The basic process uses a heat sensitive sublimation dye to print graphics and text onto special inkjet paper. This is called a dye sub transfer. The dye sub transfer and a sublimatable item are then placed into a heat press. When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred to the item and has actually become a part of the surface. Run your finger across the surface of sublimation and you will feel nothing.
The reason for this is that sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer coated item. At high temperatures, the solid dyes in the print converts into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The high temperature also opens the pores of the polymer and allows the gas to enter. When the item is removed from the heat press, the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state. It has now become a part of the polymer. Done correctly, it cannot be washed out or come off, unless the actual fibers or coating is damaged.
This is why sublimation can't be done on natural materials, like 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials have no "pores" to open and so the dye just sits on top of the fabric. Heat transfers are the best way to imprint cotton and cotton-blend fabrics 99.9% of inkjet sublimation is done on white materials (substrates is the technical term). The reason for this is because the inks are actually transparent, when sublimated, and need a background to show up. White is the ideal background because it does not clash with the colors. Indeed, the white background actually enhances the colors.
What is the difference in the tile finishes?
Satin- A scratch resistant tile that produces vivid photo and art reproductions.
Matte- A highly resilient and scratch resistant matte finish wall tile. Recommended for vivid photo and art reproduction. You may use any commercially available adhesive for ceramic tile. We recommend un-sanded grout. These tiles may be used for outside installations only where freeze/thaw is not a factor. Tiles can be cleaned with any household non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.
Glossy-Provides a brilliant canvas for best artwork and photo reproduction. Susceptible to scratches, and not recommended for surfaces which require frequent cleaning. Best used as decorative only. Grouting not recommended.
Do the tiles have spacers like regular ceramic tiles?
The 4" and 6" ceramic tiles have spacers and are 1/4"thick.
Are there thinner tiles without spacers?
You may choose a deco tile without spacers that is 3/16" thick (thinner than the regular tile) for 4.25" and 6" satin finish tiles- this may be a good choice if you are using a stand alone tile or with an easel back.
What kind of grout should I use?
Unsanded grout is recommended.
Porcelain tile is an off white tile that generates a more muted or artistic color reproduction.It is a non-porous tile, impervious to freeze/thaw conditions. Recommended for all water applications. You may use standard adhesive recommended for porcelain tile. Sanded or un-sanded grout may be used.
Tiles can be cleaned with any household non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.
These textured glass tiles are the first dye-sublimation tiles to meet and exceed ASTM tests set forth by ANSI standards for commercial and residential floor and wall applications. Images are applied to the backside of the glass to protect the dyes from wear and abrasion.
Tempered glass tiles cannot be cut, so for applications where cutting is necessary (corners, holes, etc. in floor installations), you would order non-tempered tile. Tempering is added to the larger tiles for strength. The 6" x 6" tiles met the ANSI and ASTM standards above without tempering. The 12" x 12" tiles are offered in tempered and non-tempered. For the 12" tile installations, you would want to use the tempered tiles except where cutting is needed. The non-tempered tile may be cut with a glass cutter, or a tile saw (wet saw application, new diamond blade) or using a waterjet cutting service (check your local vendors). We recommend using an Epoxy Thin-Set mortar in white for mounting the textured glass tile in any application. This adhesive should be readily available in most areas, and has exhibited superior bond strength without damaging the SingleStep white backing on the tiles. You should use a grout specifically formulated for use with glass tile. Tiles can be cleaned with any household non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.
A flat stone finish that presents any art or image in an old-world fashion. The tiles are very porous and must be sealed if used in water applications such as showers or backsplashes. Tumbled Stone is a compressed sandstone product. Each tile is individually cut, causing some variation in color, texture, size and thickness. You may find chipped edges and corners missing on various tiles. When using tumbled stone for murals, those with missing corners will be used for the outside edge tiles. You may use standard adhesive recommended for tumbled stone tile. Sanded or un-sanded grout may be used.
This is a rustic, matte, ceramic tile with a unique near-stone, textured finish.
You may use any commercially available adhesive for ceramic tile. We recommend un-sanded grout. You may use any commercially available ceramic sealant without damaging the image. These tiles may be used for outside installations ONLY where freeze/thaw is not a factor. Tiles can be cleaned with any household non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.