FAQ - Custom Tile Mural Questions
Custom Tiles for Indoor Use - Backsplashes and Murals
Note: for exterior projects, special performance properties are required. See our information on Outdoor Tiles.
Which type of tile should I use?
Ceramic tile offers the best picture reproduction for photographs and art due to its smooth, white surface. Ceramic is good for general use, e.g., backsplash and shower tile, as well as large wall areas for public facilities, hotel lobbies, and restaurants. They are very easy to clean and they meet ANSI-NSF specs for food prep and serving areas.
Tumbled marble/stone is also a good choice for most locations but the edges and backs should be sealed with a clear tile & grout sealer if used where exposure to liquid is possible. Tumbled Marble is not recommended for baths and showers due to its higher moisture absorbency (use tumbled porcelain or ceramic) unless sealed. The face of our tumbled tiles is sealed and is fine for occasional wet contact such as near sinks and stoves. Each tile has unique variations in texture and color. It is good for color reproduction, but not as accurate photographically as other tile types. Very light areas of the image (white and very, very light sky) will allow the tiles’ veining to show through.
Glass tiles are suitable for all the above locations plus more demanding locations. Their low moisture absorbency qualify them for wet and immersion service, including freeze/thaw exposure. Glass tile is imaged on the backside. It is the most durable and scratch resistant surface of our interior tiles. Textured glass is slip resistant (suitable for flooring) and smooth glass has sharper image reproduction. Both are hard enough for table tops and counters. For detailed glass tile specifications scroll down our custom floor tile page.
What special exposures can these products withstand?
For continually wet or immersion service, the extremely low moisture absorption of porcelain tile and glass tile are advantageous. Their freeze-thaw stability also makes them perfect for outdoor use in climates which may experience freezing. Porcelain, glass, or ceramic can be used in indoor swimming pools (or use our Outdoor Tiles). Long term direct sunlight will eventually cause some fading of the indoor-type tiles – they should only be used in shaded locations. Check here for more information regarding exterior use: Outdoor Tiles. For food stain resistance and easy cleaning, our indoor tiles are smoothly glazed for washability.
Do I send tiles to custom-tiles.com or do you supply the tiles?
We supply our own tiles in the different types mentioned above. If you want a certain kind of appearance (e.g., a marble-like vein pattern) added to your image, send us a tile whose pattern you like. We can scan the tile’s appearance and add it to the picture you want reproduced on the tile, printing both together on our tile.
If you want specific tiles to be used, you can send them to us for testing. We have to be very careful to insure the tiles accept our proprietary glaze and high quality printing. Minimum order for use of tiles you supply would be 120 tiles with an additional charge of $2.00 per tile for application of our special glaze.
What size should my tiles be? What tile sizes are available?
The best answer depends on the size of the mural and the size of the room. In large rooms (or on a large wall), larger tiles look best and require less labor. Our ceramic tiles are available up to 12 inches square. Overall, the most popular size is 6 inch tile, available in ceramic, glass, tumbled marble, and porcelain tile. This size is good for most kitchen walls (including backsplashes), bathrooms, and showers.
Another consideration is to use a tile size which evenly divides into the size of the area available for the tile mural. If filling an area slightly over 60 inches wide by 18 inches tall, 6 inch tiles would be ideal for a ‘perfect’; fit (10 tiles wide by 3 tiles tall) – 1/16″ for grout lines. The closest fit for 4 inch tiles for those dimensions would be a custom tile mural which is 14 tiles wide by 4 tiles tall. This was determined by dividing the number of inches of width and then height by 4.25.
4 ¼” Dal Tile 0190 Dimensions: 4.255” x 4.255” Thickness = 5/16” (0.31”)
6” Dal Tile 0190 Dimensions: 6” x 6” Thickness = 5/16” (0.31”)
8″x8″ Dimensions: 7 15/16” x 7 15/16” Thickness = 5/16” (0.31”)
6″x8″ Dimensions: 5 7/8” x 7 7/8”
8″x10″ Dimensions: 7 7/8” x 9 7/8”
12″x12″ Daltile Rainier Dimensions: 11 7/8” x 11 7/8” Thickness = 5/16” (0.31”)
Textured Glass Tiles (for Floors, Walls, & Counter tops)
Non-tempered 6” x 6” Thickness = 3/16” (0.1875”)
Tempered and non-tempered 12” x 12” Thickness = 3/16” (0.1875”)
Smooth Glass Tile (Walls, Counter tops, indoor pools, fountains)
Tempered 6” x 6” Thickness = 3/16” (0.1875”)
Tempered 8” x 8” Thickness = 3/16” (0.1875”)
We cannot warranty tiles which are cut – you should center the mural and surround with field tile or a border tile. We cannot assume the risk of damage during installation, although we do assume the risk for damage during shipping and will replace at no charge. We simply ask for you to begin the damage claim process and notify us of same.
What does a custom tile mural cost?
Tile murals are priced on the basis of the number and type of tile. There may be an editing charge if the picture sent to us needs a good deal of alteration to look best for tile printing. There is no charge for simple adjustments which we usually make to improve the image for your mural, but if the work will be extensive, we will notify you first. To calculate your cost, multiply the number of tiles needed by the cost per tile on this page,
How do we get the picture to you for our custom tile mural?
You may send small digital files (under 12MB) by email. Digital files should be at least 240 ppi or as large as possible. We prefer jpg, tiff, psd, and png. Very large files may uploaded here, Upload Images. Please call 434-660-7170 or email with any questions. You may also send files on a DVD or flash (thumb) drive. Send the largest you can for us to examine for its suitability for your tile mural project.
You may send art or photos for us to scan. Package carefully! All work must be flat (no frames or glass). If the artwork is very large and requires an outside scanning service, we will notify you of any extra costs before proceeding.
Note: All images supplied to Custom Tiles, LLC / custom-tiles.com are the customer’s responsibility as to copyright and permission for reproduction, not the responsibility nor liability of Custom Tiles, LLC / custom-tiles.com.
How durable are the tiles? Can I clean them without hurting the custom image?
Glass tiles are imaged on the backside so you see the image through the glass. Glass tiles are tough enough to be used as floor tiles and on countertops, even resistant to scratching from plates and kitchenware. Scroll down our floor tile page for more information.
Wall tiles (ceramic, tumbled marble, and tumbled porcelain) have a glaze which is resistant to common household cleansers, including bleach. Although mild soap and water on a sponge is sufficient, you may use any powerful cleansers which do not contain solvents or acids. Do NOT use abrasive cleaners such as rough scotchpads, steel wool, or scouring powder. If you plan to use tumbled marble tile where it may be immersed in water, seal the back and edges with a clear tile sealer prior to installation. The surfaces of our tiles are already sealed.