Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use the tile outdoors?
We offer 2 different tile printing processes. One is sublimation printing and the other one is CPP printing (Ceramic Pigment Printing). Sublimation printed tiles have a more advanced color spectrum and can be used outdoors. However, TilePrinting.com recommends to keep all sublimation printed tiles out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause fading of the printed image. Fading time depends on the amount of direct sunlight exposure and can vary from a few month to several years.
Our CPP printed tiles can be used outdoors, in direct sunlight and even as floor or swimming pool tiles.
!!! Coming soon to the online store. CPP printed tiles are currently only available via phone or email !!!
Our sublimation printed tiles (no direct sunlight, no floor or pool) are available as:
Our CPP tiles (Outdoor UV resistant, extreme durable, floor or pool) are available as:
Ceramic or Porcelain semi-gloss
How long will it take to print my tiles?
Our current production time for sublimation printed indoor tiles is 5-10 business days and for CPP UV resistant tiles about 4 weeks.
Is the printed image going to peel off?
No, TilePrinting.com does not stick your image onto the tile. We use 2 different printing processes, one called sublimation printing and the other CPP. With the sublimation process the tiles are coated with a polymer layer and the dyes will melt into the polymer during the printing process. The CPP process will be fired and ceramic pigments are melted into the tile.
How accurate are the tile sizes?
This varies as we purchase our pre-coated tiles from different distributors and they also switch tile suppliers from time to time. Please remember, even if tiles come from the same production batch, they can always differ in size from tile to tile. Please contact us if you need measurements from our current stock.
Are the tiles scratch resistant?
Sublimation tiles: With enough force you will be able to scratch the surface. Ceramic Gloss tiles are subject to swirl marks in the top gloss layer (not the image) and should only be ordered for decorative use. Ceramic Matte tiles have a higher impact or abrasion resistance compared to the gloss finish. Matte tiles are durable enough to be used for shower walls or as a kitchen backsplash. Glass tiles are printed on the back and therefore the print can not scratch off if the top is subject to impact or abrasion. Don't use our sublimation printed tiles as floor tile, tiles for swimming pools or any other application that is subject to impact, abrasion, contact with chemicals or direct sunlight.
CPP tiles (UV Resistant Porcelain Gloss): 100% scratch and UV resistant and can even be used as floor tile or in swimming pools. Call or mail us if you need CPP printed tiles.
What finishes are available?
We offer a gloss and matte tile finish on our sublimation printed tiles and a smooth-gloss finish on our UV resistant CPP tiles. Ceramic gloss tiles are subject to swirl marks in the top gloss layer (not the image) if not cleaned or handled properly. The matte finish is more durable. All tiles will show some grade of very small bumps and pits in the top coating. Glass tiles are hand cut and can show very small marks/roughness on the edges and on the top surface. This is normal as the tiles are delivered this way from our suppliers. Please understand that we can not hand pick each tile.
What will the printing quality look like?
Tile printing can not be compared to photo prints, fine art prints, digital printing on paper, canvas printing or even offset printing. The general print quality will depend on the image you submit to us, but also on the tile finish and type. The printed image on a gloss tile has an almost photo like look with strong colors and great contrast. On matte tiles the image has a softer look and a little less contrast, but a overall darker appearance. Very fine details and thin lines might blur out a bit in the matte finish. Tumbled stone tiles give you the old world look. Each tumbled stone tile will look different in regards to surface texture, print contrast or color. Glass Tiles are printed from the back on a white coating. The image will show a little lighter, but the shiny glass surface will compensate for it. Very fine details and thin lines might get lost.
Please note that we can not produce 100% exact color matches. There can be variations in color or contrast from tile to tile or order to order. This is because of the printing process itself. Variations are always possible because of the printing technique and the current status of the technology. Pigment age, temperature, humidity and most likely the special coated tile can vary from tile to tile and production batch to production batch.
How can I clean the tiles?
We recommend to clean our sublimation printed tiles with a diluted non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth. Do not use aggressive cleaners like commercial tile cleaners, commercial fungicides, chlorine, bleach, abrasive cleansers, detergent, ammonia or petroleum etc.. Our CPP tiles can be cleaned just like any regular tile.
Can I grout the tiles?
You can grout matte ceramic, tumbled stone and glass tiles. Never use grout on glossy tiles. Gloss tiles are a decorative tile and should never be used in applications that require grouting. If you want to install a decorative glossy tile mural, use a tube of caulking and be very careful. We recommend grouting custom printed matte ceramic or tumbled stone tiles by masking the tile and using an unsanded grout. On glass tiles, use an epoxy grout specially designed for use with glass. If the tile is exposed to water, use waterproof grout, or seal the grout so that water does not get under the tiles.
Someone might think that photo tile murals needs to be butt jointed, meaning that the tiles are touching one another. They think the grout line will disrupt the image. This is one of the misconception about custom tile murals. Tiles need to have a grout line. It is a big no no in the tile industry to butt joint any tile. If there is any type of expansion or contraction in the setting materials or the substrate you are affixing the tile to, they will crack. Also, the grout lines give the murals the mosaic look that makes these custom murals so unique. If you want to hide the grout lines you might as well print a poster instead.
Grout serves an important purpose for tile. It acts a moisture barrier. When water or other liquids get behind a tile it causes all kinds of problems like mold.
Tiles will always have a small variation in size from tile to tile. This is due to the fact that they are made from natural clay and silicas and then fired at high temperatures. During the manufacturing process, the tiles shrink to their finished size. Before being packed, tiles are sorted for color (tonality) and size (calibration) based on accepted industry standards. The grout line will help to compensate the size differences by giving you extra space to adjust the tiles.
I ordered a tile mural and damaged one tile. Can I just reorder that specific tile?
Yes, all tiles are marked and we keep all of your ordered images on file. The tiles are maked with a letter and number that correspond to a grid printout that accompanies your mural orderm. Starting from the left top corner (1A, 1B, 1C... etc.) followed by the next lower row from the left (2A, 2B, 2C... etc.). Just give us the tile code if you need to reorder a tile.
What about returns?
Here at TilePinting.com we keep a high quality standard. As most of our products are custom made for you, they are not returnable. In the rare occasion that an item got damaged during the shipping process, TilePinting.com is happy to replace those damaged items as long they are reported within 24hr by mail or phone.
What image resolution is required?
The perfect resolution would be 300PPI, however you can still create a good quality tile with 180PPI. It also depends what type of tile you selected as a high gloss ceramic tile will have a different appearance compared to a rough Tuscany tile finish. Our system will let you know if your image quality is still acceptable. The orange warning will indicate that your image has not the best resolution, but the printing result will still be fine and the red warning will indicate that your image quality it to low for an acceptable result. Please note that you will still be able to purchase a red warning image if you wish. In addition, we recommend keeping all important parts of the image/design at least 1/8 inches away from the edge, an area known as the “safe zone”, so that they do not get cut off or disappear in the tile bevel during the printing process.
I like to order custom printed tile coasters. Do you offer cork backings?
Yes, after your tile design has been placed in our shopping cart, additional accessories like cork backings will be offered if they are available for the selected tile size.
Can you help me design my tile?
Yes, We also offer graphic services if you don’t feel comfortable using our online tile designer. We can resize your image, crop it to the desired size, change the color or convert the file format, slice it for a mural or we even can assist you in the complete graphic production for your project. Just contact us and we will be happy to assist you. We charge $60.00 per hour for our graphic service with a 15 minutes minimum per project.