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Recycled vs White Clay Body:  What’s the Difference?

Posted by: Kali • Dec 4

Recycled vs White Clay Body:  What’s the Difference?

As your choosing your Tile samples, you'll probably notice all of our Tile colors display which clay body is used underneath the color name.  Understanding the differences between clay bodies and why we don't suggest mixing the two together before beginning the ordering process will save you time and possibly money.  So let's take a look at each of the differences between our recycled and white clay bodies.

The Differences

Material:  Our recycled clay body is made from a mixture of clay, post-consumer glass and porcelain, and granite dust.  Our white clay body is a little different.  It contains no recycled material, however our white body clay is still made in house from domestically sourced our materials.

Tile shown: Turquoise in Ogee; Image: Kirsten Kaiser Photography

Tile color shown: Turquoise (Recycled Clay Body)

Actual Size:  The difference in material causes slight variation in size among our recycled clay body and white clay body tile.  The actual size of our white clay body is slightly smaller than our recycled clay body.  These size discrepancies are caused by the different shrinkage rates of the two clay bodies during firing.  Our recycled clay body consists of a variety of materials including post-consumer recycled porcelain that has already been fired once, this results in less shrinkage, because shrinkage already happened during the material's initial firing.  Our White body doesn't have these materials, resulting in a higher shrinkage rate, and thus a slightly smaller tile size.

Variation in size is why we never recommend blending the two different clay bodies together in the same installation.  Using them together will cause an uneven surface, and the sizes will not be modular.  If you do use the two clay bodies together, make sure they are on separate surfaces, such as a floor and a wall.

Tile colors shown: Sea Foam (White Body) and Tidewater (Recycled Body)

Size and Shape availability:  While our recycled clay body is available on all sizes and specialty shapes, our white clay body has a limited selection.  The field sizes available on our white clay body are: 1 x 6, 2 x 2, 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 2 x 8, 3 x 3, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, and our 3" and 4" Hexagon.  We cannot accommodate sizes larger than those listed because our white body is made of a virgin clay with finer, more delicate materials, while the recycled materials in our recycled clay body make it a little more sturdy, allowing us to create larger sizes, such as our new large format tile, EDGE.

While we offer all of our specialty shapes on our recycled clay body, there are only 6 available on our white clay body.  This is due to potential warpage as a result of the finer aggregates used to make our white clay body.

White clay body specialty shapes available: Paseo, Ogee Drop, Star & CrossChaine Femme, Chaine Homme, and Cravate

Color Options:  Our recycled and white clay bodies have their own individual color groups.  We cannot use a white body glaze on a recycled clay body because our white body glazes are more transparent and made to highlight the slight crackle pattern found on our white clay body. This effect cannot be achieved on our recycled clay body. We do offer a range of engobe glazes on our recycled clay body that allow us to achieve a more translucent, crackled finish. 

Crazing:  The use of our white clay body allows for more transparent glazes with high levels of crazing, and more variation.  The ingredients in our white clay body play a big role in creating the crackle effect. There will be more crazing apparent on a white clay body tile than a recycled clay body.

Tile shown: 4 x 4 in Blue Spruce; Design: White + Gold Design; Image: Scott Davis Photography

Tile color shown: Blue Spruce (White Clay Body)

Ready to make your choice?  Order free Tile samples now.  Still need some help?  Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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