Frequently Asked Questions

What tile should I use?

Tumbled Stone – A flat stone finish that presents any art or image in an old-world fashion. The tiles must be sealed if used in a water application.

Textured Glass – Tiles meet ANSI and ASTM standards for residential and commercial wall or floor applications.

Matte – A highly resilient and scratch resistant matte finish wall tile. Recommended for vivid photo/art reproduction that can be used in showers, and back splash applications.

Glossy – Provides a brilliant canvas for best artwork and photo reproduction. Susceptible to scratches, and not recommended for surfaces which require grouting or frequent cleaning.

Matte Porcelain – An off-white tile that generates a more muted or artistic color reproduction. Recommended for all water applications.

What about for trivets or countertops? Will heat cause the inks to migrate?

Scratch Resistance – We do not recommend any tile for counter tops other than the glass tiles. Although Matte, Porcelain and Tumbled Stone tiles will offer much more resiliency than the Glossy tiles, with enough impact or abrasion, you will be able to scratch the surface. For trivets, we recommend the glass tile, as it will provide the best durability over time, but we have many customers who view trivets as a non-permanent purchase item and are fine selling products that could show wear over time.

Heat Resistance – The tiles have been boiled and subjected to substantial heat, with no detrimental effect to the imagery. The tiles would need to be subjected to temperatures exceeding 200 degrees before the dyes could begin to migrate over time.

What adhesive and grout should I use?

Adhesives – For the ceramic, porcelain and tumbled stone tiles, any adhesive you would normally use for installation would be fine. For the glass tiles, we recommend any Epoxy Thin-Set Mortar in white.

Grouting – We do not recommend grouting the glossy ceramic tiles, as the finish is very soft and will scratch. We recommend an unsanded grout for the Matte. Sanded grout may be used on the Tumbled Stone and Porcelain tile. For the glass tiles, you should use an Epoxy grout specially designed for use with glass. For any application where the tile is exposed to water, you will want to use waterproof grout, or seal the grout so that water does not get under the tiles.

Do I need to seal the tiles after installation?

Tumbled Stone is a very porous tile, meaning it will absorb water fairly easily. When installing any tumbled stone (dye-sublimated or not) in any sort of water application, your installer would apply a sealer to the tile to prevent water from being absorbed into the tile and potentially rotting the tile body. This sealer is available from nearly any tile dealer. We don’t recommend any brand specifically, but a professional tile installer would have recommendations for you.

The Other Tiles (Matte, Porcelain and Glass) do not need to be sealed because they are far less porous and have a significantly lower water absorption rate.

How long should I press the tiles? At what pressure? At what temperature?

Refer to this guide for transfer times. Keep in mind that this information will vary from press to press, and may also be influenced by climate, altitude and other factors. These guidelines should be used as a reference only.

Special Interest Questions

Tell me more about your Tumbled Stone tile.

The Tumbled Stone tiles used by Bison Coating and Supply are a compressed sandstone product from which the tiles are then cut. We have found this to be the most consistent stone available, both in texture and color. When we receive the stones from the manufacturer and unpack them for coating, the range and type of pitting does vary. When we use these tiles for imaging, we try not to separate the different textures as this is the rough weathered look people are looking for from tumbled stone. Tumbled stone tiles are fairly fragile. The nature of the stones is that they are seldom uniform in surface texture, and may also vary in thickness and size. You may wish to lay out your tiles if imaging a mural, so that you can match them, and so that the tiles with “broken” corners are used on the outside.

How durable are the Glass tiles?

Testing of our glass tiles by the Tile Council of America showed that the glass is significantly stronger (tempered and non-tempered) than most ceramic and porcelain tiles. With that said, the glass tiles are susceptible to blunt force damage, the same as any ceramic tile. I would safely state that these glass tiles are as safe as any ceramic/porcelain tile.

How do the images hold up under UV exposure?

We do NOT recommend any sublimation tiles for exterior use or any application where there is direct UV Exposure.

What kind of breakage occurs if a 6” x 6” non-tempered glass tile is dropped from approximately 4 feet off the ground onto cement or other hard flooring?

A glass tile falling 4 feet will have different results depending on how it lands on the ground. The breaking strength tests performed on our glass tile by the Tile Council of America were performed on non-tempered 6” glass. That breaking strength is over 1,900 pounds per square inch. This surpasses the industry standards for commercial floor tiles by more than 700%. Chips on the edges are the most common damage you will encounter (if they land on the edges).