clé offers a variety of tiles of different types and materials. with this, we often see degrees of variation. from swirls of pigments filling the cement tile molds in slightly different ways, to ancient glaze production methods in our zellige tiles creating unique individual pieces, the handmade craftsmanship of many of our tiles result in color, size and textural differences. these differences are more pronounced in certain types of tiles than others.
the following is a guide for different degrees of variation that we have assigned our tiles. each of the tiles in our online catalog is rated for both color variation, signified either by 'color variation' or by a 'v', and textural variation, signified either by 'textural variation' or by a 't'. if the size variation is rated, it is simply signified by ‘size variation’. lower numbers indicate lower variation, and higher numbers indicate greater. color and texture variation ratings, and also size variation ratings for some tiles, can be found in the installation and maintenance guides and on the product pages on www.cletile.com.
level 1: low variation. all tiles will exhibit some percentage of variation from lot to lot. as with all tiles, blending before installation is always recommended.
level 2: slight variation. there can be slight visible differences in the colors of the tiles within any given lot, however generally, as a whole, the tiles grouped in any installation will present a uniform look. as with all tiles, blending before installation is always recommended.
level 3: medium variation. these tiles are generally the result of artisan handmade production. while these tiles are usually of a singular color, there can be multiple shades of that color noticeably represented within each lot. as with all tiles, blending before installation is always recommended.
level 4: heavy variation. typically, with these, there will be multiple shades or pigments present within each tile, and oftentimes no two tiles will look the same. additionally, production of entire batches may naturally result in shade differences leaning slightly one way or another. despite their individual and noticeable differences however, when placed together in an installation, these tiles will still present a cohesive coloration. as with all tiles, blending before installation is always recommended.
level 5: extreme variation. there can be multiple shades and colors visibly represented within batches. an example of this is our dragon bay, where production lots can contain blue, green, tan, and flashes of silvery metal. some tiles will be noticeably lighter or darker within batches, and these differences are apparent even in installations, creating a beautiful patchwork look. it is recommended that multiple samples be purchased when considering tiles categorized as extreme variants, so that the range of the pallet can be viewed. as with all tiles, blending before installation is always recommended.
level 1: smooth texture: the surface of these tiles will be very uniform. a great example of this is our subway tile, which due to its machine-made production process results in a fixed result.
level 2: slight texture: production will result in slight physical variation in the surfaces of the tiles. overall there will be uniformity upon installation. an example of this is our glazed brick, where the texture of the clay body is mirrored in the surface of the glaze.
level 3: medium texture: there will be noticeable textural differences amongst tiles from the same batch. our fornace brioni terracotta wall tiles fall into this category as they can have rough or marred surfaces by intention due to the nature of the production process.
level 4: heavy texture: it is safe to assume that there may be extreme textural differences between tiles. our foundry flats unglazed thin bricks are an example of this. most of them have an uneven and rough surface texture whereas some are much smoother.
level 1: slight variation: the size of the tiles will be very uniform. a great example of this is our encaustic cement tile as it is a result of a manufacturing process that includes a mold and a hydraulic press.
level 2: medium variation: production will result in slight variation in the sizes of the tiles. overall a completed installation will have uniformity. our hand crafted and hand painted porcelain watermark tiles are a good example of this category.
level 3: heavy variation: there will be noticeable size differences amongst tiles from the same batch. an example of this is our hand-chiseled zellige, where the the length, height or/and depth of a tile can show significant differences.
level 4: extreme variation: we have tiles where there are extreme size differences between tiles. a great example of this is our belgian reproduction. the size variation in this case is due to the nature of the production process but also part of the intended look. this level of size variation requires an experienced installer.