Glazing methods have advanced as the technology has evolved. While screen printing used to be the primary mode of transmitting the images and color onto tile, the introduction of digital imprinting has revolutionized the industry and provided boundless opportunities for patterned tile.
Even though the patterns are consistent, it’s inevitable that as different batches are produced certain factors vary slightly. Each different manufacturing run is called a dye lot, and it refers to the tone as well as the sizing of each individual unit of tile- these factors can vary up to 10%. Acknowledging this is important: the cartons are marked with dye lots (usually abbreviated with a T and a C for tone and caliber) and each individual order will be pulled from the same dye lot. We advise that you keep the dye lot number handy in case you need additional tile so we can try to provide an exact match.
For example, screen printed tile has a “frame” effect, as they are imprinted per individual tile. While digitally printed tile goes right to the edge and continues to other tiles. This is how wood-look tiles are able to look more realistic; the pattern varies on each tile, which helps them look more authentic.
When making your tile purchase, be sure to look at this detail! It’ll be helpful to tell exactly what type of pattern you’ll have.