Reasons for Tile Shade Variation and Ways to Address Them

The flooring is that part of the house on which the occupants move and materials like furniture are stored. Flooring provides a smooth, clean, impervious, durable, colourful, hard and attractive surface. However, flooring required proper care during purchasing such as type of flooring material, installation and during its service life. Due to the improper care and lack of maintenance, various tile defects may appear on the tile surface like cracked tile, faded tile, shade variation of tiles, etc. Among them, tile shade variation is the common defect observed in floor/wall tiles. The shade of tiles is the combination of a number of visual characteristics of the tile surface, including its colour and the distribution pattern of colour or decoration over the tile surface.

Tile Shade Variation

Tiles shades may vary during the production of tiles. It is the variation of shade or depth of colour among the different batches of tiles.

Tile Shade Variation Problems may Occur due to the Following Reasons:

  • Water absorption is the main cause for tile shade variation and degree of moisture absorption also varies from tile to tile.
  • Almost all tiles may absorb moisture upto some extent and due to the water absorption just like wet chalk or sponge, tile body will look like a dark in colour or shade.
  • During the manufacturing, if the concentration of input chemicals is varied from one batch to another batch then also the shade variation occurs.
  • Variations in firing temperature during manufacturing are also caused tile shade variation.
  • Variation in glazing thickness may affects the shade variation of tiles.
  • Variations in printing design on tiles during manufacturing also causes shade variation.
  • Tile of varying shade gets stacked in one lot, during storage of tiles.
  • During final delivery of tiles on site, delivery may happen from two different lots of different shades.
  • Two batches may have been mixed up when packed in the pallet in the factory.This also causes the tiles shade variation.

Ways to Address Shade Variation in Tiles

01. Assort (During Delivery at Site):

Assort the tiles on the floor and check all the tiles shade. If there is shade variation replaces it from the floor/storage.

02. Spray Water:

Spray water on tiles like ceramic tiles, and observe the shade of tiles. If the shade of tile changes, remove that tile and replace it with the same shade.

03. Arrange on Floor (Before Installing):

Arrange the tiles on the floor and check the shade of tile with the naked eye. If any variation is observed in shade, replace it from the floor.
Tile shade variation can be quite confusing because it presents differently and in some cases is not actually a defect – but it can be a selection issue.

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