All You Need To Know About Tiles

Below is every term you will come across when selecting or using a tile. Small bathroom renovations perth do our best to make everything in your renovation experience as simple as possible. We cover all your tiling terms and the second half is everyway you can lay a tile that is common through out all renovations in the 2020’s

A to Z in Tiles


Tiles that have been treated, or specifically produced to reduce slipping. Common processes are adding grit  to the glaze of a tile, or producing a tile with a structured or rocky surface to a tile. Tiles can also be acid etched to increase the slip resistance factor.  Maintenance has an effect on the overall slip resistance e.g. build-up of dirt and grease will decrease the slip-resistance of the tile surface.

Perth Anti Slip Tiles


All tiles are generally produced in batches. Generally batches will vary slightly in shade and colour and calibration (finished size). A certain degree of shade variation is inherent in all tiles, be it glazed or unglazed.  The manufacturer will limit the amount of shade variation in a carton by sorting the tiles as they come off the production line. Manufacturers assign tiles a batch number to identify them as belonging to the same batch. When tiling a continuous area, tiles from the same batch should be used to ensure consistency in shade, colour and calibration. If tiling two or more separate areas then you can get away with different batches but you need to make sure the boxes don’t get mixed up between areas.


Where the edge of a tile is angled rather than perpendicular to the face of the tile.


This is the structural part of the tile (i.e. singular from the glaze), or often the part the industry refers to when talking about the material or mixture from which the item is made.


A trim tile with a rounded edge used to finish wall installations, turn outside corners or applied to the leading edge for some steps.


This is generally made from red or white clay and from slightly different raw materials to porcelain tiles.  Ceramic tiles are usually finished with a decorative glaze.  Ceramic tiles are used for both wall and floor applications, but are ‘softer’ than porcelain tiles. Generally best suited to lighter wear traffic, ie residential rather than commercial & tend to carry a PEI of 1 to a maximum of 3 rating.


A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener, especially formulated to have impervious qualities, stain, and chemical resistance.


This refers to a porcelain tile where the colour and pattern run right through the entire thickness of the tile making it virtually impervious to wear, as the colour or pattern does not change even if the surface is worn down, scratched or chipped. Such tiles are typically suited to high traffic areas and commercial installations.

Full Bodied Tile – Perth 


Glazed tiles are coated with glass-forming minerals and ceramic stains and offer better stain and water resistance than unglazed tiles. Glazed tiles have a hard non-porous, impermeable surface after firing. They can have a matt, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. These tiles do not require sealing from water, because they are already sealed.


Gloss tiles are sprayed with a glaze that produces a shiny, reflective surface after firing. These tiles resist dirt and stains and are easy to clean. As a result, they work well in high-maintenance areas that require frequent cleaning such as kitchen and bathroom walls.



INSERTS/Feature Tile/Boarder

Small, sometimes decorative tiles used in combination with larger or plain tiles to create patterns. Small square inserts are also known as a taco or tozzetto.

Bathroom Boarder – Perth 



A condition where one edge of a tile is higher than the adjacent edges, giving the finished surface an uneven appearance.

Lippage Perth



Matt tiles are smooth and flat and create a more informal and softer look. This finish is created by stopping short of the last stage of polishing. A matt finish shows fewer scratches, and requires very little maintenance.



Has water absorption of 7% or greater. Usually used as a wall covering and suited for indoor, dry area use only.


This rating is established by the Porcelain Enamel Institute to rate the resistance of ceramic tiles to visible surface abrasion. Commonly referred to as “abrasion resistance”, this is the most commonly used industry rating for wear. Ratings go from 1 to 5 with 5 being the most durable. To eliminate the possibility of choosing the wrong product, most manufacturers use the following P.E.I guide to rate the durability of each tile.

  • Group 1: Tiles suitable for residential bathrooms where softer footwear is worn.
  • Group 2: Tiles suited to general residential traffic, except kitchens, entrance halls, and other areas subjected to continuous heavy use.
  • Group 3: Tiles suited for all residential and light commercial areas such as offices, reception areas and boutiques.
  • Group 4: Tiles suited for medium commercial and light institutional applications such as restaurants, hotels, hospital lobbies and corridors.
  • Group 5: Tiles suitable for heavy traffic and wet areas where safety and maximum performance are a major factor such as exterior walkways, food service, salad bars, building entrances, around swimming pools or shopping centres.


Where the straight edges of a tile have been rounded and softened, giving the tile a pillowed look.



