BLOG - Rectified v’s pressed edge
A rectified tile is manufactured as a pressed edge tile and has been cut down to a more precise size. Rectified meaning fixed or repaired, thereby in this circumstance meaning the square cutting of the edge to be more "perfect". You should expect that all tiles in a rectified edge batch will be the same size, between batches they may vary slightly as the saw blade becomes worn.
Pressed edge (other names include cushion edge, round edge, soft edge, etc.) are tiles that have been manufactured using standard pressing processes in moulds that will result a slight curving on the sides. The amount of rounding will vary between manufacturers and processes implemented. First quality tiles in pressed edge batches have an allowable variation in size (under Australian consumer laws), therefore a wider grout joint should be used to allow for this variation in tile size. Minimum grout joint size on these tiles is 3mm.
The nature of a rectified tile and the way it has been cut will determine the size it is cut to. Most floor-rated tiles will be manufactured larger than 600x600mm, and then be cut down to 600x600mm. Smaller sizes (i.e. 600x300mm and 300x300mm) are then cut from the 600x600mm tile. Therefore the width of the blade reduces the size of the tile nominal size, this means the 600x300mm will generally be a 600x298mm and when further cut to a nominal 300x300mm size will in reality be 298x298mm. The 600x300mm and 300x300mm sizes are generally known as a "working" size.
A tile that is only manufactured to be rectified to a specific size (commonly a 600x300 wall tile) will be manufactured larger than 600x300mm, and then cut down to a more precise 600x300mm, therefore grout joints will not line up if mixing tiles manufactured for different purposes.
Often rectified edge tiles are sold on the basis that they can be laid with minimal grout joints and provide a seamless finish. This DOES NOT mean that they can be butted together without a grout joint. This will contravene both building codes and Australian Standards. The grout joint and any associated movement/expansion joints are there for a purpose, and if these requirements are ignored you may find your entire floor area "popping up" as the tiles expand and contract with heat and cold. Ensure the tiles are laid with appropriate joint sizes (1.5-2mm for rectified or as specified by manufacturer), as the lifespan of the finished job should be a far greater concern than creating a poor job that may "look better" initially.
In saying this, it is true that rectified edge tiles, being laid with a smaller grout joint, does provide a smoother finish for a more modern look.
Please note that laying rectified tiles is harder, and takes more work and sometimes specialist equipment, and will therefore cost more. The other problem inherent with these tiles is "lipping" i.e. small areas at the grout joints that may sit proud of the surrounding tiles. This is a major cause of dissatisfaction once the job is complete. Small lippage is tolerated under Australian Standards, but can still be unsatisfactory to the end user. Due to the square edge of the tile, you may find that you require some substrate preparation prior to tiling, to ensure that you get a flatter finished surface.
Pressed edge tiles are often cheaper to purchase due to reduction in manufacture process, and less expensive to have laid by a professional. They also tend to hide any substrate "lumps and bumps" absorb more substrate deviation as the rounded corners, where meeting, allow for greater differentiation before being a noticeable lip.
Pressed edge tiles are also great when using the tile shape as a feature, especially if using a noticeably different grout colour to highlight joints (e.g. Using dark grout between white tiles).
Pressed edge tiles are also a great starter tile for the DIY'er. Rectified tiles, with current wedge and clip systems are becoming easier to lay, but experience will provide the perfect finish and any irregularities will be very evident. Particularly on a wall as overhead lights create shadows on tile lips.
Therefore in deciding which edged tile to choose, consider your style, suitability of substrate, desired finished look, availability of the right colour if that is the main factor, and cost of purchase and laying.
Remember that help is always at hand from your preferred qualified tiler, and further assistance is never far away at Complete Tiles & Stone....and most of all, enjoy the whole experience!
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