Choosing a ceramic tile glaze is more than simply picking your favorite color. While general color choice is a great starting point, we also recommend considering three more details: finish, variation, and clay body. If you visit our color page and click on a color, you'll notice a pop-up labeling the ceramic glaze colors based on these elements. Once you find a color you like make sure that you are also getting the texture and hue on point with your considerations. We always recommend ordering a sample or talking to a salesperson to ensure your tile is glazed the way you want it.
If you want a more in-depth knowledge of our ceramic glazes, read this blog Glaze 101: Our Guide to Understanding Glazes!
1. Glaze Finish
We categorize our ceramic glazes into four general finishes: glossy, satin, crackle, and matte. These finishes are naturally occurring in the glazes, meaning you can't make a glossy glaze turn into a matte glaze, or a crackle glaze cannot become a satin glaze, etc. The finish makes a huge impact on the overall design, see the Diamond kitchenette from our studio for an example below. Notice the contrast between the satin and glossy black? There are no "rules" these are just fun things to notice about our colors, any way you slice it will give you a stylized look.
This shape and glaze combination is available in our online shop. It comes on easy-to-install sheets for flawless installation.
One of our favorite things about hand-painted tile is the variation that comes from the Tile Elf's brush strokes. In addition to this, there's an added variation based on the position of the tiles in our hot ovens (known as kilns). We categorize our tile glazes by low, medium, and high variation. This helps you pick colors based on how many different shade variations you'd likely get with one glaze!
3. Clay Body
There are three different clay bodies that we use at Mercury Mosaics. Sometimes we like a ceramic glaze so much we use it on more than one of our clay bodies. If we do, we use a letter at the end of the name. For example, the above image is all Blue Opal but they're named 22E Blue Opal, 22W Blue Opal, and 22R Blue Opal. Depending on how translucent the glaze is, the clay body can create variation in hue and texture of how the color appears.
E is White Earthenware clay. It’s smooth, almost like porcelain.
W is for White Sculpture clay, which has the same sheen and finish as our White Earthenware clay but with a slight grit texture to the finish.
R is for Red Sculpture clay. Think of it as the blushing sister of our White Sculpture clay tiles. When we use lighter colored glazes, you sometimes have a little translucency, so you get a little "show-through" or as we call it: a little blush like that adorable niece you just want to hug to pieces.
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Header Image by lauren b