example of tile variation

Shade Variation

Natural stone has shade variation throughout each piece of tile. As the quarries cut into the stone more the shades will change completely based on what the earth produces.

Carrara White Honed 5 inch Hex tile

But this is also true with variation in porcelain and ceramic tile. To give this tile a more natural look there is variation between every piece. This variation is determined through a “V” rating scale created by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association.

Tile is made by firing clay at a very high temperature. This leads tile to have variation from batch to batch or dye-lot. It is similarly compared to a cake you bake one day and comparing it to the same baking process a different day. It will be very similar but never exactly the same.

This is also done purposefully to give the tile a more genuine look rather than a carbon copy being spread across a room. It has more character and interest when the tiles slightly differ.

example of tile variation

The CTDA uses a system for porcelain and ceramic tile to determine how much variety one can expect.

V1 means very minimal variation.

V2 is a slightly noticeable variation but generally very similar.

V3 will have a similar color tone but the variety of movement and placement will vary.

V4 is complete variation. Each tile will have a different look, making the final project unique from any other.

It is important to know the “V” rating your tile has so you know what to expect when buying a larger quantity. Most boards are labeled with the rating or you can ask your sales associate for more information.

Tile Rug

Adding a tile rug to any room can add an accent or help frame a transition of tile design. You can run a tile “rug” down a beautiful bathroom or add hexagons near an entrance to create a focal point to a home.

Using shapes and designs such as a hexagon to create a rug can be used next to any material. Whether you put your hexagon next to your existing hardwood floor or with a field tile to compliment it it can be an easy and fun way to create an interesting eye catching piece. These are seen in even some of the most modern homes in Rancho Santa Fe or along the coast of La Jolla.

Creating a runner type “rug” with tile can be done when trying to use a herringbone or chevron along the center of a long room. This can be framed using schluter or another mosaic to break up the field tile and design. This allows an otherwise busy look to be toned down with a field tile without taking away from the beauty of it.

Regular rectangle rugs are also created with deco tiles to add a point of interest in front of an entry or under a free standing tub. This look can be timeless but also add a new, fun, modern edge to a space.

Hexagon Tile

From the classic, vintage homes lining Mission Hills to the beach oasis on the coast of Del Mar hexagon tile fits any style of house. It’s unique size and shape can blend into any design. Hexagon’s come in many colors, materials, and sizes. 1″ hexagons can be used to line a shower pan while larger format 9″ hexagons look beautiful going from wall to floor in any room. Porcelain, glass, and natural stone hexagons are readily used all over San Diego.

Porcelain hexagons are the most popular because of their versatile nature. They can be used on a bathroom floor, shower floor, kitchen backsplash, and even outdoors. Porcelain is a great material for an active house hold that wants little to no maintenance and a long lasting tile. They make porcelain that looks like marble so you can get your carrara or calacatta hex looking like a natural stone without the maintenance that a stone would involve. Porcelain hexagons can range in size from 1″ up to 9″. They come in a variety of colors and textures to fit any style home. A sleek black hexagon to line the floor of a contemporary home in La Jolla or a marble look hexagon to accent an elegant bathroom in Rancho Santa Fe; it can fit any home.

Glass hexagons are another beautiful option when choosing a tile to create an accent. These are most commonly used in niches or as a waterfall line in a shower. But can carry over into a kitchen backsplash to make a fun point of interest. Glass has a unique look that comes in a variety of colors to give a beachy look on the coast of Cardiff but also classy enough to bring character to a home in Sabre Springs.

Natural stone is another option when choosing a hexagon. The variety of stone that hexagons are made can give any style the unique shape and interest that a hex offers. Carrara, thassos, and calacatta marble is some of the most popular material when making a hexagon. For it’s obvious beauty and timeless look; home owners love using marble in elegant, high end homes. Hexagons are also beautifully made in limestone for a splash of beige to a rustic home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Encinitas Showroom Remodel

Out With The Old, In With The New…

San Diego Marble Tile’s north county location, located in Encinitas, underwent a full remodel. All different kinds of tile was installed into our showroom to display some of our most beautiful products. When servicing communities such as Oceanside, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, and Encinitas San Diego Marble Tile has met the tile needs of these beach communities for years. Styles have changed and this Encinitas store has been ahead of the curve on trends while still maintaining the classic, timeless looks everyone loves.


When entering the showroom you see a decorative tile that acts as a picture frame. This tile is #84-Caprice Chatelet 8×8 framed in black schluter. Decorative tile can add elegance to the high end homes in Rancho Santa Fe or charm to a cozy beach rental in Del Mar. The options are endless for these eye catching tiles.

The showroom from entrance to the back is laid in a large format tile made to look like concrete. The large format tiles are a modern and sleek look when designing a contemporary home. The tile is #8-UNO7888 Unicom Overall Cashmere 24×48. The large format tiles helps a large space look clean with less grout as featured in Torrey Pines and Carlsbad. The concrete look featured in a porcelain tile gives you the look without the maintenance. This is a great option for anyone with dogs, kids, or maintaining day to day life.

