Institut de Promoció Ceràmica
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The Functions of Tile-To-Tile Joints

Tile-to-tile joints address specific requirements of the modular rigid covering, known as functions:

  • To dissipate the stress produced on the covering, mainly subjected to compression, bending and tensile forces, due to the instability of the substrates or dimensional variations of the intermediate layers and the actual tiles
  • Between surfaces with different water steam pressure. If the steam migrates from the inside of the covering towards the outside and non-absorbent or steam-impervious tiles are used, the joint allows it to be evacuated
  • Likewise, it enables the evaporation of water or solvent from the bonding material during hardening
  • Absorption of dimensional deviations of the tiles
  • Especially with ceramic tiles and when the aim is to use colour and texture to highlight this valued property

The tile-to-tile joint is defined as the physical separation between tiles in a modular rigid covering, generally used in ceramic coverings and floorings.

In addition to contributing to highlight the modular attribute of a covering, joints between tiles also have clearly defined technical functions: the mechanical function of absorbing the compression and tensile stress that may be produced on the covering, the function of diffusing steam from the lower strata, and the function of being able to absorb—to a minor extent—the dimensional deviations (length and width) of the types of tiles that are sold with tolerances (especially ceramic tiles).

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