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Tile School: Four Degrees of Color Variation

By Kali |

Tile Shown: Hawaiian Blue is ranked a V3 due to its higher variation and crackle finish. 

Everything we make is handmade and is made just for YOU. This custom, handmade quality is often reflected in the beautiful variation of color that exists within each tile. Variation is something that occurs naturally in ceramics; different glazes react differently with various materials, kiln temperatures and location within the kiln while in the firing process. We rate the color variation within a tile, whether it be Tile or Brick, from a level of one to four. V1 being the least amount of variation and V4 being the most. You can find out which variation level a color falls under by exploring its individual color page on our website.  

We are pretty crazy about our higher-variation colors, but understand that they are not for everyone! We have plenty of lower variation colors to choose from too! These levels are important to take note of when you are sampling colors and making an order--as we always want you to be thrilled with the outcome of your project! We talked about variation a little bit in our recent blog on the difference between our Recycled and White Clay Tiles, but you will notice more variation with certain finishes and materials. Our White Clay tends to have more variation (due to crazing aka crackle), Engobe glazes (on recycled clay) will be higher in variation, and because our Glass is made from 100% recycled materials there is a higher level variation within those tiles as well. 

Tile Color Variation Levels


Image: Look for the symbols above when you are looking at our colors! 

Below we will show you examples of color variation so that you can get a better sense of what material and variation level is right for you: 

V1 and V2
These two variation levels have the least amount of color variation. This level is typical in our recycled clay body where the glaze is simply gloss or matte. Many of our Express colors, Edge series and a few colors of our Brick fall into this category as well. 

Paseo Tile Backsplash in White Wash

Tile Shown: Paseo in White Wash. This color is rated as a V1 and has very little variation. 

Below are examples of colors that have lower variation: 

White Wash Tile, Gypsum Matte Tile, Rainy Day Tile, Huckleberry Tile

Tile Shown (from left to right)-White Wash V1, Gypsum (matte) V2, Rainy Day V1, Huckleberry V2

V3 and V4
This is where you are going to see a greater variation. We encourage you to talk with your Design Consultant about getting multiple samples of a higher variation (V3 and V4) color so that you can see its full range. Many of our Glass, Brick and Tile colors fall into this level. All of our colors that are engobed, have crackle or are patined will naturally have more color variation. As you can see below in an installation of Foggy Morning, which is a V3 rated color due to its crackle finish: 

Foggy Morning Tiled Herringbone Backsplash in 2x6

Tile Shown: Foggy Morning in a Herringbone Pattern in 2x6 field tile, really shows the natural variation of this V3 color. 

Close up of Foggy Morning Tiled Herringbone Backsplash in 2x6

Tile Shown: Here is the same installation of Foggy Morning from above so that you can get a better look at the variation level. 

Caribbean Tile and Hawaiian Blue Tile

Tile Shown: Caribbean (left) is a V3 due to its engobe finish and on the right, Hawaiian Blue is also a V3 due to its high levels of crazing. 

Cotton Brick and Glacier Brick

Tile Shown: Brick in Cotton and Glacier. Both are an example of V3. 

Do you have more questions about color variation? Would you like a few samples of a higher variation color? Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.