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Tile Basics

The tile decorating process discussed on this web site is called inkjet sublimation (an overview of this process is in the section below).


Glass floor tile, sublimated with our ArTainium UV+ inks.
Photo courtesy of Bison Coating & Supply - Joplin, MO

The one absolute requirement of this process is that the tiles must have a polymer coating on them. When a tile is decorated using the sublimation process the image is transferred into the polymer coating and actually becomes a part of it.

When you run your finger across the surface of a sublimated tile you will feel nothing. This is because the image is now part of the coating.

We stress this because we do not want you to have the mistaken impression that you can run down to your local home improvement center and buy tiles or other ceramic products. You can't! None of their ceramic products will be correctly coated to accept the inkjet sublimation process.

Sublimatable ceramics are manufactured by industry specialists who produce and coat the product, especially for inkjet sublimation.

Could you coat your own ceramic products? Yes, but 99% of the time, for individuals and small companies, it is not worth it! The time and money spent in trying to set up a coating operation will cost you more than the investment you need to just decorate the tiles and start making money.

We are not sharing this advice to try and get you to buy our ceramics. We don't sell any! However, at the end of your tour, we will provide you with excellent supply sources.

Click here for full size
8x10 Sublimated Gloss Tile
Click image for full view

Sublimation Basics

Inkjet sublimation is the process used to decorate the ceramics, using The Tile Master™ heat press.

Epson Inkjet printers and sublimation inks print the transfers used to sublimate the tiles with beautiful graphics, designs, photos and other custom artwork.

The inkjet sublimation process is not "rocket science" but does require knowledge, for you to be successful. If you do not thoroughly understand this process, visit our tutorial web site DyeSubInks.com and we will teach you.

Those who understand inkjet sublimation, but need specifics about the 1280 printer and bulk ink system we have discussed, should also visit the web site and click on "Printers" and "Bulk Ink".

As we mentioned previously, there are two other presses that, while not as large or powerful as The Tile Master™, are still excellent for ceramic tile sublimation. Click Here, to continue your education.