Modern or newly renovated homes can often lack personality and warmth by looking too clinical and bare. A great way to add instant charm is to install features like fireplaces and look to more worn or distressed materials like wood.
The quickest way to achieve a worn-in look in your kitchen or bathroom, if you prefer an antiqued or vintage aesthetic, is to introduce a crackle tile into your décor. A crackled finish is created by using a specific glaze that is designed to shrink in the drying process during manufacture. The rapid shrinking causes the glaze to crack creating a delicate texture on the tile's surface.
Some homeowners fear using crackled tiles as they can often absorb more water and stain easier than regular glazes, however this usually only occurs if the tiles have been installed incorrectly. We've gone through the frequently asked questions to hopefully dispel the uncertainty around fitting this type of tile in your home.
If you're not experienced with any kind of tile fitting then we would highly recommend hiring a professional to fit crackled tiles however those seasoned DIYers following our top tips should be fine!
Cutting crackled tiles
As a crackled tile has a delicate glaze it is recommended to use a wet cutter with a blade that cuts from the top rather than traditional table cutters that cut from beneath the tile. The diamond edged blades achieve an accurate straight and angled cut.
How to protect crackled tiles
Whilst grouting make sure to press the grout firmly into the joints, but avoid pressing any grout onto the tile's surface as this can get stuck in the decorative crackle and be difficult to remove later. Once the grout has dried and the tiles have been cleaned with Topps Tiles Residue Remover, apply one to two coats of Topps Tiles Polish Protector to both tiles and grout joints. After 48 hours the tiled surface can be cleaned normally.
Installing crackled tiles in a bathroom
Crackled tiles traditionally have a higher rate of water absorption however they are fine to use in a bathroom if they have been installed correctly. When installed incorrectly in wet areas such as shower enclosures, moisture and condensation can build up behind the tiles and dwell within any open voids, meaning the moisture can be absorbed through the biscuit to the tile's surface leaving a water mark.
To prevent this from happening make sure the tiles are set into a flat, even bed of adhesive providing full contact to the reverse of the tile without any voids. Sealing the tiles with Topps Tiles Polish Protector will help reduce the water retention.
Dressing up the look
Crackled tiles can look great with a coloured grout however care needs to be taken during grouting as using a different tone to your selected tile can stain the tile's surface.
For a dramatic look in your kitchen choose a bold coloured tile like Astrea's Duck Egg, this jewel-like teal shade can be pared-down with rustic woods and contrasting accessories. For those looking to create calm sanctuary in the bathroom chose a neutral colour palette and mix and match the grey shades from Chic Craquele™. Heritage style fixtures like a roll top bath work well with this petite-sized tile.