As technically sophisticated as the production and firing process of tiles has become, it is not impossible that slight normal deviations in dimensions may occur. This is quite simply because tiles are produced at very high temperatures while at the same time enormous pressure is applied. However, in order to achieve the most accurate result possible during installation, such deviations are undesirable.
Because they lead to the fact that with jointing mortar for tiles, corresponding levelling must be carried out, which in many cases unfortunately becomes optically visible in the form of joints of varying width. This applies to both floor and wall tiles.
But there are solutions for exactly this dilemma, namely calibrated or better yet rectified tiles. For both types an additional edge processing takes place in order to create tiles that are as identical as possible. Whether calibrated or rectified tiles are preferred for a particular project depends primarily on the final desired width of the joint. Rectified models enable a much more precise result.
What happens during calibration?
Calibrated tiles have meanwhile become the standard product . This refers to the exact adjustment of the tiles to the desired size. Cutting is usually carried out in such a way that edges are created at an angle of 90 degrees. In principle, however, other production dimensions are also conceivable. Calibration is often used for natural stones or ceramic tiles.
If the calibration is carried out as precisely as possible, the joints between the tiles can be very small. Sometimes, however, this is not even desired or necessary (e.g. in the case of polygonal tiles laid in mosaic style).
What is a rectified tile?
For rectified tiles an additional correction takes place after production: With the help of diamond saws they are precisely ground. This means that no deviations or unevenness remains on the edges after the machine finishing and all tiles have the same dimensions.
By rectifying tiles, you give them a sharp 90 degree edge. As a result, it is easy to lay tile after tile and the joints are very narrow, which is often preferred in the area of floor tiles.
Rectified tiles are always marked with the addition “Rettificato” as a quality feature.
What are the advantages and do rectified tiles have disadvantages?
On the one hand, due to the straight edge, they allow an exact and simplified installation as well as a homogeneous joint pattern with a filigree joint dimension of less than 2 mm width. This is particularly important for large areas, so that exact calculations can be made and no shifts occur. In order to obtain a precise result, it is of course still necessary to work with spacers for the joints in rectified models. The overall optical result is then flawless.
Due to the further processing step, however, rectified tiles are naturally more expensive. Especially for less experienced people, laying with calibrated tiles is therefore much easier, as they allow a more flexible joint width and require less precision. The slight variations in the edges underline the desired design, especially in the case of tiles with a natural look, so custom-made Rettificato models are less suitable for this.
Whether to choose rectified or calibrated is therefore ultimately not only a financial but also a technical decision and depends on the width of the joint. The bottom line is that tiles are easy to lay when they are rectified, but it also means that precise procedures are essential.
Before this consideration can take place, it is important to choose the correct tile for the particular need and to be well informed about the different options and respective advantages. A distinction is generally made between stoneware, earthenware and porcelain stoneware tiles, with the latter variant in particular being increasingly used for floor and wall tiles in living rooms and bathrooms, as well as for stair coverings.
The outstanding breaking strength of the mixture of feldspar, sand and clay used in its production makes fine stoneware tiles also ideal for outdoor applications, for example for laying garden paths or terraces. There is also an almost endless range of possibilities in terms of slip resistance, weather resistance and, of course, design.
What does lappato mean in tiles?
The Lappato technique can be applied to porcelain stoneware tiles and refers to the partial polishing of the tiles. Since this does not happen over the whole surface, beautiful transitions are created that look like a silky shimmer.
This effect is particularly effective on large surfaces and with narrow joints between the individual tiles. In any case, Lappato tiles should be laid indoors. Although the slip resistance is higher than that of polished tiles, the requirements are even higher for tiles in outdoor areas.