How to Make Ceramic Tile
It is not difficult to make ceramic tile at home without professional assistance. Ceramic tiles are among the most preferred tiles for flooring and wall-tiling purposes. Often referred to as glazed tiles or polished tiles, ceramic tiles have a slightly lustrous exterior, creating their characteristic glossy surface. Ceramic tiles can be a bit expensive when bought from a retailer; however, you can make ceramic tile with some guidance and basic household supplies, as explained below.
Step 1 - Getting Started
Start by choosing a smooth, dry surface to make ceramic tiles. The area should be away from any source of moisture, heat, or sudden movements.
Step 2 - Kneading Clay
The basic constituent of all ceramic tiles is clay. You need to knead a handful of polymer clay. This kind of clay is more durable (moisture-tolerant) than other cheaper varieties of clays. Wet the clay with water and start kneading it. Knead the clay until the entire clay-mix seems soft and devoid of any lumps.
Step 3 - Rolling and Cutting Kneaded Clay
To make the basic frame of the ceramic tile, you need to create equal-sized pieces from the kneaded clay. Roll-out small pieces of clay, using the pin. Ensure that the rolled-out clay is at least 0.25-inches thick. Using a knife, cut the rolled-out clay in the required shape. The square shape is the easiest to carve and the most common shape for ceramic tiles. If you aren’t sure about the uniformity of the squared clay pieces, use a ruler to measure each end.
Use the knife to cut away the extra bits of clay. You can also cut the clay tiles at angles or along curves. If you aren’t sure about creating even curves, use a large, slightly-sharp object like a metal bowl. Press the metal bowl upon the rolled-out clay to get even-sized, circular tiles.
Step 4 - Designing Clay Tiles
If you want to design the tiles, use a pointed but small object, like a paper clip. Using the sharp end of the clip, etch a design on the surface of the tile. If you want to decorate the tile, use small pebbles or beads. Since the clay is still soft at this stage, these things can be easily pressed upon its surface.
Step 5 - Baking Clay Tiles
Set a kiln or an oven at a temperature range usually preferred for household baking purposes. Usually, polymer-clay manufactures mention the required temperature range as a part of the packaged instructions. Bake the clay tiles in the oven/kiln until their upper surface develops a distinct crust.
Step 6 - Shining Clay Tiles
Allow the baked clay tiles to cool. Dust off any debris formed due to the crusting. Pour some of the glossy tile sealer into a paint tray. Dip a brush with lamb wool bristles into the tile sealer solution. Coat the clay tile, using light strokes. Allow the first coating to dry. Wipe the tile with a dry cloth. Apply more coats of the sealer if you need more gloss.