Selecting Granite Tile - Installation Your Own Counter Tops


Not available in parts of Oregon and Washington.




Begin Here!

Easy Granite Tile Glossary - Part I
Back-Butter thru Outside Corner

Go To: Tile Glossary Part II - Pitted thru Warpage

The spreading of a bond coat to the backs of granite tile just before the tile is placed. The flat edges of the common tile setting trowels can be used to back-butter.

Any material used as a base over which granite tile is to be installed. See Substrate.

Tiles that are attached the back wall of a counter and rest on the counter itself.

Balanced cuts
Cuts of tile at the perimeter of an area that will not take full tiles. The cuts on opposite sides of such an area should be the same size. The same sized cuts should be placed on each side of a miter.

One or more rows of tile installed on a vertical surface above the floor.

A trim tile with a convex radius on one edge. This tile is used for finishing the edge of a countertop, backsplash or for turning an outside corner.

The spreading of a bond coat (followed by a mortar coat, a thin setting bed mortar, or an organic adhesive) to the backs of stone tile just before the tile is placed. The flat edges of the common tile setting trowels can be used for buttering.

Caulking compound
A soft, plastic material consisting of pigment and vehicle, used for sealing joints in buildings and other structures where normal structural movement may occur. Caulking compound retains its plasticity for an extended period after application. It is available in forms suitable for application by gun and knife and in extruded preformed shapes.

Caused by the same reasons as given under "pitted" or by rough handling and confined to the corners and edges of the tile.

The scaling or breaking off at the edges of fragments from the surface of a tile, as might result from rough handling.

Cold joint
Any point in a tile installation where tile and setting bed have terminated and the surface has lost its plasticity before work is continued.

Colored grout
Commercially prepared grout consisting of carefully graded aggregate, Portland cement, water dispersing agents, plasticizers and color fast pigments.

Stained tile as a result of carton and tile being saturated by moisture, oils, solvents or other materials.

A measure of the amount of material required to cover a given surface.

Hair-line fissures.

Double Opposite Bullnose
A type of trim with the same convex radius on two opposite sides so that the tile may be split down the middle to make two pieces of backsplash.

Epoxy Adhesive
A two-part adhesive system employing epoxy resin and epoxy hardener used for bonding of stone or ceramic tile to back-up materials.

Epoxy Grout
A two-part grout system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener, especially formulated to have impervious qualities, stain, and chemical resistance used to fill joints between tile units. (Note: Directions for use need to be followed exactly.)

Epoxy Mortar
A two-part mortar system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener used to bond tile to back-up material where chemical resistance of high bond strength is a consideration.

Field Tile
Tile other than trim tile covering a countertop.

Final Setting Time
The time required for a freshly mixed cement paste, mortar or concrete to achieve final set.

Granite Tile
Tile cut from granite. (Note: Not all natural stone that is referred to as granite in the stone industry market place is true granite in a geological sense.)

Grout, Colored
See Colored grout.

Grout, Non-Sanded
A rich or strong cementitious or chemically setting mix used for filling small tile joints.

Grout, Sanded
Recommended for joints larger than 3/16" or a manufacture's recommendation.

Grout Scrubbing Pad
A no scratch nylon pad impregnated with abrasive used for cleaning grout off tile. It is especially useful for epoxy grout applications.

The process of filling the tile joints with grout.

Honed Finish
Honed granite tile has a matte or flat finish that is relatively non-reflective.

Inside Corner
A type of bullnose trim with a convex radius on one corner in order to bring the tiles on the two meeting edges together.

A layout is the plan or diagram that includes dimensions for use in planning a job.

  a. A surface or line with all points at the same elevation
  b. Horizontally straight.

Machine Polishing, Bullnose
The final step of finishing the bullnose on a granite tile so that shadows and visual irregularities are eliminated.

A mixture of cement paste and fine aggregate; in fresh concrete, the material occupying the interstices among particles of coarse aggregate; mortar may contain masonry cement, or may contain hydraulic cement with lime (and possibly other admixtures) to afford greater plasticity and workability than are attainable with standard hydraulic cement mortar.

Mortar Bed
The layer of mortar on which tile is set. The final coat of mortar on a wall, floor or ceiling.

A slang term for mortar.

Organic Adhesive
A prepared organic material, ready to use with no further addition of liquid or powders, for bonding tile to back-up material by the thin set method. Cures or sets by evaporation.

Outside Corner
A tile that is bullnosed on two adjacent sides to form an exposed corner on a counter or backsplash.