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Tile School: Still Crazing After All These Years

By Kali |

Tile Shown: 2x4 tiles in Hawaiian Blue in a parquet pattern.

You've probably heard us say words like "crackle" and "crazing" or seen them mentioned our website, but we want to make sure you know what it means for you and your tile. Crazing is a natural process that occurs in ceramics where a glaze develops subtle surface cracks, adding to the natural patina of a handmade tile. Although crazing is something that happens naturally over time, we love the effect so much we sped up the process by offering a range of glazes that crackle, or "craze" during kiln firing.

Tile Shown: Hawaiian Blue is a V3 rated color with a high level of crackle.

We think crazing is a part of the inherent beauty of our tiles, but the crackly or high variation look isn't for everyone, which is why we rate each of our glazes from V1 (low variation) to V4 (high variation). However, it is important to note, that even glazes that are rated low variation with little to no crazing, might develop traces of crazing over a span of time. To get into the science of it a bit, crazing happens when there is a difference in expansion between the glaze and the clay. The greater the difference, the smaller the craze pattern (an example is Hawaiian Blue, shown above) and the faster and sooner it will occur.  Sometimes it takes years to develop and we call this delayed crazing.

Tile Shown: Mayan Blue has a V3 rating due to its color variation and crazing.

For example, a color like Mayan Blue (shown above) is rated as a V3, meaning there is noticeable color variation and crazing. It is also more likely that additional crazing will develop over time. A color like White Wash (shown below), is rated a V1, there is very little variation and low crazing. While a V1 has no visible crackle initially, your tile may develop very small surface cracks that you might not even be able to see unless you look very closely. A bit of crackle in your tile is in no way a structural flaw in your tile, so do not worry.

Tile Shown: White Wash

Do you like any of the featured colors? Order samples online now. Need some help or have more questions about crazing? 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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