Knowledge of tiles - Tutorial

Tiles 1x1

Here are the key points to the tile.



Abrasion group / surface wear

Tile types: stoneware tiles, stoneware tiles and porcelain stoneware tiles

tile size

tile edges

Tiles Nominal / Manufacturer's Measure (Modular)

Glazed tiles



Rectified tiles

scratch hardness

slip resistance

deep abrasion



tile types

Earthenware tiles (according to DIN EN 14411 BIII (GL)) are glazed ceramic tiles, which are intended for installation in frost-free indoor areas in Europe. These tiles are made for laying on walls.

Stoneware tiles and porcelain stoneware tiles are tiles that are suitable for use on the floor as well as on the wall in the interior and, given a frost resistance, also for outdoor use.

The tiles are glazed (GL) or unglazed (UGL) available. According to their method of production, they are referred to in DIN EN 14411 as dry-pressed tiles group "B" or extruded tiles and tiles group "A".

Their suitability for use on the ground is mainly due to the loads acting on the ground, as well as the regulations applicable to public areas (working area or wet barefoot areas).

Tiles laid on the ground are subject to wear and tear, abrasion, which is referred to as abrasion in glazed tiles and as deep wear in unglazed materials.

Non-glazed stoneware tiles (UGL) have a wear resistance that is one of the highest of all floor coverings. Even after decades of intensive use, wear of this homogeneous material is virtually invisible.


Glazed tiles

Earthenware tiles are covered with transparent or opaque glaze, which is usually melted in a second firing process. The glazed surface can be found in glossy, semi-matt or matt, as well as profiled or wavy with structure.

Stoneware tiles are available with and without glaze, the latter being colored through. With hard glaze, these tiles are very hard-wearing.

Porcelain stoneware tiles are also available with a glazed and unglazed surface, this being so-called through-colored porcelain stoneware.


Non-slip tiles

Special tiles with differently profiled or rough surfaces to achieve slip-resistant properties of a covering (accident prevention). The accident insurers prescribe anti-slip tiles for floors in working areas and areas with increased risk of slipping and for barefoot areas. The tiles to be used in these areas must have the prescribed degree of slip resistance (verified by the manufacturer).

A distinction is made in the commercial sector between R9 and R13. Here, one examiner with protective shoes has to stand and walk on one level. As a lubricant, oil is applied to the surface. The inclination angle of the surface to be tested is larger the higher the R group is.

In the case of barefoot areas in swimming pools and in the areas where athletic facilities are cleaned, a distinction is made between groups A, B and C. Here, too, slip resistance is determined by a test person on a slate level. As a lubricant here soap-containing water is used.


Explanation / overview of sure-footedness and skid resistance in working areas, areas and operational traffic routes.


Abrasion: What should I look for when buying floor tiles?

In contrast to wall tiles, floor tiles are subject to constant wear. For this reason, there is a division into abrasion classes for floor tiles. Abrasion (surface wear) occurs in floor coverings as a result of abrasive, abrasive stresses and can be seen in the case of glazed tiles due to a change in the gloss of the surface.


Abrasion group / surface wear

Glazed stoneware tiles (GL) are divided into groups for their resistance to abrasion and can therefore be assigned to areas of application. The abrasion resistance (wear group) of glazed stoneware tiles is specified by the manufacturer.

Abrasion Group I: Very light use.

Floor coverings in rooms that are committed at low frequency without scratching dirt with soft-soled footwear z. B. sleeping and sanitary facilities in private housing.

Abrasion Group II: Lightweight.

Floor coverings in rooms that are loaded with normal footwear at low frequency of traffic with low scratching pollution z. B. private housing, but not in kitchens, entrance areas, outdoor flooring and stairs.

Abrasion group III: medium stress.

Floor coverings in rooms that are loaded with normal footwear under abrasive load at scratching rate, eg with normal footwear. B. private housing, but not in kitchens, as well as coverings of non-residential construction with comparable stress, such as hotel rooms and bathrooms.

Abrasion group IV: heavier load.

Floor coverings in rooms that are subject to heavy foot traffic with normal footwear in terms of pollution and load capacity intensive z. Entrance areas, terraces, kitchens, sales and service areas, offices, hospitals, hotels, schools and administrative buildings.

Abrasion Group V: Heavy Duty.

For application areas with very strong public traffic, tiles of the abrasion group V are available, which have a very high resistance to wear, eg. As barber shops, bakeries, food stalls, entrance halls for hotels, banks and restaurants.

Strongest stress:

Unglazed stoneware tiles (UGL) have wear resistance that is among the highest of all floor coverings. Even after decades of intensive use, wear of this homogeneous material is virtually invisible.


scratch hardness

Measure of the resistance of ceramic glazes against scratching, scratching stress. Scratch hardness test by Mohs. Specification of the hardness according to the Mohs hardness scale from 1 to 10.


deep abrasion

Deep abrasion refers to the shard abrasion in unglazed stoneware tiles due to grinding, rubbing stress. The permissible tolerances are specified as a minimum requirement in the relevant material standard (see Abrasion Group).


tile edges

Caliber / Calibrated tiles

Calibrated tiles are tiles that have the same actual size.

As a rule, after production, the tiles are sorted into the different calibers and marked accordingly on the cardboard.

Rectified tiles

Rectified tiles are particularly dimensionally stable, because they are ground to a certain degree after production at the edges. This gives the side surfaces a 90 ° angle to the surface. For this reason, rectified tiles can be laid with very narrow joints.

Beveled edge

If the top edge of a rectified tile is slightly bevelled, this is called bevelled edges.


tile size

Tiles have a desired production dimension (nominal size, see also modular tiles), which is composed of manufacturing dimension and joint width. Due to the industrial production of the tiles, there are fluctuations in the size of the tiles, the so-called caliber.


Tiles Nominal / Manufacturer's Measure (Modular)

Tiles whose nominal size is made up of manufacturer's dimension (fabrication dimension) and joint width.


Nominal size: 10 x 20 cm

Manufacturing dimension (manufacturing dimension): 97 x 197 mm

Joint width: 3 mm

The property "modular" is also attributed to tiles, if - as for example with ceramic / natural stone combinations - they are matched to each other in all dimensions (width / length / thickness).



Mosaics are tiles with a size of up to 10 x 10 cm.

These are usually factory glued to so-called panels (sheet, mesh) with the size 30 x 30 cm to facilitate the installation. The bonding can be done front or back.

Mosaics can be made of different materials, such. As ceramics, glass or natural stone.

Some manufacturers also offer so-called picture mosaics, on which a variety of motifs are shown.