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Will my samples really look like the actual tiles?

26 May

The fact of the matter is, a 100x100mm sample should be enough for you to base a purchasing decision on. Say for instance you’ve seen a particular marble tile on the high street and then you’ve gone on the Internet to see if you can get it online for less, getting a small sample tile from StoneSuperStore is a good way of referencing what you have already seen. As described in the previous post, we do our very best to make sure you receive a sample tile that best represents the overall stone's pattern and colour.

Here at StoneSuperStore, we make every effort to ensure that the samples we dispatch represent the tiles they are cut from as much as possible.

What to look for in a tile sample

For natural stone, before we send each sample out, they are checked in batches to ensure that they best represent the majority of the stone. Using a small piece to represent an entire tile isn’t ideal but it does give you a good enough idea as to what will eventually arrive if an order is placed. It’s a very rare occurrence for anybody to say, “The sample doesn’t look like the tiles I’ve received”. On the rare occasion this happens, this is usually down to the fact the tiles have moisture retained within them from manufacture, and this moisture content gives them a darker appearance than when they are bone-dry. This typically only affects travertine and limestone as they are the most porous materials and retain a good amount of moisture from the factory. Marble and granite tiles tend not to be affected this way as they are much more dense.

Something also to note is that some stone tiles change tone slightly with exposure to air. When tiles are cut in a factory, they are immediately packed into wooden crates for transport and retain some moisture as detailed above. When the tiles dry out, they lighten up – something else that also happens, in particular with Travertine Tiles is that once installed and fully dried out, the tiles will lighten up slightly over a period of time when they have been exposed to air and the elements after millions of years in the ground. We change our Ivory light travertine wall display in the showroom every couple of months as it ends up looking really light and people that see the sample expect the tiles to arrive looking exactly like the ones on display, which they generally don’t. Of course they arrive wet and darker and often an eyebrow is raised at the shade. Most customers accept our explanation about moisture content as they dry a few out and see the difference. The lightening of the tiles over a period of time will only take place after a few months of being exposed to air so that’s a more difficult one to communicate properly, but it does happen!

Natural variations in tiles

Most of the natural stone tiles we sell can be easily represented in a 100x100mm piece apart from a few like Silver Travertine or Ibiza Bianco Marble. Silver Travertine is a very dramatic stone that varies wildly from tile to tile. It’s not a look that suits every taste and you have to want the variedness if choosing this stone. Ibiza Bianco is the opposite. A small piece generally doesn’t represent the smoky veining that is present throughout the tiles. There are pictures in each product gallery that you can view to see the stone in-situ. It’s a good idea to look at these in conjunction with the sample we send you to help you decide.

It’s a different story with porcelain tile samples. These are generally quite uniform so any sample we cut from these tiles will generally represent the entire tile accurately.

As for black quartz tiles and white quartz tiles, these are also manmade products and very uniform in colour so the samples are fully representative of the rest of the tiles.

Black star galaxy granite, absolute black granite and our white limestone tile samples also fully represent the entire tile surface, as they are also very uniform.

If there is anything you are unsure about the sample service, please don’t hesitate to call one of the sales team who will guide you through the entire process.

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