How to Identify Ceramic Tile Markings

Written by beige daniels
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How to Identify Ceramic Tile Markings
Determining tile marking on ceramic is simple. (ceramic tile image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com)

Ceramic tiles are produced in batches, or lots. Each lot is unique, and varies slightly in colour, or pattern. The markings of a tile most likely relates to the lot number, which helps prevent installers from laying tiles with unwanted differences like tone, or colours. Also, the box that tiles come in provide the company names, and style numbers of the tile. Locating the markings of a tile is fairly easy, and most markings are easy to be read.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Putty knife
  • Water
  • Cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take a loose tile from the wall or floor, if you do not already have one in hand. Use a putty knife to scrape off any drywall paper and glue still left on the back of the tile.

  2. 2

    Clean off edges around the tile with a wet cloth, and the back centre.

  3. 3

    Examine the back of your tile thoroughly. Look along the back for lettering along the edges that have been cleaned, and the centre as well. Examine the location of the area the tile is used to bond the adhesives.

  4. 4

    Compare the tile to the list of tile manufacturers. Seventy-five per cent of tiles used in kitchen floors, and bathrooms in the United States are made by the first two manufacturers in this list, American Olean and Dal-Tile.

  5. 5

    Recognise some of the most commonly used brands by the manufacturer's markings:

    If the tile is manufacture by American Olean "AO" is be printed in the centre or along one edge of the tile. American Olean is a quality provider of higher-end ceramic tiles to both residential and commercial clients.

    If the tile is manufacture by Dal-Tile, "Dal-Tile" is be printed only in the centre of the tile. Dal-Tile is one of the largest manufacturers that are producers of glazed, unglazed, porcelain and stone ceramics for almost any type of application.

    Tiles made by Universal have four diagonal ridges in each of the four quadrants. The centre of the tile has no markings.

    Florida Tiles are marked with the initials "FT" along one edge of the tile. This is one of the most recognised floor brands among builders.

    Wenczel Tile are stamped with the word "Wenczel" the centre of the tile. The company closed down and their tiles are no longer in production.

    RAK Ceramics tiles have a stylised crown in the centre of the tile. The company's headquarters is in the United Arab Emirates and is one of the largest ceramic & porcelain tiles & sanitaryware in the world.

    Ancor Granite & Tile, Co. tiles are marked with "AGT" in centre of tile. Ancor Granite & Tile, Co. is a premier producer for granite tiles for floors, walls, and exterior panelling in North America.

Tips and warnings

  • If your drywall and glue is difficult to come off back of tile, soak overnight in water. You will need to remove the leftover residue with a commercial glue solvent if the material is still resistant.
  • Ceramics made in other countries usually have no ceramic markings on back. Other types of tile such as marble, porcelain, mosaic, and quarry do not have marking either.

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