Over the past few years glaze, ink and frit technology in the ceramic tile industry have experienced a rebirth. Now, the results are finally becoming mainstream. At Cersaie 2017, many Tile of Spain manufacturers exhibited collections featuring multi-dimensional printing.

How is this possible? New digital inkjet printers now include 10-12 bars of printing heads. Manufacturers use 5-6 heads for color and use the remaining 4-6 heads available for effects.

New possible ceramic tile effects include:

  • Reactive inks that sink through the glaze (creating reliefs) or rise up (creating structure)
  • Luster and Metallic – can be spot printed in multiple colors or metal tones
  • Glue – added to tile to adhere a dry frit (granilla) or dry glazes such as traditional pottery glazes
  • Glazes – adding spots of glossy, matte or satin glazes in specific areas of the tile

But what does this mean for architects and designer using tiles? Now they have the opportunity to work with the most nuanced and engaging ceramics ever seen. Stone-look tile can now have sunken veining or mica flecks like the natural versions. Wood-look tile can now include a glossy, raised grain structure as if generations of wear have burnished the wood to a deep glow.

Learn more about Spanish ceramic tile at tileofspainusa.com.

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