Our method involves digital printing and kiln firing, here is a step by step walk through how we make bespoke, high quality tiles.
Step 1. Choosing a photo or digital image
Choosing an image is very important when it comes to making photo tiles or photo murals. It has to fit perfectly with the setting it is going in, for example choosing an aquatic themed photo to go into a bathroom would be a great idea. You could have a photo tile or photo mural with a beautiful beach setting or an underwater setting. Choosing images off stock image sites such as www.shutterstock.com is a great idea because the images always have a very high resolution allowing you to have your photo tiles or photo murals blown up to massive proportions without compromising the image quality.
Step 2. Printing your photo tiles
Once the image is selected we then chop up the image using a grid to suit the tile size you have chosen. For example if we were printing a bespoke photo mural on 15cm tiles for a wall that measured 3 square metres we would cut the image into 132 squares. We then print each individual square with our specialist ceramic toner. We use both digital prints and screen-printing, depending on the image.
Ordering a custom tile mural from Tile Fire ltd
Step 3. Applying the cover coat.
Once we have printed all the images off it is time to apply the cover coat, we do this by screen printing each individual print. The cover coat will bond with the ceramic ink that makes up the image so that once it has dried we can transfer it onto our tiles.
Step 4. Transferring the image to the tiles.
This is the most laborious part of creating our photo tiles. Each image must be submerged in water for one minute before it can be applied to a tile by hand. Great care must be taken at this stage to ensure that the image isn’t damaged or torn before it is applied to the ceramic tile.
Step 5. Firing in our kiln.
This part of the process is the key to having a durable product. We load all of our ceramic tiles with the images on into our kiln. The tiles are then fired at 800 degrees centigrade. At such high temperatures, the image effectively becomes part of the tile’s gloss, meaning that it is now officially a photo tile! The image is impervious to heat, scratching and aggressive cleaning products, making it perfect for use in kitchens and bathrooms. To get the image off the tile you would actually have to break the tile itself!
And that is how we make our bespoke photo tiles and bespoke photo tile murals. If you wish to order a sample please use our contact page.