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Heath Tile is not your average tile — take advantage of its unique hand-crafted characteristics in your installation.

Our tile has been hand-crafted (aka perfectly imperfect) for over fifty years. Edith Heath liked it that way, we like it that way, and we certainly hope that you like it that way. That said, we should probably make a couple things clear: First of all, our tile is handled, cared-for and finished by real people — we think that’s pretty cool. Second, no two tiles are alike (think fingerprints and snowflakes).

Installation Tips

Because our tile is hand-crafted, the time you take for prep and placement will greatly impact the finished result. We suggest meticulously planning your layout, pre-sorting the tiles by size and color variation, and strategically blending. And remember, zero tile installations look good before grouting! Grout is the glue that pulls the entire installation together — make sure you choose the right color.


Heath Tile is very durable and vitreous, making it suitable for most interior and exterior applications, including warm and cold climates (freeze/thaw), residential and commercial floors, walls, counters, showers, baths, swimming pools, spas and fountains.


Color & Glaze Variation

We assign our glazes a number 1 through 5. 1 = pretty consistent in color and finish. 5 = highly varied from light to dark, satin to glossy. If you don’t like surprises, go with the 1–2s. If you’re a risk taker, go with the 3–5s. We provide the facts so that you can make the decision — beauty is in they eye of the beholder.

Try this: We hand-select each tile's locations, peppering our installation with an even tone throughout. It takes a little more time but the results are worth the wait. You can also take advantage of the tile's natural color variation — choose a single, highly varied glaze and achieve the depth and richness of a multi-colored installation.


Size & Length Variation

Our tile shrinks about 12% in the production process. The “about” means it’s not an exact science and variation in length (however slight) can occur. You can expect +/- 1⁄16" variation, especially on longer tiles. 

Try this: Planning for some variation is the key to a beautiful installation. Pre-sort your tile by color and size so you can distribute the range of variation throughout the installation. 


Lengthwise Bowing & Surface Undulation

Clay is an elastic material. If you force an elastic material into a mold, it will attempt to regain its original shape as it moves through the production process. For this reason, you can expect your tile to have what we deem to be an acceptable amount of lengthwise bowing, especially in our longer shapes.

Surface undulation can occur in our tile for the same reason that bowing occurs. Undulation can be anything from a slightly raised corner or edge to undulation across the entire surface.

Try this: First, look at the positive. Surface undulation gives the light more surface area to play on, which means your installation becomes even more incredible (even with all-white tile). To get a level surface, use a deeper comb of thinset so you've got room to set certain tiles deeper than others. 



Throughout the years we've updated or replaced much of our tile tooling. Not all tools allow for modular sizes to work together with the same grout line.  2x8s, 2x9s, and 3x12s are still on their own until we switch out those tools. Another thing to note, our white clay shrinks a little more than our brown clay in the firing process.

Try this: If your design uses more than one shape, we recommend sticking with the sizes that are modular (if you're choosing more than one) on a consistent clay body. If you do want to mix clay bodies or tiles that are modular, use a generous grout line and lay out your job carefully before you begin.


Grout Spacing

Physical tile variation can be compensated with the appropriate grout spacing. We recommend a minimum 1⁄8" grout line for smaller sizes, 3⁄16" for medium to large sizes — more room will give you more flexibility to adjust for size variation. An even wider grout line may be necessary to achieve the best overall look.  Don't rely on one size spacer; shimming will help maintain level lines and a balanced look throughout the installation.

Recommended Grout Spacing

tile size suggested grout width    
6x12, 12x12 1/4"    
2x2, 2x4, 2x6, 3x3, 1x3, little diamond, half hex, wide hex 1/8"    
2x8, 2x9, 2x12, 3x6, 3x9, 3x12, 4x4, 4x8, 6x6, 5" hex 3/16"    


Face Mounting

Nothing beats a hand installation of a handmade tile, since each piece is unique and will benefit from careful placement. For our smaller tiles we understand the desire to have material mounted—it will save on time and installation costs. However, corrections and adjustments still need to be made at time of installation for mounted material. We recommend 20% of your order be unmounted for blending seams (sheet to sheet).


Interested? The Next Step

Send us a note to let us know how we can help with your project.

We also have tile showrooms in Sausalito, Los Angeles, and San Francisco if you want to see the product firsthand.

Browse Collections

  • Classic Field

    Classic Field

  • Tapestry


  • Dimensional


  • Dual Glaze

    Dual Glaze

  • Dwell Patterns

    Dwell Patterns

  • Modern Basics

    Modern Basics

  • Mural


more tile information

How To Purchase & Lead Times

How To Purchase & Lead Times

Overstock Tile

Overstock Tile

LEED Credits

LEED Credits

Tile Catalog

Tile Catalog

Shop by Color

Shop by Color

Photos of Completed Installations

Photos of Completed Installations

Project Inquiries & Tile Samples

Project Inquiries & Tile Samples

Spec Booklet

Spec Booklet

Tile FAQs

Questions about Heath Tile? Perhaps we can answer them here...

Tile FAQs

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