Installation of Tile

One of the keys to installation is making sure the surface on which the tile is applied is level and ready for installation. An adhesive, such as Superlite, mortar or mastic is then applied to the substrate with a trowel and the tile is laid on it. After the area dries, the tile is then grouted. Some tiles can benefit from being sealed before grouting to prevent grout film from adhering to the tile and also can protect the integrity of the tile.

Although opinions are varied in the industry about sealing ceramic, porcelain or natural tile, North-Tech recommends that a sealer be used on ALL tile installations. It is strongly recommended that a small sample of a tile be tested with the sealer before an entire installation is sealed. Installations of crackle glazes should be resealed after 90 days of installation, and then again after one year. Crackle glazes (by nature) continue to crackle for several months. As this occurs, each new crackle line becomes unsealed and will allow water into the tile body.

Calculating Tile Finding Linear Measurements

Use linear measurements for estimating the trims, mouldings, or finishing pieces needed in an installation. Doing calculations for trims and moulding, allow for an overage of 5% or no less than 2 extra pieces.

Linear measurement is calculated by measuring (in inches) along the space where the moulding or trim will go. That measurement is then divided by the length of the trim piece.

For example, a wall that measures 15' long (180") will need 30 pieces of a 6" long trim.

Example: 15' x 12" = 180" / 6 = 30 pieces Including overage, the client needs to order 32 pieces.

30 x 1.05 = 31.5 (round up to 32)

Finding Square Footage

Square footage- multiply the length times the width 20' x 25' = 500 SF

Square footage is calculated by multiplying the length times the height or width of an area.
For example, a floor that measures 5' x 9' will need 45 square feet of tile.

Example: 5' x 9' = 45 SF

To find the number of tiles necessary to fill an area, first find the square inches of the area you wish to fill.
Then, find the square inches of the single tile. Finally, divide the square inches of your project's area by the
square inches of your tile, and the result will be the number of tiles necessary to complete your project.

Maintenance of Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile can be cleaned with a daily cleaner. Rejuvenata is a concentrated cleaner developed specifically for natural stone, engineered stone, marble, terrazzo, granite, tile, and masonry surfaces.

Natural Stone on the other hand, must be sealed approximately once a year in high usage areas. Products such as the Dry-Treat program, offered exclusively at North-Tech Stone & Ceramic, are an impregnating sealer technologically different from commonly available silicone, Teflon, and siloxane impregnators. Engineered molecules penetrate deeper into porous materials and bond permanently inside the pores, without blocking them. This creates a deeper barrier of protection within the tiles, paving, natural stone, etc, which not only protects against staining, but against other serious damage such as salt efflorescence.

Back Butter

The spreading of a bond coat to the backs of ceramic tile just before the tile is placed.


Creates a transition from the wall to the floor.


A corner piece for a quarter round.


The angle or inclination of a line or surface that meets another at any angle but 90°.


An unglazed white porcelain.


Tile piece that finishes off a run of tile. These pieces can also be used to turn a corner vertically or horizontally.

Butt Joint

The act of placing two tiles together closely as to create the smallest grout joint as possible.


Items, including tiles and pottery, made from clay and fired in a kiln.

Cove Base

Creates a right angle transition from the wall to the floor.


The random pattern of fine lines or cracks on the surface of a crackle-glazed tile.

Diagonally Set

Turning a square tile 45 degrees and setting it with the point touching the already placed tile.


Ceramics made of opaque, slightly porous clay that is fired at a relatively low heat.


Tile or trim unit that is formed when clay mixtures are forced through a die of suitable configuration,
resulting in a continuous ribbon of formed clay. A wire cutter or similar cut-off device is then used to cut
the ribbon into appropriate lengths and widths of tile.

Face Mounted

Tile that is held together on the front by tape or paper. Usually used on mosaics.


An area of tile covering a wall or floor. The field may be bordered by tile trim.


The controlled heat treatment of ceramic ware in a kiln or furnace, during the process of manufacture, to develop the desired properties.


To move from place to place, especially at random. Also used as term for tool that spreads adhesive or grout.

Greek Key

A classical pattern of right-angled vertical and horizontal lines that is generally used for borders.


A rich or strong cementitious or chemically setting mixture used for filling tile joints.


A pattern consisting of rows of short, slanted parallel lines with the direction of the slant alternating row by row.v


A special oven used to dry and harden clay objects in a process called firing.


A ceramic glaze having low gloss.


To cut on an angle so that two edges join without a space.


Provides a decorative or architectural accent as it finishes off a run of tile.


A pattern or picture composed of tiny pieces of stone, tile, glass, or pottery fitted together.


Pieces held together by a fabric backing.


Flat tile or stone blocks designed specifically for use on floors and walkways.


A type of tile with edges softly tapered to create a shape like a puffy pillow.


Hard, transparent, nonporous white clay, fired at a very high temperature used for decorative tiles and fine tableware.

Quarry Tile

A tile made from clay that is fired at a very high temperature to make it durable.

Quarter Round

Used to turn a 90-degree corner with a rounded edge either vertically or horizontally.


A figure or pattern that stands out from the surface of a tile.

Running Bond

Also known as brick bond. A tile pattern that when installed, alternates every other course to make the classic "brick" pattern.

Soldier Course

Oblong tile laid with the long side vertical and all joints in alignment to make a rectangular grid pattern.


Ceramics made of strong, opaque, nonporous clay that is fired at a high temperature.

Terra Cotta

A hard molded and fired clay that is used for tile, floor pavers, and sculpture. The most common terra cotta is a dark red-orange, but colors vary depending on the trace elements it contains.


Finishing pieces of tile that transition two areas.


A flat bladed hand tool for levelling, spreading, or shaping substances such as cement or mortar.


The lower part of an interior wall when finished in a material different from that of the upper part.



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