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Tile School: The Variation of Color Variation

Posted by: Kali • Feb 27

Tile School: The Variation of Color Variation

Color variation is something that is inherent to our handmade tiles. We rate our colors from a V1 (low variation) to a V4 (high variation) so that you can choose the color variation that you are most comfortable with. However, (and we promise we are not trying not trying to confuse you here), there is variation to how much color variation you will or will not see in an order.

We've talked about color variation before here , but here are a few other things to keep in mind about color variation:

We show the potential range on our website:
The images of tile colors that you see on our website, show the potential color variation that exists within a color. Below is an image of Foggy Morning, one of our V3 rated tile colors. V3 means that the color will typically have noticeable variation and this glaze in particular has heavy crazing. While there is the potential for an order to have the range of variation shown in this image, it is also possible that your order might be more consistent.

Tile Shown: Foggy Morning

Below is an image of Foggy Morning installed, you can see that this order shows the full range of color variation. You can also see from these two images of the same tile color how much light can affect a color. Always look at your color samples in both natural and artificial light to make sure you're in love with it in both! (You can read more about lighting and tile here).

Tile Shown: 2x6s in Foggy Morning.

The same color is installed below, where the degree of variation isn't as high. It's color and tone are also affected by the lighting, giving it a warmer hue. 

Tile Shown: 4x8 in Foggy Morning and Murietta in Black and White Motif

The Size of the Order:
You will always see more color variation with larger orders. This is because if the order is large it might be fired in two batches or will simply be spread out in a kiln enough where some areas will become hotter than others, thus affecting color.

Bathrooms have surface areas that generally mean more square footage. You can see a good amount of beautiful color variation in Justina Blakeney's Masterbath, because of both the color she chose (it's a V3 color) and that it was a larger order.

Tile Shown: 8" Hexagons in Adriatic Sea

The bathroom below also features Adriatic Sea. You can see that variation is visible here as well. 

Tile Shown: 3x6 in Adriatic Sea

The bathroom below is also Adriatic Sea and is a smaller order than the two above. You can still see visible variation in this order, but this level of variation is not guaranteed (which we'll tackle in our next point).

Tile Shown: 2x8 in Adriatic Sea 

Lastly, ommercial projects are typically much larger than a residential orders and will generally show more of the range of a color's potential variation.

Tile Shown: Paseos in Azurine.

Azurine is a V4 rated color and while some orders may really showcase a high level of variation, a smaller order may not.

Tile Shown: Azurine, which is a V4, high variation color.

Color Variation is NOT something we can control:
Color variation is usually something that people really want or really do NOT want. You cannot select for your order to have the highest or lowest range of variation. For us, color variation is something that is out of our control. 

For example, the order below was for just a few square feet of 2" Hexagons in Sea Foam. While this small order did happen to show the full range of color variation, it is possible that your order may represent only the lightest or darkest shade of the color range. If you're at all concerned about color variation of a brick or tile color that you are considering, you can absolutely ask your Design Consultant or Commercial Team member to send you samples that can show the potential range. We want you to love your tile!

Tile Shown: 2" Hexagons in Sea Foam.

Just like with our ceramic Tile, you will also see variation in our Glazed Thin Brick. Let's take a look at the color White Mountains for reference. 

The fireplace surround below is White Mountains and you can see a beautiful variation of white and gray tones. 

The bathroom below is also White Mountains. What is important to note here is how much lighting and surrounding materials can affect the appearance of a color. Here, White Mountains is paired with a brighter white grout and warm floor tile (Antique) which warms up the overall color. 

Again, we have White Mountains below. Here the color looks more white as it is surrounded by a darker gray grout. 

Tile Shown: White Mountains

Like any of the featured colors? Order samples online now. Have questions about color variation? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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