Question: What is batch variation and how can I avoid it?
Over time, tile manufacturers may change the suppliers of the materials used to produce their tiles, which may result in a slight change in the tile’s colour. This is called batch variation, which is very common in the tiling industry. To avoid this, try to buy all the tiles from the same seller at the same time and add 10% for cuts and spares.
Long answer to ‘What is batch variation and how can I avoid it?’:
Tile manufacturers, i.e. the factories who create tiles for Walls and Floors, produce their tiles in ‘runs’ or ‘batches’. As time goes by, the colour of these batches can change slightly, due to supplier changes with the substances used in the process, etc. This is called ‘batch variation,’ and it’s incredibly common in the tiling industry.
Sometimes, the difference in colour is very subtle, and you can get away with completing your tile project with the two different batches used side by side. If the batch variation is more drastic and you can’t use the tiles side by side, perhaps consider using the different shades in different sections of the room.
To ensure all of your tiles are from the same batch, it’s best to place a full order from the same company, at the same time. This helps to ensure they are from the same pallet, and were delivered from the manufacturer at the same time (i.e. belong to the same batch).
The 10% rule
To prevent you from getting caught short and requiring a few more tiles, we recommend adding 10% to the total amount of tiles you’ve calculated you’ll need. This accounts for any cut pieces, and provides a few extra tiles which you can set aside in the shed or cupboard in case of breakages further down the line.
Don’t be afraid to over-order. If you have any complete boxes that you’re sure you won’t need, you can take advantage of our 60 day returns policy. We take in and refund any complete, undamaged boxes. Just fill out a returns form, and send the boxes back to us!