144. Piastrelle a superficie scanalata, rigata Ribbed
79

P
tiles; fluted tiles
145. Piastrelle a terzo fuoco Thrice-fired tiles
146. Piastrelle ceramiche Ceramic tiles
147. Piastrelle con bordo smussato Mitered tiles
148. Piastrelle con retro in rilievo Button-back tiles
149. Piastrelle dangolo Corner tiles
150. Piastrelle da pavimento Floor tiles
151. Piastrelle da rivestimento Wall tiles
152. Piastrelle decorate Decorated tile
153. Piastrelle di bordatura Edge tiles
154. Piastrelle di tipo provenzale Provenal tiles
155. Piastrelle esagonali Hexagonal tiles
156. Piastrelle estruse Extruded tiles
157. Piastrelle estruse doppie Double-extruded tiles,
precision tiles, split tiles
158. Piastrelle estruse singole Single-extruded tiles,
natural clay tiles, quarry tiles
159. Piastrelle in bicottura Double-fired tiles
160. Piastrelle incollate su rete Mesh-backed tiles,
mounted tiles
161. Piastrelle incollate su rete, su carta Mounted
tiles, mesh-backed tiles (net, paper)
162. Piastrelle ingelive Frostproof tiles
163. Piastrelle in grs, greificate Vitreous tiles, vitri-
fied tiles, porcelain tiles
164. Piastrelle in maiolica Faience tile, Majolica tiles
165. Piastrelle in monocottura Single-fired tiles
80

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

P
166. Piastrelle iridescenti Iridescent tiles
167. Piastrelle Klinker Clinker tiles
168. Piastrelle moresche Moorish tiles
169. Piastrelle non greificate Non-vitreous tiles
170. Piastrelle non smaltate Unglazed tiles
171. Piastrelle ogivali Ogee tiles
172. Piastrelle ottagonali Octagonal tiles
173. Piastrelle per caminetti Fireplace tiles
174. Piastrelle per davanzale Sill tiles, window sill
tiles
175. Piastrelle per esterni Exterior tiles, outdoor tiles
176. Piastrelle per interni Interior tiles, indoor tiles
177. Piastrelle per pavimento ad alto traffico High
traffic tiles
178. Piastrelle per piscina Swimming pool tiles
179. Piastrelle per sporgenza gradino Step-nose tiles
180. Piastrelle per stufa Stove tiles
181. Piastrelle per zoccolo a sguscio Cove tiles
182. Piastrelle pressate Pressed tiles
183. Piastrelle pressate a mano Hand-pressed tiles
184. Piastrelle pressate a secco Dust-pressed tiles,
dry-pressed tiles
185. Piastrelle quadrate Square tile
186. Piastrelle semi greificate Semi-vitreous tiles
187. Piastrelle smaltate Glazed tiles
188. Piastrelle trafilate Extruded tiles
189. Pi doca esterno Quarter round out angle
81

P/R
190. Pi doca interno Quarter round inangle
191. Planarit Flatness
192. Porosit Porosity
193. Posa Installation, laying, fixing
194. Posa a malta Mortar fixing
195. Posa a strato sottile, con collante Thin-set
installation
196. Posa a strato spesso, con malta cementizia
Thick-bed installation
197. Posa con malta a cemento Mud-set installation
198. Prova Test
199. Prova di resistenza alla scalfittura Scratch
hardness test
200. Prova di resistenza allurto Impact resistance
test
201. Prova di resistenza allusura Abrasion test

R
202. Resina epossidica Epoxy
203. Resistenza agli acidi Acid resistance
204. Resistenza agli agenti chimici Chemical resi-
stance
205. Resistenza agli alcali Alkali resistance
206. Resistenza agli sbalzi termici Thermal shock
resistance
207. Resistenza al cavillo Crazing resistance
208. Resistenza al fuoco Fire resistance
82

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

R/S
209. Resistenza al gelo Frost resistance
210. Resistenza allabrasione Abrasion resistance
211. Resistenza alla scagliatura Chip resistance
212. Resistenza alla scalfittura Scratch hardness
213. Resistenza alla trazione Tensile strength
214. Resistenza alle macchie Stain resistance
215. Resistenza allurto Impact resistance
216. Resistenza elettrica Electrical resistance
217. Retro, parte posteriore Back
218. Rivestimento di pareti Cladding