These tiles are shiny, flat and reflective, obtained by polishing the surface with an abrasive wheel until it shines. The process removes up to 1 mm of material from the pressed surface. They are easy to keep clean and are popular for living, dining and bedroom applications



Tiles that are made up of 50% feldspar and fired at a much higher temperature than regular ceramic tiles, which makes it much harder and denser, with a lower absorption rate than other tile products. It is more resistant to scratches and can withstand extreme temperatures. Porcelain tiles are harder, more resistant to stains, scratching & wear than non-porcelain tiles and as such are perfect for all types of installation from light traffic to very heavy commercial wear.

Bathroom Renovation Martin 


Unlike a typical factory-edged tile, a rectified tile has been cut to size after the firing process. This process creates a precise, 90 degree angle edge and, as a result, can be laid with a tighter grout joint than an un-rectified tile. This gives a smoother, more sophisticated and continuous look to the room overall.

Bathroom Renovations Atwell


Fully vitrified tiles are made from fine particles and fired to high temperatures (1250 degrees) which results in a denser tile with extremely low porosity (moisture absorption of less than 0.5%). Porcelain stoneware tiles are fully vitrified making a layer of glaze unnecessary for the tile to be impervious to water.

Shower Wall


Used to define the excess tiles that may be required to factor in cutting. Generally this is 10% of the quantity required. However if the installation is complicated or involves a lot of cutting or a very large tile is being used, the amount of wastage may need to be increased. It is important to factor in sufficient wastage when you purchase your tiles because if you do find yourself short, you may not be able to get tiles from the same batch later.

Tiles to me are what makes or breaks a bathroom so picking out the right color, shape, and material is just as important as its installation. The layout of your tile can make it a stunning supporting piece or an eye-catching center of attention. If you are an experienced renovator or just a first-timer having a go the lingo can be confusing but we are here to help so get out the picture you love and match up that tiling direction. Below we will present you with the different styles most commonly used for our bathroom renovations throughout Perth WA to help you get the right type of tiling.


Probably the most common tiling pattern of all our bathroom renovations. Horizontal straight stack guides viewers’ eyes from the top of your design to the bottom. This layout showcases your tile the most and is perfect for boldly printed tiles or trying to create a feeling of width to your bathroom space.


When I think verticality I think 2013 Roy Hibbert the basketball center for the Indiana Pacers. Like Hibbert when you add vertical items to a situation or renovation you create such an impactful feeling of height to a space that can really make a small bathroom feel huge.



1/2 Offset

Most of the time this style is called Subway due to the long-standing association with the subway stations you would find them in. The other name is 1/2 off set, both mean the same thing and both create the same impact. All I will really say with this type of tiling is I personally love on one wall and I love to contrast the grout, it just feels like it has more impact. If you tile the whole room it can be too many lines sometimes and if you just match the grout being white for a white tile it will just blend so take everything into consideration.



Herringbone tiling will be the most popular choice of 2021 bathroom tiling in Perth. Install large or small rectangles at a 45-degree angle to form the lively herringbone pattern. Intensify the verticle and horizontal zigzag movements by incorporating different colors.


The chevron pattern is often confused with the herringbone pattern (We all do it). But don’t be mistaken—chevron is created by connecting the ends of tile that are specifically cut at an angle. This added touch gives your design a chic, stylish finish.


This timeless design is created by stacking square-shaped tiles in a grid pattern. Instead of using a rug at the entrance of your home, display a tile pattern on the floor for more beauty and durability. When completed in a pattern they are great for cleaning as they hide all your hair or your dogs hair.



The diagonal layout, also known as the diamond pattern, is very similar to the grid pattern. Installing tiles in a 45-degree angle makes your floor appear wider. We rarely do a diamond pattern as it is not the most common of bathroom styles due to its powerful sometimes overwhelming imagery.


When I and Jack first started out tiling the Versailles style of tiling was all the rage. It was a painful process of laying but it was honestly quite rewarding when you see it in person. Not great for bathrooms due to the amount of lipping you would get from something like this it can be great for outdoor tiling or house tiling if you find the right tiling set up for it.


Modern times call for the hex. The hexagon tile is what you would call the trendiest tile we use in Perth bathroom renovation. The simple but elegant design adds a wow factor without having to have much colour or an aggressive shade.









Not covered above is the double herringbone, 1/3 offset,  mosaics styles such as penny round, and a bunch of random styles which are very uncommon tiling patterns.

Bathroom tiling has exploded in choice over the last few years with renovators becoming bolder in how they renovate.

The key for me is less is more, do that beautiful hexagon tile but try to keep it to one wall so you can really showcase it, too much and gets lost

It’s important to note that all our advice is general in nature and all bathrooms are unique so always speak to your local qualified tradesman for the best advice. If you are looking for a bathroom renovation quote and live in Perth, Western Australia just email us at – Small Bathroom Renovations Perth

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