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How are Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Graded for Color Variation?

The variation of color, texture, and tone between individual ceramic and porcelain tiles is known as color shade variation. An inherent characteristic of any fired product, variation in color and shade can actually enhance the character and beauty of the finished project.

ceramic and porcelain tile colors

Within each style, and even within each production run, color shade can vary to differing degrees between each tile. While many products have little to no variation, there are options that display a moderate to dramatic range of variation – each is a stylistic choice. Here’s a breakdown of how ceramic and porcelain tiles are graded for color shade variation:

V1-Uniform Appearance: Minimal to no difference among pieces from the same production run because each ceramic tile is manufactured using the same glaze applications and body texture.

V2-Slight Variation: Distinguishable differences in texture and/or pattern within similar colors.

V3-Moderate Variation: Though the colors present in a single piece of ceramic tile may indicate the color patterns to be expected on other tiles, the amount of colors on each piece might vary significantly.

V4-Random or Dramatic Variation: Random color variation from tile to tile, so that one ceramic tile may have a totally different color from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique.

To make sure that you get the look you’re after, find out how much color shade variation the tiles have before you make a purchase. Reviewing several pieces from the same production run is recommended to help you decide on the acceptable color shade variations. Most often you can look at your tile choice’s technical specifications to find out the grade of color shade variation assigned that product.

Do you want all your tiles to look the same or would you like some variation? 

Click here to take a look at our online selection of stylish yet practical ceramic and porcelain tiles. Discover the right look for your space!


(2) Comments

  1. BuildDirect Product Expert Team
    BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

    Hi Walter,

    Thank you for getting in touch! The different grades of tile only really pertain to the amount of color variation, veining, marking and holes you will have in your Travertine. In your case you would probably want to go with a Premium grade unless you want something a little more rustic looking for the design. The size will also be dictated by the look you are going for. Unfortunately there is no industry standard rating for the quality of the stone because it is a natural product so it will all be extremely similar. I have included a link below that outlines the different grades and how they are rated as well as a link to our premium grade travertine. Please let us know if you have any other questions or if you’d like to see some free samples! Our phone number is 1-877-631-2845.



  2. walter o. herren - Reply

    We’re interested in 6000 sq. ft. of good travertine floor tile. Our plan is for 18 x 18 tiles. We see from your site that there are different grades for texture and color. Is there an industry standard for quality ? People tell us that all the travertine should be the same size and square.
    Our goal is to buy the best quality at a reasonable price. We need assurances that your travertine is first quality. There appears to be no industry rating, other than for consistant color. How can we know that we are purchasing the top quality?

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