kafle-element-4Hand-crafted tiles

At Kafloteka we take an individual approach to every order. Each stage of production is performed manually. Our traditional manufacturing technique means that each tile is ever so slightly different from the others, making it absolutely a one-of-a-kind piece. The production of tiles takes place over many phases, which can sometimes last weeks. In this article we’d like to familiarize you with the technique employed in the production of our tiles, as well as to present information about the specificities involved in producing ceramic tiles by hand.

element-1-kafloteka-aChoosing the right clay

The natural consistency of clay means it can be formed into virtually any shape. Clay served as a primary building material long before glass and concrete were used. Before we begin production, we have to select the clay: various types can differ by colour, chamotte content, and also the firing temperature appropriate for a given tile.

wycinanie heksagonów

element-roz-kafel3Your dream pattern

Selecting a shape frequently gives our customers night terrors – should we do something original or stick to the traditional? What kind of colour to choose – bright or subdued? Making the right decision is crucial, and we’ll be glad to advise you if you’re unsure. The photo on the side presents a sample palette of the shapes offered by Kafloteka. If you’ve got another shape in mind, please get in touch with our workshop.

czarne sześciokąty

element-roz-kafel3Firing

We can place the dried tiles into the oven, set the desired temperature, and start firing what is known as “bisque” (the result of the first firing). The full firing process with cooling takes around a day. During this time the oven heats up to almost 900°C, where our tiles are hardened to an almost stone-like degree. After the fired bisque tiles have cooled, we proceed to the last element prior to the second phase of firing – glazing.

szkliwa-kafloteka

element-1-kafloteka-aHigh quality tiles

We encourage you to ask us questions so we can help resolve any doubts you have and assist you in selecting the right shape and colour scheme. On our website you can find free colour samples – all you pay for is the cost of shipping!

element-kafloteka2-aFollow the production of your tiles

At Kafloteka we love making your dreams come true. Your orders frequently are the result of a long search. This makes us all the more pleased to be able to watch dreams coming true, and it’s why we hope you can share in the joy with us. To that end, we’ve created a system that allows you to take virtual part in the production of your tiles – upon request we will send pictures of your order at successive stages of realization. Interested? Just ask for more information!

glina

element-kafloteka2-aShaping the tiles

After selecting the desired type of clay it needs to be flattened using a roller. This is an important stage in the process – precise flattening ensures that the thickness of tiles is consistent and that the tiles are devoid of air bubbles. After the clay has been rolled, we can proceed to giving it the desired shape. In the photo you can see the results of one of our most recent orders – a batch of popular hexagons. The photo has been used with the client’s permission.

przykładowa oferta kształtów

element-1-kafloteka-aCutting

For cutting tiles from the rolled clay we use special cutters or moulds specially produced for a given order using materials such as plaster. Precise cutting ensures each tile retains the desired shape and high quality. At the moment when tiles are given their ultimate form the clay is still malleable – we have to keep this in mind so we do not deform the tile.

element-kafloteka2-aDrying before firing

Don’t forget that the cut tiles are still malleable, and before we put them in the ceramic oven they must dry. This is an important stage in the process to guarantee the final quality of the tile – if we put moist tiles into the oven, they can be seriously deformed. The drying process takes from a few days to as much as two weeks. When the tiles are dry, we polish their edges by hand to ensure they are even and smooth.

schnące kafelki

kafle-element-4Glazing

Glaze is a coating we dip the tiles into. At an appropriately high temperature (600 – 1400°C) the glaze melts, covers the tiles and gives them the desired colour. Some glazes guarantee a uniform colour coating, while others generate incredible visual effects. The glazed tiles are placed back into the oven and fired again.

As you can see, the production of tiles is a multi-phase process that requires thorough knowledge on the part of the artisan. Experience and passion means that the tiles produced by Kafloteka fulfil the high expectations of our clients, pleasing the senses and evoking admiration from guests in their home.

produkcja