In recent years high definition (HD) inkjet computer printing has transformed the realm of decorative tile. Ceramic tile and porcelain tiles mirror dozens of surfaces and textures thanks to advances in computer-generated printing. Tiles for your Madison WI home are available to mimic wood, stone or brick – complete with textured surfaces. Using special inks, the printers print the desired patterns onto the surface of each tile before it goes into a kiln. The latest devices print vivid colors and intricate designs.
How HD Technology Benefit Decorative Tile Makers
Technology that has been available to most computer users for years has advanced to the tile industry. The use of digital, HD printing has improved tile creation’s sharpness, color depth and ability to provide a three dimensional look. Modern printed ceramic and porcelain tiles provide:
- Design elements printed right to the edge of each piece
- Decorations in both the shallow and high end of tile to avoid lack of uniform color
- A huge graphic variations
- High definition images so tile looks “real” and natural
- Virtually any color is now available
Unique, custom tiles from Italy have long been considered the ultimate for designer kitchens and bathrooms. Today nearly all custom designed tile from Italy is created via digital HD printing. Manufacturers quickly learned the new techniques saved them time and money. They also provided them with keys to creating new, exciting patterns and textures.
Advances Benefit Consumers, Too
The advances in technology are benefiting consumers, too. The biggest benefit comes in the form of many more options for detailed decorative ceramic and porcelain tiles. Not only are there more options, but there are more high-quality options available at reasonable price points. Among the major benefits is the ability to recreate designs and patterns on large format pieces.
What’s hot among new ceramic and porcelain tile choices available thanks to high-tech printing?
- Wood-look tiles – the trend toward plank-size, thin tiles that reproduce the colors and textures of wood remain popular choices.
- Polished, shiny, metal-look tiles – reflective surfaces taking advantage of all the available light.
- Fabric and textile patterns – HD printing makes the surface of tile look like fabric, expanding decorating options.
- Cement Tile look – ceramic tile and porcelain tile reproducing the dynamic colors usually associated with cement tiles.
The new printing methods provide a 3-D look to all these options. Printers also apply matte, gloss and luster glaze effects directly to the tile.
Ceramic Tile Looks Can Deceive
Porcelain and ceramic tile so closely resembles elements like slate, wood and marble even long-time industry professionals are sometimes fooled. “Once installed, unless I get down and touch it I can be fooled to think tile is wood or marble,” reports an international tile designer.
One of the reasons the new printed decorative tile looks so “real” is the lack of repeating patterns. It used to be easy to spot repeating designs every 2 or 3 feet. Today, patterns seldom repeat within a 30- by 30-foot area.
Another trick that fools the eye is the addition of texture. In some cases a tile pattern can project as much as half an inch above the tile surface. Even a much less surface variation creates changes in perception as light hits it from different angles.
What does it mean to homeowners? You can create your own, personal space. A space visitors will react to. The porcelain or ceramic tile in your bathroom or kitchen provides the means to create:
- A turn-of-the century look
- A true rural, rustic décor
- Midcentury modern vibes
- An ultra-contemporary, eclectic creation
The most dramatic possibilities among the new decorative tile options are the “look alikes.” Now you can have marble floors. Real marble is not only expensive but it is soft and easily cracks and scratches. Not the new look alike tile. The same is true with wood-look tiles that easily mimic exotic woods like Zebra wood. They’re available to resemble nearly every species of wood for use on floors and walls.
On top of the many shapes, sizes, colors and textures, ceramic and porcelain tiles resist stains, scratches and cracks much better than the “real thing.”
Tap Professional Resources For Decorative Tile Choices
The tile professionals at Molony Tile keep bring years of experience and specialized training to every tile project. They are in tune new introductions and demand for tile, grout and related tools. They know the trends and understand the pros and cons of all tile options.
Contact Molony Tile for a consultation and to browse a complete selection of the newest tiles HD printed tiles. We’re Madison’s premier source for unique, durable and elegant tile solutions. Call or email Molony Tile, 608-268-8453 to discuss porcelain and ceramic tile options and choose the best decorative tile for your Madison WI home.