Frequently Asked Questions | Sun Styles Tile Craft

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General FAQ's

Q. What type files should I send?
A.

For best results please provide image files of .tiff or .jpg at 400 dpi or higher. If you are unable to provide a high resolution image file, we will create your product as-is with the file/photo that you send. Please note that the quality of the finished product will only be as good as the image you submit.

If you require an email proof to review and approve, please indicate this when you send your image. Otherwise, no proof will be sent to you and we will proceed directly into production.

If you cannot provide a digital image file, you can mail us at:

Sun Styles Tile Craft
P.O. Box 31867
Tucson, AZ 85751-1867

We would not recommend sending original, irreplaceable photographs or works of art through the mail, as accidents during shipping do happen.

Q. Can I order more than one product with the same photograph?
A.
 Yes.  If you want more than one product with the same picture, we suggest you order these at the same time as these variations in color are less apparent when produced in the same batch run. Our products are kiln fired to over 1500 degrees, using our digital ceramic printing process and CMYK inorganic pigments to translate your artwork. This will result in slight variations of the color.  We cannot guarantee that the final kiln fired product is identical in color to the original photo/image, but the details will be correct.
Q. How do the ceramic products hold up outside?
A.

The pictures have a lifetime guarantee against fading or cracking

Q. Why is the surface of my photo product not perfectly smooth?
A.

As your photograph is fired into the glaze layer of a porcelain/ceramic substrate, some surface irregularities will be visible. These unique characteristics do not indicate a weakness in the finished piece.

Q. Will my kiln fired product look exactly the same as the picture does on my computer screen?
A.

No, it will be extremely close but there can be slight differences. When you look at the image on your screen you are looking at a high definition image. The ceramic glaze used to create our high quality memorials do not contain the same vivid spectrum of colors as a computer monitor. Our products are kiln fired to over 1500 degrees, this results in slight variations of the color. We cannot guarantee that the final kiln fired product is identical in color to the original photo or computer image, but the details will be correct.

Q. Is it possible to place a Rush Order?
A.

Yes it is! We are the manufacturer and not just a dealer like most of the others selling ceramic photo memorials. We have complete control of the process and can rush an order and guarantee a delivery date. Give us a call for help.

Q. How long will it take to fill my order?
A.

Typically, it takes about 2 weeks from the time we receive your order and art file, unless you request a proof from alterations to the photo. Note: Murals require additional time.

Q. Can you make the picture fit my selected size?
A.

Yes, we have a great art team with the latest software to resize and reshape your photo as needed.

**Indemnification:
Sun Styles accepts no burden of proof in regards to your art/photographs. We assume that the art files provided by you are copyright and royalty free or that you have secured the rights to the art prior to sending to Sun Styles.

Q. Can you fix scratches, waterspots, erase the background, etc. from my photograph?
A.

Yes, our talented staff can do anything from removing a simple scratch to complely reconstructing any photo. Some of the more common photo fixes include: replacing backgrounds, deleting other people from the photo, removing scratches and fixing colors (including converting color to black and white or sepia). Email us the photo and we can give you an exact quote for any needed work.

Q. Will I get my photograph back?
A.

Yes, we send the original back to you with your order. If the picture you want us to use is an original, irreplaceable print, we highly recommend that you have it scanned locally and send us the file. This eliminates the possibility, however slight, that it could be lost or damaged in transit. If you are not sure where to get it scanned, give us a call and we will help you.

Tile FAQ's

Q. Will my picture tiles or memorial images last forever?
A.
Sun Styles uses a digital ceramic printing process to create custom ceramics and porcelain products. Unlike other custom digital print processes our products withstand the harshest weather, rain or shine, without damage or deterioration. We fire our products over 1500 degrees Fahrenheit (815 C). The colors will never fade nor exposure to extreme temperature. Your photo tiles are ideally suited for outdoor art in gardens, on patios, for barbeque countertops and backslashes and indoor spaces in bathrooms, kitchens, over your fireplace and in niches. We will guarantee your Purchase for the life of the buyer.
Q. What size tiles can I order?
A.

Sun Styles uses standard commercially made white ceramic tile in creating your photo tiles and murals. The quality conforms to building industry standards and sizes. Sun Styles offers several sizes of photo tile. Although we may describe the sizes with easy dimensions, their actual sizes vary a bit.
Here’s a Table for your reference:

EASY SIZES CROSS REFERENCE
-in- -in- -cm-
4 inch tile 4.25 × 4.25 4.33 × 4.33 11 × 11
6 inch tile 6 × 6 6.06 × 6.06 15.24 × 15.24
8 inch tile 8 x 8 7.81× 7.81 19.84 x 19.84
8 x 10 inch tile 8 × 10 7.81 x 9.81 19.81 x 24.92
12 inch tile 12 x 12 11.8 × 11.8 29.97 × 29.97

We can span one design over multiple tiles, creating a stunning large-scale installation indoors or outdoors.

