handmade decorative tile mural

Frequently asked questions
about handmade tile installation


What size are these tiles?

Ashley's tiles are sized to fit together using a grout space of approximately 1/8" to 3/16". Therefore, the actual size of a tile is slightly smaller than the stated/nominal size (a 4x4 tile is approximately 3.8" x 3.8").

As each tile is crafted by hand, dimensions may vary slightly by up to 1/16". Tiles are approximately 3⁄8” thick at the edge.

Nominal sizes make designing installations easier since layouts can be done to whole inch increments since the tiles take up the nominal size when installed.

What material are these tiles made from?

Ashley Keller Art tiles are created from the highest-quality, locally available porcelain clay or white ceramic clay (as described per item).

How are porcelain tiles different from ceramic tiles?

Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are similar in many ways. You can’t always tell them apart by quickly glancing at the installed products. Both types of tiles are clay-based and kiln-fired, but porcelain is technically a specialized type of ceramic clay. They are both extremely durable materials for making tile out of.

The finish of porcelain is smoother and whiter than regular ceramic clay. These characteristics make it ideal for hand-painted elements. However, porcelain is infamously difficult to work with and for this reason can only be used for certain shapes and sizes of handmade tiles. Larger tiles are made from white ceramic clay. 

If you need sample tiles, please send me a message about your project.

porcelain vs white ceramic tiles

 

My tile isn’t perfectly flat or perfectly square, should this be expected?

The entire process of the tile is made by hand: cutting the tile, painting, glazing and firing. As each tile is unique, small variations are expected and this is part of their inherent charm.

Unlike machine-made tile, the handmade tile process uses wet clay during the forming stage. As the freshly cut tile dries, it shrinks considerably before being fired in the kiln where it becomes ceramic. Handling, shrinking and firing to a high temperature, all combine in the final tile installation to produce a vibrant, organic layout.

If you have any concerns about variation, please discuss options with your tile installer. They may suggest selecting a grout similar in colour to the tiles in order to make the variation less pronounced.

Are there any best practices for installing handmade tile?

All installation procedures should conform to those prescribed in the Tile Council of North America Publication entitled “Handbook of Ceramic Tile Installation”.

Please confirm that your tile installer is familiar with this publication and has experience following the guidelines within.

It is highly recommended that you (and your tile installer) perform a "dry layout" before installation. This requires laying out all of the tile on a counter or the floor in the exact way that you plan to install it. Inspect the tiles, organize until satisfied and take note of final dimensions.

What type of grout should be used?

A sanded grout is necessary for joints larger than 1/8”. A quality, polymer modified sanded grout is highly recommended. Special applications may require a different grout type such as epoxy. Follow the grout manufacturer's guidelines for sealing. Your tile installer may have different recommendations depending on your project needs.

Are these tiles under warranty?

All Ashley Keller Art tiles are guaranteed against defects beyond the usual, desirable imperfections characteristic of handmade tile. If you feel that you have any defective tiles, I will gladly replace or refund the purchase price minus return shipping. However, since I have no control over and am not responsible for the materials used to install the tile, the method of installation, backing, the skill of the installer, type of maintenance, usage or amount of traffic, I cannot guarantee tiles after they have been installed and assume no liability for damages of any kind. Please inspect all tiles before installation. Tile installation constitutes final acceptance of the product.