December 21, 2022 | Updated: August 2, 2023


Placement joints as a decorative element on ceramic floor and wall tiles

This element integrates into the space and offers a significant aesthetic component, determining the appearance of the ceramic design

When renovating or designing a new space, the floors and walls are chosen first. Other materials that play an important role in the quality of the finishes should also be considered, such as grouting materials, skirting boards and special parts.

What are joints?

In the physical separation between adjacent tiles, which is necessary to compensate for any dimensional deviations that the ceramic tiles may have, placement joints are an essential element for the final quality of the ceramic floor and wall tiles.

In any case, the joints should fulfil the following technical functions:

  • Improve the strength of the ceramic pieces. They help to absorb stresses generated by unstable supports and dimensional variations.
  • Vapour diffusion capacity. The joints must be impermeable to liquids, but permeable to water vapour; especially in cold weather exteriors and on non-absorbent or glazed tiles.
  • Allow the evaporation of the water present in the materials covered by the tiles, especially the adhesives used to place them.
  • Facilitate the placement of ceramic tiles with a certain level of dimensional variation.
  • Enable the tiles to be repaired.

Decoration with joints

Placement joints on floors and walls play a determining role in the style of spaces, with two key decorative trends:

  • Invisible joints: they blend into the ceramic tiles. The intention in using this type of joint is to make them as inconspicuous as possible, since they are very narrow and they integrate into the pieces used. This is the usual method chosen when fitting PORCELANOSA Group materials, as it enhances the visual continuity of the surface.
  • Joints that stand out against the ceramic tiles. The aim is to highlight the modularity of the ceramic floor or wall tiles, enhancing the contrast between the tile and joint. To achieve this effect, the joints must be broad. This type is often used for mosaics and terracotta flooring.

– Colours. The choice of colour for the joint is fundamental in terms of the look of the overall ceramic design of a room. If the design of the ceramic is to be accentuated and the joint not to be seen, the colour of the grouting material should be similar to the colour of the ceramic tile. When the aim is to give the joint a distinctive role in the interior design, it is important to choose a distinct colour or one that contrasts with the colour of the ceramics.

Types of joints

In order for the joints to be able to embellish a space, the grouting material selected must be of high quality and suited to the technical characteristics of the ceramic tile on which it is going to be applied, as pointed out by Butech, Porcelanosa Group’s specialist tile installation materials firm. There are two types:

  • Reactive resins. They provide the best colour quality and maximum chemical resistance, mechanical properties and zero water absorption. One example is the Epotech collection from Butech.
  • Cement-based. Suitable quality for most types of installation, good colour stability and optimum water vapour diffusion, such as Butech‘s Colorstuk range, available in more than fourteen colours.

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