Replacing broken, missing or worn out ceramic tiles is not as easy as it sounds. If you don't have any tiles leftover from when you installed the flooring or recently moved into a new home that you need to renovate, finding the right ceramic tiles is not as easy as going to the nearest home improvement store.
Finding matching tiles can be difficult, especially if you don't know who manufactured the tiles in the first place or if the tiles have an unusual shade or shape. Thankfully, there are services like Tile Match that can help you find the right tiles or manufacture them for you so you can fix your flooring.
Finding matching tiles from a home improvement store or while shopping online is difficult if not impossible. You might not know who initially made the tiles or might not have a reference number for the exact shade that you are looking for. The manufacturer might not longer exist, or the tiles might be discontinued since most tile manufacturers renew their entire selection every two or three years.
Besides, there are slight differences in shades between each batch of ceramic tiles. Unless you can find a manufacturer that still has tiles from the original batch in their inventory, you will find that tiles with the same reference number as the ones you have will have a slightly different shade.
Ceramic tiles are made of baking clay. A single type of clay can be used, but a lot of manufacturers mix different types of clay to create a more durable result. A chemical glazing is applied to the clay before the baking process begins. The types of clay used to make the tiles, the temperature used to bake the tiles and the chemical measurements for the glaze influence what the finished product will look like.
This is why batches of ceramic tiles tend to look slightly different. You can try to contact the manufacturer of the tiles you are looking for, but they might not have the product in stock and will probably not want to make a new batch of tiles if you want a small quantity.
A tile matching service is the best way to replace broken or worn-out ceramic tiles. These services can produce single tiles or run a small batch if you need more than one tile to renovate a room. You can count on a tile matching service to find or manufacture the kind of tiles you need regardless of size, shape, thickness and shade. Some services can also reproduce designs and relief.
You will usually have to send a tile, so the tile matching service you decided to use has something to work with. Most of these services have a huge selection of samples. There might be a few tiles in the sample selection that match what you are looking for.
If you are lucky, the tile-matching service you selected might even have a few tiles from the same batch your tiles came from! This is the most affordable way to replace your broken ceramic tiles, but you can't always count on tile matching services to have the right samples in their inventory.
Tile matching services can create tiles that are very similar to your flooring. Some tests can be performed to determine what kind of clay was used, which chemicals were mixed to obtain the shade you are looking for and how the tile was baked.
This allows specialists to recreate the manufacturing process and to purchase a small batch of ceramic tiles that will look just like the ones that are already in your home. The tiles might not be a dead-on match when you look at them closely, but this should not be noticeable once they are installed and blend in with the other tiles.
Using a tile matching service is your best option if you need to replace a few broken or worn-out tiles in your home. This is more affordable than replacing the entire flooring, and it allows you to preserve the original look of your home.
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