Texture and variation is what truly brings the beauty of the natural elements into your home. Depending on your design & style choice you may want more, or less color variation. As an example, contemporary or modern styles usually lend itself to a more consistent color (such as gray) with only minor tone differences; while rustic or classic styles usually have more color and shade variations in order to bring a more natural earthy look such as that found in nature (such as brown and beige.)
The Technical Stuff
The color variation of tile is rated by manufacturers according using a V1 to V4 scale:
V1 = Consistent shade and texture
V2 = Moderate shade and texture variation
V3 = High shade and texture variation
V4 = Highly random shade and texture variation220
Good To Know
With the advancements in porcelain tile manufacturing & high definition printing, porcelain tile is now able to replicate textures and colors perfectly; and manufacturers are very aware not to have repetition in patterns. Usually high-end porcelain tile repeats its pattern every 800-1000 sq.ft. and the chances of seeing this ‘repetition’ on your floor is highly unlikely. On the other hand, cheaper tile can repeat every 400-500 feet and this can create ‘dark’ or visible patches if you are not careful.
Natural stone usually has a high random shade and texture variation as it is naturally composed of minerals that are hardened over millions of years. This is the unique natural beauty that you get with natural stone.
If you prefer to have more predictability with your design and color scheme, then it is highly recommended to go with a porcelain tile with low shade variation. Porcelain tile requires a lot less maintenance than natural stone as it is not porous and hence does not “absorb” stains like natural stone.
As porcelain tile is manufactured, color variation may differ slightly from one production run to another. It is for this reason that we always recommended (as a precaution) that you order tile from the same dye-lot (production run) so that you have the same shading and texture of tile.
Whether you are installing natural stone or porcelain tile, we always recommend that you have your contractor lay out the tile on your floor, prior to installation, to enable you the option of deciding where you want lighter and darker shades, and to ensure that you don’t have any visible repetition.