S
219. Scala Stair, step
220. Scalino angolare Corner step
221. Scarico Drain
222. Scelta Quality, grade, grade sorting
223. Scoloritura Discoloration
224. Serigrafia Silk-screening
225. Setaccio Screen
226. Sfumatura di colore Color shade
227. Sguscia Quarter round
228. Sguscia esterna Quarter round angle, quarter
round cap
229. Sguscia interna Quarter round cove
230. Sguscio angolo esterno Cove base outside cor-
ner, surface cove outcorner
231. Sguscio angolo interno Cove base inside corner,
83

S
surface cove incorner
232. Sigari Cigar tiles, rounded liners
233. Sigillanti Sealers, Sealants
234. Sistema di certificazione Certification system
235. Smalto Glaze
236. Smalto ad effetto anticato Crackle glaze
237. Smalto cristallizzato Crystalline finish
238. Smalto opaco, naturale Matt /Matte glaze
239. Smalto satinato Satin glaze
240. Smussato a spigolo vivo Beveled
241. Soletta in calcestruzzo Concrete floor
242. Sottopavimento Subfloor
243. Spatolatura a solchi Notching
244. Spessore Thickness
245. Sporgenza del gradino Nosing
246. Stonalizzazione Color shading
247. Strato di contatto (Tile) Bed
248. Strato di separazione Cleavage membrane
249. Strato impermeabilizzante Moisture barrier
250. Superficie Surface
251. Superficie ad effetto fiammato Flashed appea-
rance
252. Superficie ingobbiata Engobed surface
253. Superficie levigata Polished finish
254. Superficie rustica Rustic finish
255. Svergolamento Warpage
84

Ceramic Tile Dictionary: Italian/English

T/U/Z
T
256. Tempo di presa Curing
257. Terzo fuoco Third-firing
258. Torelli, Becco di Civetta Bullnose tiles
259. Torello angolo Corner bullnose
260. Torello angolo tondo Corner round bullnose
261. Torello battiscopa Bullnose base
262. Torello doppio Double bullnose, curb
263. Torello tondo Round bullnose
264. Tozzetti Insets

U
265. Unghia esterna Outcorner, quarter round beak
266. Unghia interna Quarter round inside corner

Z
267. Zoccolo a sguscio con becco di civetta Cove
round top, sanitary cove
268. Zoccolo a sguscio con terminale piatto Cove,
straight top
Promoted by

ASSOPIASTRELLE
Association of Italian Ceramic Tile
and Refractories Manufacturers
Sources
41049 Sassuolo (MO) - Italy Ceramic Tiles: The International Standards, CERLabs,
Viale Monte Santo, 40 Bologna, Italy
Tel. +39 0536 818 111
Fax +39 0536 807 935
www.assopiastrelle.it The Guide to Italian Ceramic Tile, Produced by the
info@assopiastrelle.it Italian Trade Commission, Tile Center in cooperation
with Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile
In collaboration with and Refractories Manufacturers), New York, New York
D. Grosser & Associates Ltd.

Text revised by Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile: Performance and


Centro Ceramico di Bologna Controversies, C. Palmonari and G. Timellini,
EDI.CER., Sassuolo, Italy

Printed by: Calderini Industrie Grafiche - Ozzano Emilia (BO) Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation, TCA (Tile
DTP: Diemmi Gino Srl - Reggio Emilia
Design: Maiarelli Rathkopf Council of America), Clemson, South Carolina

1999
American National Standard Specifications for
Copyright by Edi.Cer S.p.A Ceramic Tile, TCA (Tile Council of America), Clemson,
40122 Sassuolo - Viale Monte Santo, 40 - Italy South Carolina
Tel. +39 0536 220 736 - Fax +39 0536 237 758
E-mail: info@ceramictiles.it
American National Standard Specifications for the
Installation of Ceramic Tile, TCA (Tile Council of
Italian ceramic tiles are America), Clemson, South Carolina
displayed at :

International exhibition of ceramics for the building industry


and bathroom furnishing
The Italian

The Italian Ceramic Tile Dictionary


Assopiastrelle (the Association of Italian Ceramic
Tile and Refractories Manufacturers) has com-
piled this dictionary as a reference for anyone
involved in the selection and installation of Italian
ceramic tile.
It is intended to assist the dealer as well as the
Ceramic Tile
consumer, the contractor, architect, designer,
or installer.
The first section of this publication supplies
definitions for the most frequently encountered
Dictionary
trade terms, while the second section provides the
translation of these terms from English to Italian A dictionary of the most common
and vice-versa. terms used in the ceramic tile trade