Glossary of Industry Terms



Facial defect

That portion of the facial surface of the tile which is readily observed to be nonconforming and which will detract from the aesthetic appearance or serviceability of the installed tile.

Faience mosaics

Faience the that are less than 6 in .z in facial area, usually 5/16 to 3/8 in. (8 to 9.5 mm) thick, and usually mounted to facilitate installation. (ASTM C 242).

Faience tile

Glazed or unglazed tile, generally made by the plastic process, showing characteristic variations in the face, edges, and glaze that give a handcrafted, nonmechanical, decorative effect. (ASTM C 242).

Faience ware

Formerly a decorated earthenware with an opaque glaze, but currently designating a decorated earthenware having a transparent glaze (ASTM C 242).

Fan or fanning

Spacing tile joints to widen certain areas so they will conform to a section that is not parallel.


A flat member or band at the surface of a building or the edge beam of a bridge; exposed eave of a building; often inappropriately called facia.

Feather edge

A wood or metal tool having a beveled edge; used to straighten re-entrant angles in finish plaster coat; also edge of a concrete or mortar placement such as a patch or topping that is beveled at an acute angle.

Featheredging tile (mitering)

The method of chipping away the body from beneath a facial edge of a tile in order to form a miter.

Feature strip (decorated liner)

A narrow strip of tile that has a contrasting color, texture, or design.


A mineral aggregate consisting chiefly of microcline, albite and/or anorthite. (ASTM C 242).

Field tile

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


The name for products made of or with glass fibers ranging from 5 to 600 hundred-thousandths inch in diameter. Used for making textile fabrics, and for heat or sound insulation.

Field tile

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


See Spacing mix.


See Spacing mix.

Fineness modulus

A factor obtained by adding the total percentages by weight of an aggregate sample retained on each of a specified series of sieves, and dividing the sum by 100. In the United States the standard sieve sizes are No. 100 (150 pm), No. 30 (600 Wm), No. 16 (1.18 mm), No. 8 (2.36 mm) and No. 4 (4.75 mm), and 3/e in. (9.5 mm), 3/a in. (19 mm), 11/s in. (38,1 mm), 3 in. (75 mm), and 6 in. (150 mm).


See Spacing mix.


See Spacing mix.

Final setting time

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


See Fire, bisque; Fire, decorating; Fire, glost; Fire, single.

Fire, bisque

The process of kiln-firing ceramic ware prior to glazing. (ASTM C 242).

Fire clay

An earthy or stony mineral aggregate which has as the essential constituent hydrous silicates of aluminum with or without free silica, plastic when sufficiendy pulverized and wetted, rigid when subsequently dried, and of suitable refractoriness for use in commercial refractory products.

Fire, decorating

The process of firing ceramic or metallic decorations on the surface of glazed ceramic ware. (ASTM C 242).

Fire, glost

The process of kiln-firing bisque ware to which glaze has been applied. (ASTM C 242).

Fire, single

The process of maturing an unfired ceramic body and its glaze in one firing operation. (ASTM C 242).


The controlled heat treatment of ceramic ware in a kiln or furnace, during the process of manufacture, to develop the desired properties. (ASTM C. 242).

Firing range

The range of firing temperature within which a ceramic composition develops properties which render it commercially useful. (ASTM C 242).


Irregularities left on the edge of the tile mainly due to the use of machine cutting tools.


Capable of being easily ignited.

Flash point

The temperature at which the material gives off flammable vapor in sufficient quantity to ignite momentarily on the application of a flame under specified conditions.

Flat trowel

The flat trowel is used in conjunction with the hawk for the transferring of mortar from the mortarboard to the wall or to other vertical surfaces. It is frequently used for spreading pure cement on the finished float coat. The flat trowel also is used for spreading mortar on floor surfaces before tiles are set.

Flexural strength

A property of a material or structural member that indicates its ability to resist failure in bending. (See also Modulus of rupture.)

Float coat

The final mortar coat over which the neat coat, pure coat, or skim coat is applied.

Float strip

A strip of wood about 1/4″ thick and 11/4″ wide. It is used as a guide to align mortar surfaces.


A method of using a straightedge to align mortar with the float strips or screeds. This technique also is called dragging, pulling, rodding, or rodding off.

Fluorite (Ca F2) (fluorspar)

An inorganic mineral of the isometric form, used as a source of fluorine for fluxing of glasses, and glazes.


A substance that promotes fusion in a given ceramic mixture. (ASTM C 242).

Fog curing

1. Storage of concrete in a moist room in which the desired high humidity is achieved by the atomization of fresh water. (See also Moist room). 2. Application of atomized fresh water to concrete, stucco, mortar, or plaster.

Form oil

Oil applied to interior surface of formwork to promote easy release from the concrete when forms are removed.


The shaping or molding of ceramic ware. (ASTM C 242).

Forsterite porcelain

A vitreous ceramic whiteware for technical application in which forsterite (2MgO Si02) is the essential crystalline phase. (ASTM C 242).

Forsterite whiteware

Any ceramic whiteware in which Forsterite (2MgO – SiO,) is the essential crystalline phase. (ASTM C 242).

Freehand floating

The application of wall mortar without the use of guide screeds. This technique is used by specialists when they are setting glass mosaic murals.


A glass which contains fluxing material and is employed as a constituent in a glaze, body or other ceramic composition. (ASTM C 242).

Fritted glaze

A glaze in which a part or all of the fluxing constituents are prefused. (ASTM C 242).

Frost proof tile

Tile produced for use where freezing and thawing conditions occur. (CTI)

Furan mortar

A two-part mortar system of furan resin and furan hardener used for bonding tile to back-up material where chemical resistance of floors is important.

Furan Plastics

Plastics based on resins in which the furan ring is an integral part of the polymer chain, made by the polymerization or polycondensation of furfural, furfuryl alcohol, or other compounds containing a furan ring, or by the reaction of these furan compounds with other compounds, the furan being in greater amount by weight.

Furan resin

A furan resin composition used as a chemical-resistant setting adhesive or chemical-resistant grout.

Furan resin grout

A two-part grout system of furan resin and furan hardener used for filling joints between quarry tile and pavers where chemical resistant properties are required.


Stripping used to build out a surface such as a studded wall where strips of suitable size are added to the studs to accommodate vent pipes or other fixtures. (TCA)


The process of melting; usually the result of interaction of two or more materials. (ASTM C 242).