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Jargon buster

Not sure what all the different bathroom tile terms mean? This quick jargon buster for bathroom tiles will explain everything you need to know to help you choose the best tiles for your bathroom.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are made from a clay or silicate mixture that has been fired in a kiln. Porcelain is itself a type of ceramic, but generally the two substances are referred to separately.

Feature wall

A wall in your room that stands out or is in striking contrast to the others. In a bathroom, this is often done with tiling.

Glass tiles

These tiles are resistant to discolouration, fading and chemical damage. They are naturally impervious to water, and new, green methods of production make it an excellent choice for homeowners concerned with sustainability.


This term refers to the resistance of a tile to water. Water impervious tiles do not let any moisture in nor do they expand as a result of contact with moisture.


A natural stone, limestone is less dense than marble and travertine, even though they belong to the same family. Calcium carbonate is the key to this sedimentary rock which is common throughout many areas of the world.


This is a naturally occurring stone, often sold in creams and greys with natural mineral veins running through it. This high quality tile can be susceptible to staining, so it requires a high level of maintenance.


A random pattern of varying tiles. This pattern can be made from different colours or materials. Mosaic tiles are a combination of different tiles joined together on a mesh backing or as a pre-grouted panel.


Used to refer to a lighter shade of any colour, including light greys and greens.

Patterned tiles

This refers to individual tiles with patterns imprinted on them rather than a pattern that a group of tiles create.


Porcelain tiles are a subset of ceramic tiles. They are created the same way, but the type of clays pressed together to create porcelain tiles is denser.


This is a fine, absorptive clay that is non-acidic. It will help to remove and clean stains on natural stone.


This is the degree of intensity in a colour. Colours with a high saturation would be hot pink, or royal blue, rather than pastel.


This natural stone has a distinctive cleft cut pattern which results in an uneven surface, unless it has been deliberately smoothed. Slate is quite high in density, since it is usually formed from sedimentary rock shale.


These are large boards made with MDF and are laminated on the surface to make them impervious to water.

Stone tiles

These tiles are made from natural materials and are quarried rather than manufactured. Stone tiles include marble, travertine, slate and limestone.


This natural, hard stone is formed in underground springs, where the release of carbon dioxide creates unique holes in the material.

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