Everything You Need to Know about Tile Samples

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Selecting your new tiles and coordinating colour palette is one of the most exciting parts of the design process as this is where you can truly start to see your creative vision coming to life! It can often be tricky however to make a decision based off samples alone; you will find that this applies to most elements of an interior design scheme, from patterned laminates to engineered or natural stones and of course, tiles. 

Why do tiles sometimes look different to the sample?

Although every effort is made to ensure our Tile Showroom is equipped with the most accurate samples available, some variations can occur between the samples viewed and the final product that is included in an order. 

In some cases, the sample tiles viewed in our showroom may differ slightly from the final product. Variations in tiles are a normal part of the tile manufacturing process and can be put down to a number of reasons including:

  • Differences in kiln temperatures during the manufacturing process
  • Differences in the raw material composition that can lead to some variations in colour
  • Differences or minor adjustments in the manufacturing process itself that can result in slight variations of thickness, size or density

How can I be sure of my tile selection?

As noted above, although you can expect some variations between manufactured batches you can rest assured that our tile showroom displays are constantly being kept up to date to ensure as close a representation as possible. During your visit with us, you can select from a range of options and take home sample pieces to view in your own home’s natural light to ensure an ideal match. Any potential variations will be discussed with you during the selection process for added peace of mind. If you are shopping tiles online, you can order your samples to be delivered directly to you and also schedule a free virtual design consultation to have any queries answered! 

Argo Hexagon Porcelain Tiles are perfect for wall or floor use and are available in a range of vibrant colour options. When selecting from colourful tile collections, you can easily match up any coordinating finishes such as wall paints, benchtops and cabinetry during your design consultation for the perfect look in your next design project.

What are tile batches?

As with all manufacturing industries, tiles are normally manufactured in batches, with all tiles in a particular batch being created using the same manufacturing process and raw materials. A selection of raw materials (for example, clays, cement, natural stones, etc.) is combined to create this specific range of tiles that are then shipped off to the tile store. This batch is assigned a batch code or reference to ensure that all tiles that are ordered for a single project are all coming from the same group of manufactured products, thus reducing the amount of variations included in the order. In the rare occurrence that there are any issues with a particular batch, this can be easily reported to the manufacturer and rectified with only tiles included in that particular batch being affected, simplifying the process.

Tile Variations: Batches vs. V Ratings

Variations in tiles can relate to two different things and it is crucial to understand both of the following factors when making your final tile selections. As noted above, some variations can occur between batches as a result of the manufacturing process. This is not a fault in the tiles and some differences can be expected from the samples viewed in the showroom to the final order as these will inevitably be from different batches. Much care is taken however to ensure these slight variations in size, thickness or colour are kept to a minimum to ensure the closest possible match between tiles. 

Another factor to consider when selecting your new tiles is their V Rating (Variation Rating). This factor also relates to variations in tiles but rather than focusing on the minor differences between specific batches, a V Rating relates to the variations present in a tile’s pattern.

supreme

Looking closely at our exciting Supreme collection, it is hard to distinguish the difference between this porcelain tile and natural marble stone. Each tile features a varying pattern to perfectly mimic the natural tones and veins of a natural marble, providing a low maintenance alternative choice.

Especially crucial when selecting from lookalike products (i.e. tiles that are specifically designed to mimic a range of different materials such as marble or timber for example) this rating will offer you a guide to understand how each individual tile will differ from the next tile within the same batch. Using marble-look porcelain tiles as an example, each tile will show a different vein pattern that is designed to mimic the naturally occurring veining of an authentic marble. The veins will show up differently on each individual tile so as to reduce the amount of pattern repetition within a design and create a more realistic look. A tile is assigned a V Rating ranging from V0-V4 with V1 showing the most uniform or consistent appearance and V4 rated tiles showing a more substantial amount of variations between tiles. It should be noted that prior to laying tiles with a high V Rating (V3 or V4 especially), we would always recommend the tiles be carefully arranged and planned to ensure the exact look you are after. This way you can ensure you are happy with the layout and variation of your tiles before they have been laid on your floors or walls. 

Can I order more tiles from the same batch?

If you do happen to find yourself running low on tiles during the course of your project, we recommend contacting our showroom as soon as possible. Our team will seek out any tiles from the same batch as your order to ensure a uniform finish in your project. It should be noted however that this may not always be a possibility in situations where all tiles from a particular batch have been assigned to other projects so it is vital to contact us as soon as possible! To avoid this situation however, we do recommend providing us your project’s dimensions (confirmed measurements from your Tiler or Contractor, Architectural Drawings, etc.) prior to ordering where we can confirm the exact quantity required to meet your project’s requirements while also allowing for an amount of spare additional tiles that are usually referred to as ‘waste tiles’.

What are waste tiles and what do I need them for?

Waste tiles are an additional amount of tiles that are added to an order to ensure there are enough tiles from the exact same batch to fill your project’s requirements. As a general rule of thumb, you can allow an additional 10% worth of tiles on top of your project’s total requirements to account for any waste. This figure can vary however depending on the size and type of tile selected; our team at Perini Tiles will confirm with you how many additional tiles to allow for in your order specific to the types of tiles you’ve selected. 

dolce valencia

When laying pattern tiles, ensuring you have ordered an amount of extra pieces is the best way to ensure the perfect end result. As patterned tiles require some planning in advance to ensure the design shows up as intended, you may need to cut through more tiles in order to keep a balanced and symmetrical layout that makes the most of the tile’s pattern. Our Dolce Porcelain Tiles make for a dramatic and timeless touch in the home, being suitable as a floor or wall finish for that perfect feature element.

Waste tiles can be used in many different ways throughout the course of your project, for example:

  • In the case of any discrepancies in the built dimensions of the space being tiled and the noted dimensions discussed prior, waste tiles will come in handy to make up for any miscalculations or changes along the way
  • If you are using a tile that shows a varying pattern (such as the popular marble look porcelain tiles for example) your waste tiles allow you to create more of a variation in the final design and reduce the amount of any repeating pieces. Should a tile be too similar to another tile in the same space, this can be replaced with a tile from your waste lot of tiles for a better look
  • Another benefit of ordering a portion of waste tiles is that you can store away any excess pieces for future use. Should a tile need replacing later on down the track, you can simply replace it with a tile from the exact same batch. Of course, your existing tiles may show some wear over time however, using a tile from the same batch as a replacement will still offer you a better blend than using a tile from a completely new batch. This also does away with the issue of trying to find the exact same tile later on down the track in the first place should you need a replacement as tile collections may be discontinued over time, making them extremely difficult to source and match with your existing finishes.

Can I return my tiles if I’ve ordered too many?

In some cases, you may be able to return your excess tiles when they are not needed. Once again, if this is something you are considering, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our team can confirm if this is a possibility; usually, should the same batch of tiles still be in stock, we may be able to accept a return however this isn’t always the case so it is crucial to get in touch as soon as possible to confirm. It is recommended however that excess tiles be stored away in the property as they can be used to re-tile any areas that may require it later on down the track, ensuring a more uniform finish with tiles that are sourced from the same batch. 

As tiles are made using a range of raw materials one can expect there to be some variations between batches as a result of many different variables in the manufacturing process. These are not seen as a fault in the product and will be discussed with you during the tile selection process to ensure an end result that meets your expectations. Our team at Perini Tiles can guide you through the process of selecting the perfect tiles for your project along with coordinating finishes such as cabinetry, paints and benchtops for that designer touch! Visit our Richmond Tile Showroom or book in a free online design consultation to get started on your selections!