Interested in a mural or mosaic for your bathroom, kitchen, wall, or outdoor space? We will work with you to create a truly unique display. Speak with our customer service team to decide on an overall mural size and tile arrangement. Our art team will then use your images and design requests to create a mural art proof. All mural shipments come with a simple grid sheet to make arranging the individual tiles easy, and all tiles are labeled according to their placement in the grid. Photo tile murals are a great way to showcase artwork, personal photos, promotional materials and more.

Q. I’ve heard of a process called “dye sublimation” - is this how the tiles are made?
A.

We do not use dye sublimation to create your individual tiles and tile murals. You may have seen custom tiles, mugs, or plates printed with photos that are manufactured with a process called dye sublimation – where dye pigments are heated sufficiently to fuse with a polymer (plastic) coating on the ceramic surface. Products made this way will scratch and fade over time and are particularly volatile under direct sunlight.

Q. Are these tiles suitable for outdoor installations?
A.

Yes, Our kiln-fired tiles are the ONLY tiles we recommend for outdoor installations with exposure to direct sunlight. These amazing tiles are manufactured using ceramic powders which are composed of naturally occurring minerals and are guaranteed to never fade for 1000 years.

Q. Will you work with my builder or interior designer?
A.

Absolutely, we welcome all questions regarding custom installations and/or creative projects. Our staff works with interior designers, architects, builders and general contractors throughout the mural project. We love working with other industry professionals. Please contact us to discuss any installation related issues. We pride ourselves on timely communication and will gladly address any concerns.

Q. Tips on Installing your Tile
A.

The tiles can be installed with the same techniques as all tiles. The adhesive of choice will depend on where the mural is to be installed. Counter-tops, flooring, backsplash, shower, swimming pool & outdoor installations all have commercially available adhesives available. We recommend using a sand-free grout when installing tiles. The color of the grout is a personal choice.

Q. Do you install the tiles?
A.

No. We ship our tile murals all over the country and do not offer installation services. If you are handy, you can install the tiles yourself-if you are not, you can hire a local tile installer to help you. We are happy to answer any questions that the installer may have. We send the murals to you with the back of the tiles numbered and with an installation grid-so the installer can put together your mural with ease.

Q. Can I put a Memorial photograph on a Tile - and vice versa?
A.

Yes, the choice is yours.

Q. What is the difference between a Memorial and a Tile?
A.
A Memorial is porcelain with beveled edges.
Due to its dense nature, porcelain has a very low water absorption rate; making it resistant to freezing temperatures, and well-suited for exterior use.
A Tile is typically ceramic with squared/flat edges.  Ceramic is usually not durable enough for exterior use because it absorbs too much water.
If you live in areas which freeze, your tile could crack.
It is possible to request porcelain tile by Special Order.
Q. How do I install the 5 1/2" TILE HANGER?
A.

First clean the back of the tile, (…even if the tile is new, as surface contamination may inhibit adhesion).
Wet the adhesive side of the disc and slowly agitate with your finger to activate the glue.
When the glue becomes “tacky” apply the disc to the back of the tile (ensure the hook is in the correct position for tile design).
Press down firmly.
Leave to dry overnight before thoroughly testing strength of adhesion.
Hang your tile on a wall and admire!
The Disc removes completely in warm water and will not remove glazes, or any other markings.

Memorial FAQ's

Q. How do I determine what size plaque I should order for the Headstone?
A.

Please measure the available area on the Headstone before ordering – do not ‘guess’ at the size. If you will be grinding a depression to fit the photo plaque, it is best to use the plaque to create the dimensions as sizes will vary slightly.

Note: Since the plaque and the Headstone or Monument are of different material (Assuming Granite, Marble or other stone for the Headstone, and Porcelain or other ceramic for the Plaque) the rate of expansion/contraction for either will be different.
Do not grind the depression for the plaque to fit snugly – allow some room on all sides.

Q. Are Ceramic Memorial Photos sometimes called by other names?
A.

Ceramic Grave Marker Pictures are popular additions to grave markers of all types and are known by a number of different names. Whether you are referring to cemetery pictures, headstone pictures, tombstone photos, grave marker pictures, memorial pictures, cemetery photos, or just ceramic pictures, it is the exact same memorial product.

Q. Is there any guarantee on the memorial pictures?
A.
Yes. Memorials are guaranteed for the life of the buyer against fading and cracking.
They will arrive to you unbroken and without surface defects or they will be replaced as an expedited order without cost to you.
Q. Installation of Your Ceramic Memorial
A.

