Q) What are tile faces?
A) The number of faces refers to how many different patterns are printed on the tiles.
Tile faces can vary from just 1 on basic tiles to 30+ on premium ranges. A tile with 20+ faces will look extremely realistic when laid, as it is less likely to see two tiles that look the same. A tile with fewer faces will repeat the same pattern over and over and when a pattern is noticeable it will look more artificial. A high-quality tile will have a degree of variation between the tile faces to make it look more authentic. The below photo on the right shows a tile with just 5 faces and a repeat pattern, in comparison to a tile with 69 faces (left) where the marble looks more realistic.
Marvel Calacatta Made in Italy | Absolute Carrara Made in China.
Global Italian companies are leading the way with new designs, they have design teams who study the natural product for beautiful replica’s and are at the forefront of new ideas and designs. They put more money towards research, design and production, this results in a tile that is well thought out, has a more accurate design and is an excellent replica of natural materials such as marble or stone. These high-quality tiles have many different faces and variation, therefore, the pattern is less likely to be repeated, making them look more realistic and natural.
Nordic Stone Made in Italy.
While a tile with multiple faces will look more realistic, it's important to understand how it will look once laid. The more faces a tile can have will mean there are potentially more colours than the single sample you saw in the store. The stone look tile below has 90 faces and there is high variation between individual tiles, while this isn't always the case it's worth knowing in advance and asking to see photos of the tiles laid to gage how the finished result will look.
Dolce Vita Rosso Made in Brazil.
Below is an example of a marble look tile with just 1 face laid.
Top Tip: Discuss tile faces with your tiler and encourage them to separate matching faces for a more realistic look.
Context White Made in Italy.
Travertino Cream Made in Italy.
Bianco Carrara Made in Brazil.
Tile faces are most common in tiles that are trying to replicate a natural material such as stone or marble and have a lot of variation. In some cases, tile faces won't be applicable, a good example of this is a white subway. Once laid every tile will look identical and there will be minimal variation.
Click To Read What Is Tile Variation
Boston Gesso Made in Italy.
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