Clay & Glaze Specifications
Sansei tiles are available in two types of clay bodies:
We recommend our Low Fire Ceramic Tiles for wall use only. Because of their high relief designs, and fragile nature of low fire clay, tiles are to be placed in non-traffic areas. Do not use on floors, countertops, outdoors or in freezing temperatures. The base of Sansei tiles are ¼” thick, therefore are compatible with machine manufactured tiles. Sansei tiles are environmentally friendly, lead free and non-toxic. All tiles are hand crafted and hand glazed, therefore sizing and coloration may vary slightly. See our Low Fire Glaze Pallet for glaze colors. Low fire glazes are compatible and can be custom mixed. They come in an array of vibrant colors. All full color tiles come in low fire tiles only.
Tiles are made to order, please allow 6-8 weeks delivery.
Benefits of Low Fire Clay:
Stable: shrinks evenly, doesn't warp
Glaze colors are compatible: multi colors on one tile
Glaze colors stay put (do not run)
Can manufacture tiles 1/4" thick so compatible w/machine made (store bought) tiles
Fragile! wall use only in non-traffic areas
Porous (can not be placed in wet areas): showers, pools, etc.
*Now available! Medium Fire Ceramic Tiles Tiles Sansei tiles is pleased to announce that we now manufacture our line in durable (but unstable, see notes in red) Medium Fire ceramic clay bodies. Medium Fire tiles are for multi-purpose use, indoors and outdoors. Still recommended for wall use only. They can be used on countertops but are never recommended nor guaranteed because of the high relief designs. Tile thickness varies (3/8"-1/2" relevent to the tiles dimensions so please ask. Sansei tiles are environmentally friendly, lead free and non-toxic. All tiles are hand crafted and hand glazed, therefore sizing and coloration will vary. See our Medium Fire Glaze Pallet for glaze colors. Full color tiles are not available in Medium fire tiles. One color choice per tile only. We can not use multiple colors on Medium Fire tile. Medium fire glaze colors are not always compatible, they may run together or chemically change into another color. Custom mixing is unfeasible. Medium fire glazes are unstable, therefore results will vary. Glazes do not "stay put" and tiles will have a "pooled" effect onto lower relief areas or even run over the edges.
Although our clay manufacturer states the versatility of Medium fire clay bodies, Sansei Tiles does
not guaranteed nor recommend Medium Fire tiles for floor, countertop, outdoor and *freezing temperature
(stoneware porosity 1.5%) use because of our high relief designs and the unstability of Medium Fire clays (may warp slightly during firing thus will crack if weight is applied to it, ie. stepped upon). Because our designs our not symmetrical, Medium fire clay tiles are unpredictable and may shrink and warp unevenly during the drying and firing process.
Tiles are made to order, please allow 6-8 weeks delivery.
Benefits of Medium Fire Clay:
Durable: Outdoor use, countertops
Non-porous (can be used in wet areas): showers, pools, etc.
UnStable: may shrink un-evenly, may warp, may hairline crack
Glaze colors are NOT compatible: single colors only on each tile, no multi-colored tiles
Glaze colors do not stay put: will run and pool in low areas, may run over edges and drip
Must manufacture tiles thicker (3/8"-1/2") to stabilize clay and minimize warping so not compatible w/machine made (store bought) tiles, should use handmade field tiles for continuity of design.
*email for pricing
Care and cleaning information
Handle with care! Sansei tiles are made with the finest US clay. Grog and sand have been added for durability and strength but due to the nature of low fire clay, they are still delicate. Each tile has been handcrafted one at a time with attention to every detail. Please handle each tile as a work of art. Dust dry with a feather duster or clean with a mild dish soap, sponge and cotton tipped swab. Do not scour or use abrasive pads.
*Outdoor Weather Resistant Definitions
If climatic conditions demand it, outdoor ceramic installations must be able to survive the stresses of freeze-thaw. Porous ceramics absorb water and freezing temperatures that cause this absorbed water to expand tend to break down the matrix, eventually crumbling it.
Some technicians assume that if absorption is below a certain amount that a fired clay is durable for outdoor use. However, any fired clay with more than zero percent absorption demonstrates water penetration and is theoretically susceptible to freeze-thaw damage. For practical purposes however, the brick industry considers any clay under 5% porosity resistant to freeze/thaw failure.
More porous ceramic actually has both absorbency and porosity. A fired piece will naturally absorb a certain amount of water to fill the pores (open porosity). However more porous clay matrixes also have capillary-like networks which normal soaking does not fill (closed porosity). This auxiliary network allows fired ceramics to survive freeze-thaw because the expansion of the water has somewhere to go.
It is possible to perform a simple test based on the principle that a sample of fired ceramic boiled in water will absorb more moisture than one that is simply soaked. This is because for the former, the entire network is filled, for the latter only the pores. This test compares the cold soaking absorption or open porosity (C) of a clay with its boiled absorption or closed porosity (B). The structural ceramic industry requires a C/B result of less than 0.78 in order to pass CSA and ASTM specs for outdoor use.
The C/B test procedure is defined in detail in FORESIGHT's Test Information database. The procedure uses 10 mm thick by 25 mm wide by 120mm long fired test bars and defines a 24 hour soak and weigh, then a 5 hour boil and weigh.