Crazy for Crackle

Crackle or crazed tile has been around for literally thousands of years.

During the manufacturing process, hairline cracks develop in the glaze. When creating a crackle tile, this cracking is intentional. The end result is a beautiful crackle finish that seems to go beautifully with virtually any style.

Be aware that these cracks never stop moving.  This means you need to seal the tile initially, then every several months as cracks continue to move.

In the tile and stone industry, there are specific installation procedures for every type of product group (glass, metal, ceramics), and then further procedures for specific tiles within each product group

There are several tile products that need to be pre-sealed in order to prevent a change in appearance. This would include, but not limited to,  all natural stones, all through-body porcelain tiles, all unglazed clay tiles, certain metal and glass tiles and specific ceramic tiles.

The crackle in the glaze of this handcrafted tile is intentional. Virtually ALL crackle glazes from ALL manufacturers require pre-sealing. Once pre-sealed, most manufacturers recommend their tiles for wet areas.

As with all products, the tile installer is to follow industry standards and manufacturers recommendations for installation.

There are a few sealing options that should be considered prior to installation. To minimize craze cracks as much as possible tiles may be soaked in sealer prior to installation.  If moderate crackle is desired, simply wipe on/wipe off according to manufacturer instructions. If you really, really like those crazy crackle cracks, grout first with a contrasting grout and seal after grouting.

There is no right or wrong. Simply determine if a crackle tile is right for you, then let the installer know how much crackle you would like to emphasize and it will be a custom finish, just for you

Stone Pocket Guide


Limestone deposits (calcite) that have been dissolved by groundwater. The characteristic holes in travertine are the result of the hot water and gasses escaping during the formation process. Ideal for floors, walls, and splashes. The value of this stone is determined by: 1) the size and number of fill holes (density), 2) rare qualities or limited availability,  3) color consistency from piece to piece, 4) factory honing, polishing and/or  filling processes. Colors are abundant in creams, chocolate brown, golden and red tones. There is an abundance of finishes (honed, brushed, tumbled, polished), edge treatments (squared, tumbled, chiseled, antiqued) and sizes (versailles pattern, rectangles, very large and very small formats). Travertine is not acid resistant.


The same geological makeup as travertine, however, onyx is formed in cool, cavernous conditions, similar to stalactites. Onyx is dense and will take a high polish. This multi-colored, translucent stone is most commonly available with a glossy finish. It is suitable for walls and extremely light duty (bathroom) floors and splashes. Onyx is not acid resistant.


A travertine or limestone that has had heat, pressure and fluid activity applied that results in a change in structure. This metamorphic transformation results in a denser stone with a myriad of colors that can be finished with a high gloss, honed or brushed.  A polished finish is ideal for vertical installations or for horizontal installations where abrasion, stain and acid resistance are not a concern. Marble is not acid resistant.


Stone that was formed by the cooling and crystallization of magma (molten rock).  This extremely dense stone has hundreds of color in primarily earthy tones. Granite can be finished a number of ways including polished, honed, leathered, and flamed.  Granite is acid, stain, and wear resistant. Many granites are also ideal for high traffic (commercial) floors and countertop installations.

Slate, Sandstone & Quartzite

Shale, under heat and pressure, can form into slate. Beach sand can be consolidated to form into sandstone. Sandstone, under heat and pressure, can form into quartzite. Granite is acid resistant. Many of these stones can be used indoors or outdoors in a variety of horizontal and vertical applications.

Four Things to Know About Limestone – #3 Price

Today in our series examining the four most important things about limestone, we look at IMPORTANT THING #3: PRICE.

Virtually all natural stones, from diamonds to gems to stone tiles, are available in multiple grades of quality. Typically, if a stone is rare and desirable, it is more valuable. 

Stone available in abundance with less desirable characteristic, is generally less expensive.  Keep in mind the same quarry (and quite often the same block) will produce multiple qualities of stone. A light limestone may cost $5 or $15 a square foot. The differences will be density, hardness, ease of extrusion from the quarry, cost of manufacture, overall consistency of the stone and the market demand.

In the end, whether it’s a diamond, precious stones or limestone, quality is directly reflected in the price.

For more information on choosing the right limestone visit us at our Scottsdale Showroom.

Stay tuned for our next post on limestone finishes and textures.

Four Things to Know About Limestone – #1 Color

Our next four blog posts will focus on the four most important things to know about limestone. Today, we start with IMPORTANT THING #1: COLOR.

Limestone is a product of nature, man simply cuts it into convenient shapes. Limestone is a sedimentary stone found virtually everywhere around the world.

Most of the limestone used in the tile industry is comprised primarily from shells and bones of aquatic creatures, that has undergone extreme heat + pressure + time, which is why most limestones are light in color.

Darker limestone have been colored by other stones and minerals with heat and pressure over time.

For more information on how to design with limestone tile visit us at our Scottsdale Showroom.

Stay tuned for our next post on the density and strength of limestone.

Old is new

When something old is completely new again…

Here is the beauty of a painted geometric design on a well-worn, whitewashed barnwood plank flooring, or is it???

Introducing GEO-WOOD Blanco. 

All the benefits of porcelain, with the incredible uniqueness of a vintage whitewashed  patterned wood floor.

Available in two widths: 5 ½” and 8 ½”, both in a 35″ length. Each width can be used together or separate, and if used separate there is a specific pattern for either width.

Now on display in our beautiful Scottsdale Airpark showroom.

Villagio Tile and Stone