Tile is a versatile material used in many homes, for many different purposes. The most common places you see tile are bathrooms, for flooring and the walls surrounding bathtubs and showers. Sometimes tile is used for more decorative purposes, on bathroom walls, the backsplash over kitchen base cabinets or even countertops.
When buying tile, you want to be careful to research the type of tile you want for it's use. Ceramic tile is the most common tile used in the US. Porcelain tile is similar to ceramic tile, fired at higher temperatures which make it more dense, moisture-resistant, less porous and more stain-resistant. There are also many different natural stone tiles so take your time making this kind of investment.
Get more ideas for using tile in our homeowner library.
T-Joint – The condition created by the overlapping intersection of three or four sheets in the membrane.
T-Molding – Molding piece that finishes the space between two areas of wood or laminate flooring. For laminate, it also fills the gap at doorways.
Tack Cloth – A sticky rag that's used to clean any surface before you paint or apply wood stain.
Tackiness – Stickiness of a waterproofing material’s exposed surface after installation or during its final curing stage.
Tapping Block – Block of wood used directly against the edge of laminate boards during installation when tightening the joints with a hammer.
Teaser Rate – An artificially low initial interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage. Lenders often advertise low initial rates to attract borrowers, relying on a ‘catch-up’ clause to recoup their losses later.
Termite Shield – A barrier (often a metal baffle) used to block termites from access to wooden structural members. (Note: Chemicals are commonly used in new construction.)
Terracotta – A type of unglazed ceramic tile that is fragile and requires surface sealers for protection.
Texture – The term used to describe the surface look and feel of flooring. Textures can range from silky smooth to hand-scraped and distressed.
Thermal Insulation – A material applied to reduce the flow of heat.
Thermal Movement – Movement, either expansion or contraction, caused by temperature changes.
Threshold – A finishing piece applied to the wood floor transition area where the wood transitions to another flooring level or another flooring type.
Tie-off – In waterproofing, the transitional seal used to terminate a waterproofing application at the top or bottom of flashing or by forming a watertight seal with the substrate, membrane, or waterproofing system(s).
Title – A formal document which establishes ownership of a property.
Title company – A company that provides title insurance and other services including researching the title, checking the public records for liens, and preparing title abstracts.
Tongue and Groove – The edge effect used on laminate boards to enable mechanical fastening of one board to the adjacent board(s).
Top Plate – The horizontal member nailed to the top of the studding of a wall.
Traffic Surface – A surface exposed to traffic, either pedestrian or vehicular, also described as finish wearing surface.
Transfer Disclosure Statement – A document filled out by the seller which describes the condition of the property.
Transfer Taxes – Taxes imposed by local governments when transferring ownership of real property.
Transition Strips – Installation accessory that bridges two floors of different heights to equalize the height differential. Transition strips are functional and decorative.
Tread – The step or horizontal board of a stair.
Trim Pieces – Various shapes of ceramic bases, caps, corners, moldings, angles, etc. Bullnose and corners are also considered trim pieces
Trowel – Tool used to place the correct amount of adhesive on the floor prior to installing vinyl sheet or (dry-back) vinyl tile.