If you have undertaken or been involved in any type of home renovation project, you have probably heard of the term “nominal” when talking about material sizes.
But what are nominal sizes and how do they factor into natural stone tiles?
Today, we are going to unpack nominal sizes, common nominal sizes, as well as how this concept applies to natural stone tiles.
Let’s dive in!
What Does Nominal Size Refer to?
According to the Tile Council of North America, nominal size refers to “the approximate facial size or thickness of the tile, expressed in inches or fractions of an inch for general reference.”
Nominal sizes provide a standardized way of referencing a generic tile size and should be used in name only, for identification purposes. Typically, you will see nominal sizes listed on product specification sheets or on the outside of the box that the product arrives in.
While nominal sizes stem from and reference the actual size of the material, each size encompasses a predetermined range of acceptable size variations.
Even when you are manufacturing tiles in a factory-like environment, production processes can vary from company to company. And choices, like what saws are used to cut the material, can impact the final size of the tile. These size variation tolerances make it so that tile materials can be well-standardized across industries, rather than specific to one single manufacturer.
So, do not be alarmed if you find yourself in a situation where your product dimensions do not totally align with the nominal size listed on the product box! This variation is completely normal and expected, especially for nature-made materials, like natural stone tiles.
For example, let’s imagine you have just purchased a box of tiles with a nominal size of 12×12”. When your purchase arrives, it is expected that you may see tiles with dimensions measuring 11.75×11.75” or tiles that measure 11.375×11.375”. However, you would not expect to see a 13×13 inch tile because that falls well outside the acceptable size variation limits for this standard nominal size.
Typical Tile Nominal Sizes
When it comes to standard tile sizes, there are several sizes you will encounter more often than others.
The most common nominal tile sizes include:
At StoneImpressions, our standard tile size options include:
With all of our standard tiles sizes, we recommend using grout joints that measure 1/8″ to ensure your tile installation looks flawless.
Not seeing a size that fits your installation needs? We also have the ability to customize any existing tile design or mural to your specific sizing needs!
A Good Rule of Thumb
When ordering tile, remember to add 10%-20% to the actual square footage of the area where the tile will be installed before you place your order.
Adding this extra material to your order can account for tiles that might not exactly fit your actual dimensions or for preserving the integrity of your pattern tile design.
And this additional tile can really go the extra mile for you!
Outside of accounting for nominal size variation, extra material can also come in handy for future add-ons or repairs. Moreover, having additional material on hand can give you the opportunity to cherry-pick the pieces you want to go into your final tile installation.
All Sized Up
With that, you are now officially squared away on nominal sizes and how they relate to our natural stone tiles.
If you are ever unsure about what size tile you need for your installation, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. Our expert staff is ready and waiting to assist you!
Looking to expand your knowledge on the fundamentals of natural stone tiles? Learn about natural stone and its various types or how often you should reseal your natural stone tile installation today.