Leading up a step we have a stair riser known as #50-FAS001 Studio White Matte with Black Line 8×8. This fun design gives an artistic draw to an otherwise boring step. This stair rises blends into a porcelain wood look tile known as #3-Kora Black 5×40 & 10×40. The mix of large and small widths helps brighten up a dark tile and draws your eyes to an interesting look. This looks of size mixtures has been used in kitchens in Del Mar. We carry a wood look porcelain into another room here. This is known as  #37-PAGHCE/848 Pamesa Greenwich Cenere (Light Taupe) 8×48. This is a lighter color porcelain that is larger. This porcelain wood look varies in faces making it look like real hardwood floor. It holds up to the wear and tear of a beachfront house without the maintenance or fading of hardwood floors.


We are also featuring a larger 9” hexagon pattern on our floor. This Hexagon is in an ivory color that gives a natural but contemporary feeling to a space. This is known as the #37-MCTEIY/9HX Marca Carona Ivory 9” Hex.  

The remodel is still in progress but should be completed within the next three weeks. All of these tiles feature just a small portion of the styles we offer. Anything a person could want in their home they can find here.

The Guide to Subway Tile

Dating back to 1904, Subway Tile has been a booming trend in design. Originally in New York’s subway stations, the typical 3×6 tile has a historical background that has been used throughout time. Subway tile is readily used in houses and commercial buildings all over the world and is booming once again. It has a wide range of styles, sizes, and materials causing it to be a timeless, fun product to enhance your home. It fits many styles from elegance to eclectic living. While it may be trending it is still unique. With the variation of color, material, and sizes you can choose from not one project will ever look the same.

There are sizes that vary from the timeless 3×6 rectangle to a 2×8 to create a fun pattern. Mixing and matching sizes can make a simple area pop with an eye catching design. There are also sizes as big as a 6×12 to cover wall space for bigger rooms. This gives a modern feel to a space. Due to the variety of sizes you can use subway tile on any wall and room.
Creating patterns with the variety of sizes adds to the appeal of subway tile. Using a 2×8 can create a beautiful herringbone pattern. Also, switching the tile from horizontal to vertical when installing can create an interesting design for a focal wall.

Subway tile comes in many materials whether it be natural stone, porcelain, or glass it can fit any style of house. Natural stone is beneficial in accenting an elegant home. Gold tinted Calacatta Dorado offers subway tiles in many sizes to add a high-end pop to an already beautiful space. Porcelain subway tile is a smart choice as well. Porcelain has no maintenance and will last a very long time. Glass is a, new, popular choice when it comes to subway tile. Some use it as an accent strip because of the fun designs and colors glass tile can offer. While it can be used a sophisticated look throughout an area of a home.

A bevel subway tile can add sophistication and elegance to an otherwise bleak space. The dimensional look of a bevel tile adds an interesting focal point that can fit many styles.
Subway tile comes in many colors such as green to ocean blue creating an artistic center piece for any house.The wide range of blues have been mixed in kitchen backspashes to create fun, beach looks. Purple subway tile can be used in an exciting bathroom to accent the shower. The options are wide when choosing how to decorate with subway tile. It comes in dark colors such as brown and black that can enhance a simple room. Modern houses can use a metallic finish subway tile for a clean and sleek look. That will accent their appliances and add a minimalist feel to a room.
Home owners are choosing fun colors with contrasting grouts to create eye popping features. Sticking with the timeless white rectangle may suite your house but just adding black grout to that will make one of a kind style. While on the contrary sticking with a white subway tile and white grout has a very clean, timeless look. Using dark color subway tile with a white grout causes the tile to pop and draw attention to an interesting area.

Subway tile has more than meets the eye. The wide range of selection leaves a design for every style of home or building.

Color contrast with a modern twist

Contrast is a very important aspect in design. It opens the doors to a multitude of decorative options. You can set the tone of a room by simply using colors that contrast each other. Here we see a an eccentric choice of color combination that is very fashionable.


Get creative with tile design…

Simple coordinating color schemes are a beautiful, high contrasting way to elaborate on your design. Emphasize your floor by making it more than just one color, multiple shapes, sizes and colors can be beautiful because it highlights features in high detail. Don’t limit yourself to one color or one size – have fun with your tile design…….the options are truly endless.

And San Diego Marble & Tile can help!

large format concrete tile

Modern Story: Matte & Glossy

The perfect combination of matte and glossy finish can accentuate an area and provide a very comfortable modern feel. Available in large and standard sizes; and made from porcelain – this design ideal can be applied to any area in your home or busines – whether it be floor, wall or backsplash. This unique design is very contemporary. Observe how the large tile extends itself from the floor to the ceiling as it blankets the wall in its beautiful anthracite colors.

Granite look

Large format tile: Clean design & open living

Porcelain tile with a granite look. A wonderful way to get the classic look of granite with the modern use of porcelain. Porcelain tile now is so indistinguishable from natural stone that it has become the go to material for most designers and installers. With the combination of modern imagery and manufacturers using up t0 40% post consumer products, Porcelain tile is the most durable way to tile your floors.