A Complete Guide to Handmade Tile Variation

A Complete Guide to Handmade Tile Variation

There's a lot of beautiful tile out there, but one of the most unique elements to our tile is the variation in our glazes. Each tile is hand-painted by our talented Tile Artisans creating stunning detail to each piece. Continue reading to explore our complete guide to handmade tile variation!

What is Handmade Tile Variation?

Tile Variation is simply the result of how we apply our glazes. Each phase of production at Mercury Mosaics is set up to celebrate artisanal craftsmanship. As a result, our color application is hand-brushed by our team of artisans--  one tile at a time and we never use sprayers. Based on this treasured application, it brings character to our work that is tough to show with just one tile. To help you gain a better understanding of this, we’ve created this extensive guide to give you a tour of our glaze personalities.

High Variation

High variation implies just that. Some of our glazes have such vast personalities, they can be expressed in sometimes up to 8 or more hues. This is what we call magic, and it is our secret to creating the most beautiful tile. See below for our favorite high variation glazes!

1. 22E Blue Opal

Our 22E Blue Opal glaze is a textured powder blue glaze with a matte finish and high variation. This color ranges from dreamy, soft blues to creamy whites. It's the perfect option for a statement shower wall or to get creative with a fun herringbone pattern for the kitchen.

2"x6" Herringbone - 22E Blue Opal.

2. 1017E Sea Mist

One of our all time favorites is 1017E Sea Mist due to its incredible depth and character. This popular glaze is a smooth, blue-green jewel-toned glaze with a glossy finish and high variation. Filled with variations of aquas, teals and hints of blue, this color will transform any space into a tropical masterpiece.

Sea Mist VariationLarge Moroccan Fish Scales - 1017E Sea Mist.
Photography - Snowberry Photo

3. 130 White

Our 130 White glaze is a semi-transparent cool white with a glossy finish and high variation. This glaze color is a prime example of how sometimes less is more. When it comes to our high-variation glazes, each tile is full of unique depth and character that will you remind you everyday how special handmade tile is. 

130 White Variation2"x6" Subway Tile in Herringbone - 130 White.
Photography - Mayne Marketing

2. Medium/High Variation

Medium/High variation is all about those glazes that aren’t the widest personality of tones, but they sure stand on their own. Not as wild as the high variation crowd, but they know how to let loose when you get them into a large batch of tile. See below for our favorite medium/high variation glazes!

1. 214 Coastal Breeze

214 Coastal Breeze is a semi-transparent seafoam green glaze with a glossy crackle finish and medium/high variation. This cool and beachy hue matches perfectly with our signature shape: Moroccan Fish Scales. Pair this dreamy combo with brushed gold fixtures and pink pastels to create a one-of-a-kind master bath.

Coastal Breeze Variation
Large Moroccan Fish Scales, Pencil Liners - 214 Coastal Breeze.

2. 75 Emerald

75 Emerald is a smooth, polished emerald green tile glaze with a semi-transparent glossy finish and medium/high variation. These beauties come out of the kiln ranging anywhere from emeralds to deep teals. They are the perfect complement for luxurious gold accents.

Medium Diamonds - 1036E BluegrassMedium Diamonds - 75 Emerald.
Photography - Alyssa Lee Photography

3. 1013 Denim

Just like your favorite pair of blue jeans, our 1013 Denim glaze is totally irresistible. This semi-transparent Prussian blue glaze has a glossy crackle finish and medium/high variation. It's the perfect option for a bathroom or mudroom because it's gritty, crackle finish hides all the unwanted dirt that inevitably sneaks into these high-traffic spaces.

Regular Hexagons - 1013 DenimSmall Hexagons - 1013 Denim

3. Medium Variation

Medium variation is that happy medium. It’s not too consistent or too wild. We can control the results, but we also know when we can let our hair down and have a little fun. This is most often the case when there’s more than 20 square feet, you really get to see the personality of the color shine. See below for our favorite medium variation glazes!


1. 12W Blue Bell

Our 12W Blue Bell is a little piece of heaven in the glaze world. It's a textured baby blue glaze with a glossy finish and medium variation. Give your space a little taste of heaven by remodeling with this soft and peaceful color.

12W Blue Bell Variation
3"x8" Subway Tile - 12W Blue Bell
Photography - Marissa Cramer

2. 1673 Espresso

1673 Espresso is a rich brown glaze with a glossy crackle finish and medium variation. This color is comforting and safe and is the perfect option to welcome guests into your home with a red carpet made of tile. It draws attention without being overwhelming. With this deep warm hue, more is always more.

1673 Espresso VariationLarge Hexagons - 1673 Espresso.
Photography - Chelsie Lopez Production.

4. Low Variation

Low variation is when the color shows up consistently from tile to tile. The variation of this group is more subtle, and in these instances, you start to see those really small nuances of handmade tile: the brushstroke and textures from the small imperfections on the surface of the tile. Low variation is like that shy person you met in school, but once you got to know them, you learned about all the cool characteristics when you got up close…. From a distance maybe it looks consistent, but up close there’s still so much personality. See below for our favorite low variation glazes!

1. 77E Grey

77E Grey is a powder grey glaze with a glossy finish and low variation. Simple, sweet, and to the point, this glaze checks all the right boxes for a beautiful shower splash.

77E Grey Variation2"x6" Subway Tile - 77E Grey
Photography - Wit & Delight

2. 61 Navy

One of our favorite parts about low-variation glazes is that you can get even more creative with the pattern. Our signature Star Pattern is a gorgeous option for our 61 Navy glaze. This color is an opaque navy-blue glaze with a glossy finish and low variation.

61 Navy VariationGeo-Star Pattern - 61 Navy.

3. 366 Satin Black 

Satin finishes are totally underrated in our opinion. The way they shimmer when caught by the light is so dreamy. Our 366 Satin Black is a luxurious matte black glaze with a satin finish and low variation. This glaze is one of our favorite go-to's when someone wants to make a statement without being too colorful. 

366 Satin Black Variation Medium Moroccan Fish Scales - 366 Satin Black.

Order tile samples to see, touch, and fall in love with our handmade tiles in person. We would also love to hear what inspires you! Tell us more about your future project and get the ball rolling

The post A Complete Guide to Handmade Tile Variation appeared first on Artisan Tile Company: Handmade Ceramic Tiles by Mercury Mosaics.

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