Ceramic Tile FAQ'a

Answers to frequent questions about ceramic tile lines.

Can any of your ceramic tiles be used in frosty environments?  

Yes, these ceramic tiles are rated for freeze thaw cycles:

  • Yucatan field tile is vitreous tile and an ideal choice for countertops, fireplaces, pools, and fountains.
  • Porcelain Pool Tiles are high fired porcelain with Art Studio glazes and can be used outside in frosty environments without  cracking. 
  • Malibu decorative tile and Malibu Field is High Fire Stoneware and suitable for environments subjected to freeze thaw cycles. It can be ordered with a modified glaze for wet applications.
  • Clay Arabesque decorative tile is freeze thaw tested but deicing minerals can still damage the surface of the tile. We recommend that in freeze thaw climates it is especially important to seal unglazed tile well using a high quality penetrating sealer.

Are tiles made of white clay bodies or bisque superior to those made with red clay bodies?

No. However, to maintain color purity when glazing over red clay, an initial layer called an "engobe" is applied. Using white clay eliminates this step and may help keep production costs down.

Are thick tile stronger and more durable than thinner tile?

No. The thickness of tile has to do with the method of production and the type of clay body and bisque, not its strength and durability.

Are surface glaze irregularities considered defects in handmade tile?

No. Surface glaze irregularities like pin-holes, occasional small specks, glaze build-up, glazed-over nicks and chips are not defects. The hand of the ceramic artist is evident in the irregularities and variation that is inherent in a handmade and hand glazed tile and part of their charm.

Are inexpensive tiles thin because they use less clay to keep costs down? 

No. Inexpensive tiles are thin because they are typically mass produced by a machine that allows the clay to be compressed into a dense but thinner tile. All tiles are not the same thickness and most handmade tile lines are thicker than inexpensive tile lines. 

Can I mix white or off-white glazes from different tile manufacturers or lines on the same installation?

No. NEVER mix white, off-white or neutral glazes from different tile lines. Factories use different bisque and glaze recipes and over the expanse of a wall or floor, they can look very different from one another. Even if the samples look close there is too much variation when installed next to each other and this problem is amplified with hand painted glazes. A sample cannot tell the whole story.