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Know Before You Buy

Tile School: 5 Reasons to Choose Our Handmade Tile

By Lindsey |

Tile Shown: 2 x 6 in Daisy set in Herringbone // Design: SVK Interior Design

There is a such a good feeling that comes along with buying a handmade product. Whether it's our Glazed Thin Brick, Ceramic or Handpainted tiles, you'll be getting a product that's made with lots of love and attention to detail. Because we make everything by hand, you'll need to factor in the time it takes to make the tile, but we promise it's worth the wait (as most good things are!). 


Tile Shown: Handpainted Sintra in Neutral Motif // Design: JL Interior Design // Image: Thomas Kuoh Photography

Of course, there are so so many reasons to choose our handmade tiles, but today we're sharing the top 5 below: 

1. Made for you: 

We make each and every tile to order and its all made by hand. You've surely heard the phrase, "made with love?" On average each tile passes through seven different pairs of hands, meaning that we put a lot of love in every order we ship out.


Tile Shown: 6" Hexagons in Navy Blue // Design: Kate Arends 

A lot of people are surprised that we literally make everything by hand (the handpainted tiles especially). Below you can see a handpainted order in progress: 


Tile Shown: Handpainted Kasbah Trellis in progress. 

Here's the same Kasbah installed! 


Tile Shown: Kasbah Trellis in Neutral Motif and Hexite in Basalt // Design: Studio Revolution

2. Sustainably Made: 

We always strive to tread lightly on our Earth by using recycled materials, sourcing locally and doing things in a sustainably-minded way. Our commitment to the environment is also why we make everything to order; not keeping any stock ensures that we're not creating additional waste. (You can learn more about our sustainable practices here). 


Image: Ceramic 1 x 6's prior to glazing


Tile Shown: 1 x 6's in Nutmeg // Design: The Modern Caravan // Image: Kate Oliver

3. Made in the USA:

We make all of our ceramic tiles at our Factory in Aromas, CA, just two hours away from our San Francisco showroom and offices. We also aim to source all of our recycled and raw materials locally. If we cannot get them from nearby, we still try to source as much as we can from the United States. (You can learn more about our factory here). 

Check out this video to get an insider look at the daily happenings at our factory! 

4. Beautifully Made:

With a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from, our handmade tiles add another note of beauty and texture to the spaces they inhabit. 


Tile Shown: Mini Star and Cross in Martinique


Tile Shown: Mini Star and Cross in Tusk // Design: In Honor of Design // Image: Rustic White Photography  

With handmade tile there will always be an inevitable level of color variation, meaning a slight difference in color from tile to tile. We think color variation adds a unique handmade look to your space with interesting texture and dimmension–what's not to love?


Tile Shown: Glazed Thin Brick in White Mountains, Ceramic 4 x 4's in Antique // Design + Image: K Interiors

Each of our colors are rated on a scale of 1-4 in terms of color variation (or "V"). V1 and V2 colors will typically have the least amount of color/sheen variation from piece to piece. V3 and V4 colors will typically have a lot more color/sheen variation from piece to piece. 

See this Adriatic Sea (V3) shower surround below: 


Tile Shown: 3 x 6 in Adriatic Sea // Design: Karen Kreidich (owner) and John Kreidich Jr. AIA, Architect // Image: Pratt + Kreidich  

It's always best to dry lay your tiles before installing so you can disperse this variation throughout your entire install space, rather than just one area. 

See this Crater Lake (V3) commercial bath below:


Tile Shown: 3 x 12 in Crater Lake // Design: The Perennial Restaurant

Not only do our tiles vary in color and sheen, but they also vary in size because they're made by hand! We make our ceramic tile on two different clay bodies-- White Clay and Recycled Red Clay. These two types of clays shrink at different rates in our kilns. You will typically see our tiles vary in size by about 1/8" in either direction. To minimize the look of this size variation in your space, we recommend installing at a little larger of a grout space-- 3/16." The tighter you install the tiles, the more noticeable the size variation will become. 


Tile Shown: 1 x 6's in Tusk // Design: The Modern Caravan // Image: Kate Oliver

5. Made to Last:

Our tiles and glazed thin bricks are heirloom in quality and will most certainly stand the test of time. We work to use materials that are durable and that will ensure that you will love your tile and brick for years to come. We love how the fireplace below really highlights the beauty of handmade materials; you can really see the perfectly, imperfect nature of it when up close:


Tile Shown: Glazed Thin Brick in Lewis Range // Design: Amanda Jane Jones //Image: Stoffer Photography

Like any of the featured colors? Order color samples online now. 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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