We get a lot of questions about our crackle glazes aka crazing (which makes sense, these aren't words that you hear often, if ever). From what these words actually mean to where you can use tiles with a crackle finish - we're addressing your top questions here.
First off, what is crazing?
Over time, a glaze will develop subtle surface cracks, which adds to the natural patina of a handmade tile and we call this crazing or crackle. Crazing is something that happens naturally over time. We're big fans of this effect, so we sped up the process by offering a number of glazes that crackle, or "craze" during kiln firing. Fun fact: You can actually hear the crazing happening when the tile comes of of the kiln.
You can see that we've spread up the process in the glaze below:
Tile Shown: Hawaiian Blue
Where can glazes with crazing be installed?
Glazes with crazing can be installed in nearly any application. There are some limitations with steam showers and pools, but if you're going that route, just give us a call and we'll let you know what will work best.
You can see Hawaiian Blue installed in the kitchen below. Crackle finishes do just fine in heavily used areas, like the kitchen:
Tile Shown: 4x8s in Hawaiian Blue.
Shell, one of our White Clay Body glazes, is a color with crazing. You can see that it can be installed for both wall and floor tile:
Does it affect the strength of the tile at all?
Crazing is something that happens naturally in ceramics and in no way affects the durability of the tile. Over time, your tile may develop a bit of crackle that wasn't there when it was installed initially. Don't fret! This is perfectly normal and your tile is A-ok (more on crazing over time here).
Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Sea Foam.
Does it require more maintenance?
If you're using one of our White Clay Body glazes with crackle in a bathroom application, please let us know and we will happily seal it for you before it ships out. If you are using one of our Engobe glazes you'll want to seal the tile upon installation if it is in a bathroom setting and it is good practice to re-seal crackle glazes every couple of years. It's important to note, that it's actually your grout, more so than tile, that will require occasional maintenance!
Adriatic Sea, one of our Engobe glazes, was used on both the walls and floor of the bathroom below.
Like any of these colors? Order color samples online now. Need help or still confused about crackle? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented design consultants will get back to you shortly.