How are the murals created?
The tile mural starts with a photograph, print or digital file. The image is then scanned at the highest possible resolution. The image size is input to create the specific tile mural size required. At this point, the image information is sent to a large machine which interprets the information and begins to spray pigments directly onto the tile surface. Authentic pigments are sprayed, not inkjet dyes. After the image has been sprayed onto the tiles they are coated using a powder coating to protect the art from water, chemicals and sunlight. The tiles are then baked at 400 degrees to fuse the sealer, pigments and tile. After cooling, the tiles are burnished to the desired finish and waxed if needed. All tiles are inspected for any defects in image quality. Any defective tiles are removed and recreated if needed. All tiles are then cataloged and labeled on the back for reference to aid in installation.
What type of tile can be used for these murals?
While we can create images on most types of tile, it is important the tile color is as close to white as possible. Tile color will effect mural color. Think of your tile as being the canvas for your mural.
Preferred Tumbled Marble Tile: Botticino marble provides the best overall color and texture for creating murals (bone color). The tumbled marble comes to life after being hidden deep in the earth over the centuries. Tumbled marble reflects the natural grooves and veins which make these murals look very weathered and old. We can also use: Rosa Perlino, Crema Marfil, Durango, Limestone and Travertine to name a few.
Preferred Non Tumbled Marble Tile: Botticino, Snowflake or Crema Marfil. Polished marble murals available only in 12″ tile size or larger.
What size tilese can be used?
4″ x 4″ – 6″ x 6″ – 8″ x 8″ – 12″ x 12″
We can also use marble slabs. Ask us if you have a special project in mind. Since we produce the murals and treat the tiles in our shop, we are not limited like sublimators to only what is available from sublimation (dye inks) suppliers.
Can I install a mural as a backsplash behind my stove or in the shower?
Yes. Murals are great for backsplashes, shower walls, hallways, ceilings and floors. Floor murals require an additional top coat of floor rated polyurethane, and should be treated to a fresh layer yearly if it is a high traffic area.
Can my mural be used outside?
Yes, but only under protective cover from direct sunlight. While the mural is made using real pigments and UV stabilizers, some fading may occur over time if used in direct sunlight.
How do I clean the mural and care for it?
Tile murals should be cleaned with a gentle non-abrasive bleach free cleaner. A soft cloth and water are preferred, however, 409, Simple Green and Scrubbing Bubbles will work if used periodically. Regular dusting and Pledge will also enhance the appearance of your mural and aid in cleaning.
What if a tile is dropped or damaged during installation? Or if I damage a tile in the future? Can it be replaced?
We will gladly replace a broken tile or two if broken during installation, free of charge. We realize accidents happen and are eager to provide this service at no additional charge. If three or four years from now you require a replacement tile due to remodeling or damage, we can replace the damaged tile if you send us the broken one for a nominal fee. All tiles are labeled on the back for installation and quick reference.
What if I scuff or scratch a tile?
Surface scuffing can usually be wiped off with Pledge or a damp towel. A special additive has been applied to prevent deep scratching. Scratches can be lightly buffed out using #0000 steel wool or return the tile to be replaced.
Is the mural shipped assembled?
All murals are shipped unassembled. We include a detailed grid, which tells you how your mural should be installed. This makes for very easy installation with no guesswork.
Can I order a custom size?
Yes you can. Most murals offered can be created in most any size, provided that we stay close to the original perspective ratio of height vs width.
What is the difference between other murals I have seen elsewhere, and your murals? Aren’t they made using the same process?
Beware of cheap imitations and copycats. Other companies are using tiles made by a transfer process called ‘dye sublimation’ or a cheap rubbery t-shirt type of transfer which does not last and fades very quickly. Our murals are made with real artist pigments, not dyes. Our pigments are sprayed directly onto the tile, never transferred. All murals are sealed and then baked at 400 degrees to fuse the surface sealer and pigments into the tile surface.
Comparing the color molecules ‘dyes’ versus ‘pigments’
A single dye color particle is usually composed of a single molecule, which represents the color you see. When sunlight (UV light) or chemicals destroy the single molecule, no color is left for the eyes to see. Dyes are typically used in inkjet printers for use on paper and in dye sublimation.
However, the pigmented particle is composed of up to 10,000 molecules that represent the single color you see. When sunlight (UV light) or chemicals destroy one molecule.. up to 9,999 molecules may remain to represent the color you see. It is this redundancy at the molecular level that gives pigments such a long archival life.
Fade Resistance: Dye Molecules (theirs) versus Pigmented Murals (ours)
Dye Molecules: You might think of dye based murals as being a beach covered with sand. Because of this, dye based inks tend to fade more quickly since all of the molecules are exposed to the chemicals and sunlight induced reactions which fade the dye ink or dye sublimated materials. You may notice blurring and fading of dye based or dye sublimated items in as little as 6 to 12 months. This is referred to as ‘out-gassing’. Since the dyes are gassed into the surface sealer to begin with, they can easily gas back out. This is referred to as ‘dye sublimation’.. a process we do not use.
Pigmented Murals: Pigmented particles are similar to large pebbles on a beach. It is much more difficult for sunlight and chemicals to react with all of the pigment molecules since most of them are hidden inside the ‘pebbles’. Pigments will last many many years or even generations before any noticeable fading occurs. Since the pigments are not sublimated (heat gas transferred… like a t-shirt) they are not prone to out-gassing blur problems like dye sublimated murals. For more information, search on the internet for ‘dyes versus pigments’… and do your research.
Before ordering a mural elsewhere, these are VERY important questions to ask:
-Is the mural created with real pigments and photo quality resolution? (instead of the cheaper dye-sublimation or heat transfer types) Our murals ARE!
-Is the mural protected with a sealer suitable for backsplashes, bathroom walls, ceilings or floors? Our murals ARE!
-Is the mural made with real stone, marble or travertine? Our murals ARE!
-Does the top sealer coating allow the mural finish to blend with the plain field tiles? Our murals DO!
-Are matching field tiles or frame tiles available? YES! We have many accent and frame tiles, which would go GREAT with your mural!
-What if a tile breaks during shipping or installation, will a replacement tile be available? YES! And FREE of charge for 2 tiles or less. Nominal fee for more.
-Are custom sizes available? ABSOLUTELY!
When in doubt, make sure they are willing to offer you a sample tile for a small fee so that you can compare quality. We will gladly sell you a sample tile for comparison.
Thank you for the opportunity to offer you our service and expertise in the field of tile and stone murals!