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.

The Contemporary Hacienda

While certain styles stay true to certain communities throughout San Diego, there is one style that is shown in all areas. Spanish style houses have been immersed in the history of southern California since the very first settlers came here. The historical museums, architecture, and history shared in San Diego has a Spanish essence to each building and experience. Beachfront “haciendas” are given that Spanish flare. Featured in neighborhoods such as Solana Beach, Del Mar, and La Jolla this style is prevalent among some of the most beautiful houses.  A house designed by HOME + Atelier, Michael Ranson, an interior designer, in La Jolla gives the Spanish flare in a tropical location.

This arabesque floor tiling has a rustic and irregular edges. This brings character and the Spanish influence into a contemporary home featured in La Jolla. This floor is carried out through the home with some variation at the entrance of the house.

Mixing shapes, sizes, and shades make for a really eye catching, rustic feel. This house along La Jolla’s coast does not lack the Spanish colors or flowers. The stair risers carry bright flowers and hand painted designs to capture the true Spanish hacienda vibe. This brings out the true bright colors seen along San Diego’s coast in beautiful beach towns such as Carlsbad and Leucadia.

This timeless style evolves but stays true to the true Spanish style that San Diego is known for. The beautiful shades of brown and bright hand crafted tiles make every home one of a kind and can make the coastal homes shown in areas from from Del Mar to Mount Soledad unique in color but classic in style.

staggered lines

Cozy feel with rustic Inlays

Uniformity in broken lines, not often do we think of something as such. The contradiction is obvious but the elegance it brings in thought is something to relish. The staggered inlays make the tile more of a work of art than just a floor.

porcelain and wood

Rustic warmth with a contemporary twist

When man made objects emulate nature it is because we are admiring the beauty of it. When natural stone replica porcelain tile is integrated with real wood feature pieces, the results can be authentic and highly practical – whether it be in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, outdoors or somewhere in between.

There are no longer any boundaries but those which you set!

San Diego MArble Tile Talavera Tile Encinitas Donna Peterson


Talavera Tile Rediscovered

San Diegans are inherently passionate for a touch of Talavera. Just spend an afternoon in Old Town or Balboa Park and their colorful presence is undeniable. Talavera tiles are most commonly ingrained in the Architectural details. Just notice the fountains, doorways/portico walls, courtyards, or perhaps my favorite, The Prado. Their historic adornment is in plain sight for all to see. 

What you probably never knew about Talavera Tiles…

While Talavera tiles have a Spanish origin, the original tiles and pottery, historically are made much closer to home. Just over the border in fact.

Talavera owes it’s name and prominence to the Spanish town of Talavera de la Reina, where Spanish artisans long practiced in the art of pottery and tile making. The Talavera artisans learned their craft in places like Italy, Northern Europe, and North Africa, and emigrated from Spain to the small town of Puebla, Mexico during the mid 17th century. It was only thanks to Spanish colonial control of much of Mexico, as well as the seas at the time that the tiny town of Puebla became sought after for Talavera craftsmanship. And so the handcrafted clay tiles and pottery known to decorate many cathedrals, public spaces/monuments, fine gardens, and homes throughout Europe actually gained greater popularity in the New World and not in Europe.

And while Talaveras are certainly an acquired taste, here at San Diego Marble & Tile, we are fortunate to have on staff, seasoned pro, and Talavera Queen, Donna Peterson.

For any San Diegan seeking Talavera designs, there is a necessary art and design principle to designing with these handcrafted colorful tiles that takes years of practice. Donna, has design well over 500 different Talavera bathrooms, kitchens, and Spanish homes. And if you are fortunate enough to view the artful thought reflected in these unique designs you may finally understand why it is so eclectically timeless.

Be sure to take a look at some timeless designs in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery   





Beige Porcelain Tile Bathroom Mosaic


Choosing that special characteristic in a floor that defines a space and creates a visual warmth and textured feeling that stimulates the senses and makes a room a home; requires that you use your heart as your sixth sense. This line of tile is designed to create a Vintage feeling with its neutral Tuscan and dark stone options. The color shade variation in each tile offers a truly magnificent feel that ensures that the tile never loses its appeal and gives a differing never-bored perspective for a space. The line has a wide-selection of trim and decorative options, and is extremely versatile in that it can be installed indoors and outdoors; and is extremely resilient to freeze-thaw, scratch and high-traffic use.

Series comes in multiple sizes, colors and with a magnificent complimenting mosaic.

Simply add furniture!

San Diego Marble Tile Beige Porcelain Tile


Beige porcelain and ceramic tiles combine a look of fine Italian craftsmanship with superior durability. Neutral tones are favored by designers for their ability to harmonize with rustic wood themes and ultra-modern designs alike. Low maintenance and longevity combined with style and elegance.