Your ceramic memorial should be installed on a smooth, polished surface for proper bonding. It is important that the temperature be above 60 degrees and that the area be dry where you are installing the memorial. You will need the following supplies: rubbing alcohol, paper towels, a pencil, measuring tape, and clear caulk. Before you begin installation, hold the picture where you intend to install it. Be sure you like the location. Moving the picture once it has been installed can be very difficult.

Use these steps to install your ceramic memorial:
1. Use the alcohol and paper towel to clean the area where you intend to place the picture.
2. Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark the center point of the spot where you intend to install the memorial.
3. Measure the width and height of the memorial.
4. Divide the width and height in half.
5. From the center point marked, use the divided width and height dimensions to mark the exact location where the memorial will be installed.
6. Place the memorial in the spot you have marked to be sure your markings are exact.
7. Remove the protective covering from the tape on the back of the memorial.
8. Line the picture up with your markings, and firmly press it to the surface. Hold it very firmly for a minute, and your picture is installed.

Optional: Run a bead of clear caulk around the outer edge of the memorial.

Decal FAQ's

Q. How Do I Design my Decal Sheet
A.

We recommend designing your decal sheet with Adobe Photoshop or similar software.
** We do not accept Word Processing Files (MS Word, Lotus WordPro, etc.)
The printable area of the paper is 8 in. x 10.5 in. Try and fit as many images as possible onto your canvas in order to get the most value per page. High contrast images over 400dpi (dots per inch) are recommended for best results.

Design Assistance
We encourage you to send Print Ready files, but we can help you design your decal sheet, if you are having trouble. Add one Art Fee ($25) to your Shopping cart for each different sheet you order (no need to add an additional fee for multiples of the same design). The Art Fee Item can be found on both the Tiles and the Memorials pages of this site. We reproduce equal to the quality of file you send. So use the best quality imagery you can for the best quality translation possible. We are “printing” with inorganic pigments not ink. So embrace the permanency and the great detail and realize there could be a shift of color in out of gamut hues.

Color Translation
As artists, we use our expertise to translate your artwork within our digital ceramic printing process using CMYK inorganic pigments. Bright Reds will translate to more of a ‘Brick Red’, and very saturated florescent colors are out of gamut, so these will translate to less brilliant colors. Since there is no White, that color will come from the substrate you are firing onto. To produce the most True colors, a white glaze or clear glaze over a light clay is recommended. Decals over glazes other than white will also produce interesting results. As with all items produced in ‘batches’ or ‘runs’, variations will occur from printing to printing. If you require multiple sheets of the same design(s), it is recommended that you order all at the same time, if possible.

Q. Are fired decals on dinnerware food safe?
A.

Yes. Our decals are lead-free and safe to use for items that come in contact with food and beverages.

Q. What is flux?
A.

The flux we use, is basically ground frit, or “glass”, that when fired, melts at firing temperatures, encapsulating the pigments in the printed decal, providing a glossy, protective coating that fuses with the glaze of the product being decorated.

Q. What is covercoat?
A.

Covercoat is a laquer based product that is either screened, sprayed, or laminated on top of a print that is used to maintain the image integrity during the transfer and firing process. It holds all the colors in the print in position while applying the decal.

Q. What is water slide decal paper?
A.

A special, water absorbent paper impregnated with water soluble gums.

Q. What is a ceramic water slide decal?
A.

A decal printed on a special, water-slide paper using ceramic overglaze color, flux, and covercoat.

Q. Where can I use Waterslide Decals?
A.
Glazed ceramic ware  fired from Cone 06-10 work well. Testing our decals on your glaze at a variety of temperatures is recommended.
**Consider creating some glazed tiles to practice with the decals before applying to a sculptured piece that took you days to create.

Refund Policy

Q. Products Received Damaged in Shipping
A.

Inspect your Product immediately upon receipt.
Report any damages directly to the carrier.

Q. Our Production Process
A.

Our Production Process Follows These Steps:

Step 1: Place your Order
Step 2: Upload your Art – State whether you will need to see a Proof for your product
Step 3: We will review your art – we will provide a Proof to you, if you requested one
Step 4: If you requested a Proof, you will send an eMail stating your Approval or Changes
Step 5: Once we have received your Proof Approval we will proceed to Production
(or if no Proof was requested, we will proceed directly to Production)
Step 6: We will Ship your Product to the address you provided.

A full refund can be issued after receiving an eMail notification of your Request to Cancel at Step 2
A refund of the cost of your Product minus any art fees can be issued at Step 4
Once we have received your Proof Approval, no Refunds will be issued (Steps 5 & 6)