Frequently asked questions
about my handmade, ceramic tiles


Are these tiles suitable for installation in my kitchen, bathroom or fireplace surround?

These tiles are specifically made for installation in kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplace surrounds. They make great backsplash accents and focal points above a range or in a shower surround. They are made from high-fired ceramic clay and glazed so that they are both heat and water resistant. The back of each tile is textured and grooved to assist with adhesion during installation. Learn more about handmade tile installation here.

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 clay

 

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.

How do I clean my handmade tile?

Regular soap and water work best for most cleaning purposes. If you have a
difficult or sticky cleaning job, a soft sponge or green scrub pad along with soap and water is recommended. Avoid acidic cleaners or abrasive cleaning methods as these may damage your tile.

How can I hang my tile on the wall?

If requested, tiles can have a hook installed on the back. Using the hook, you can display your tile on a flat-headed drywall screw (or similar) as wall decor. For plaster walls or thin panel walls, using an expanding anchor is recommended to help support the weight of the tile. 

Please add a note to your shopping cart if you would like a hook installed on the back of your tile(s).

Alternately, you can purchase a custom frame for your tile and display it like any other piece of artwork. If interested in framing options, please contact me.

If sending as a gift, can I request a custom message to be included with my tile?

Absolutely! I would be happy to include a small card with your order that includes a custom message for the recipient of your purchase. Please provide the information for your message as a note in your shopping cart.

Can I display my tile in direct sunlight or will the design fade?

Your hand-painted tile will never fade – even in direct sunlight. The painted design is kiln-fired directly into the ceramic surface and coated with heat-resistant glaze. Each tile is produced to be "heirloom quality" so that it can be enjoyed for many generations to come. 

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.