Red clay tile with white glaze--will cuts show red?

needinfo1August 9, 2013

This is about a kitchen backsplash I am planning to do myself, but I am making a cross post here since I hope some tiling experts might be in this forum and not the kitchen forum.

I've got a couple different brands of off-white crackle tiles I am choosing between. The one from Home Depot is the only one that is made on a red clay base; the others all are from white clay. When the HD sample first came I immediately eliminated it because I thought there might be problems with working with a white glaze on red clay. Now I am rethinking.

I really like the color of this tile a lot. And, this would be my cheapest option.

My main concern is with the areas where there will have to be cuts and whether the red of the clay will show up as an ugly red line. I am using subway tiles in a running bond, so there will be many places where I will need to cut my 3" by 6" tiles in half to get the 3" squares needed to start every other row.

Does anyone have any experience with using a red clay tile with a whitish glaze? Thanks much.

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How will you finish your end runs? If into a tile edge, then you probably won't have the problem. If you are leaving them "out" you'll see the red.

Even with my gray/white base tile, my tile setter took sink porcelain paint (the stuff to fix chips) and painted the ends of exposed tiles. Would that work for you? Maybe try it with your sample and see how noticable that is.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:38AM
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I plan to buy the bullnose, so that will take care of the end pieces. I am actually more worried about the places where I know I will need to make cuts that will abut the regular edge of a regular tile.

The idea of using sink porcelain stuff to touch up the edges is a good one. I think I will play around and try to practice with this idea.

Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Yes, the red will show. If the cut edges are all going into inside corners, then you'd be ok because you'd caulk the corner. But if they're on the face, even butting into the bullnose, you'll see red, because the grout dips down a little in the crack (it's not flush with the tile).

I only tiled once with red-based ceramic tile. Never again. I now only buy through-body colored tile.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Now you've given me pause to rethink this. What you say is what I was afraid of.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 10:07PM
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