swolfcg

Do Not Recommend FireClay Tile

Steph
last month

Here’s my long road trying to finish my kitchen backsplash using their Tile. I ordered 50 sq ft of 3x6 Subways and bullnose in Magnolia, which their off white/greyish crackle. It has variation I get that, but the bullnose was a bright white, not even closely matching the field tile.

I expressed my concerns and they had me send various mixes of field tile back to them to try to get the bullnose right. They were unable to recreate their color in the bullnose so they stated they needed to refire the entire order. I received the 2nd order and it’s even worse than first. I received 3 boxes of super white field, pencil, and bullnose (no variation), and 2 boxes of dark grey field tile (no variation), none of which come close to my first order.

At this point I have no way to complete my project and I have no confidence that they can make this right. There’s absolutely no QA here and I have no way to mix a few super white tile with dark grey, in order to utilize the trim they sent me.

My suggestion if you go with this company, do not buy the Magnolia color or anything with variation. However, I’m not entirely sure that they would be able to execute a plain tile either.

Comments (36)

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    The best I can do is use the different color pencil they sent me or miter the tile, because I have no useable trim.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Or use the different color bullnose.

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  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    It’s all beautiful but boy they don’t seem to be correct.

  • lucky998877
    last month

    Wow, nowhere near a match


  • Patty O
    last month

    Wow, what a mess. Could you use the field tiles with a different Schluter type of jolly or rondec trim?

  • ILoveRed
    last month

    Send it all back and look at Sonoma, crackle field tile..with matching trim. Beautiful, consistent and lots of color.


    https://sonomatilemakers.com/stellar/#decorative-field

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Schutler is an option but can’t use the metal type in my original 1943 traditional kitchen. It wouldn’t look right. Maybe a colored one similar to my field tile. I’m currently trying to find some field tile that is somewhat close to the pencil, the bullnose is out of the question because the drastic color change will definitely be noticeable.

    Mind you this was all supposed to be the same color and were fired together. Hot mess is right.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    They will not take the tile back. They stated it’s my order and can’t do anything with it. They attempted to make it right, and it was worse.

  • Steph H
    last month

    Oh my. That stinks!

  • houssaon
    last month

    Why no get the pencil in another color? You can do something subtle, that looks intentional.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    another color I have and it does not look good to me. I have white from the company and a wrong taupe grey color from the tile store. i also do not like the Schutler. I just asked my tile guy what can be done.


  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    They won’t take it back? After seeing the photos? That’s surprising. I get that it’s handmade tile but the ‘natural variation’ should be consistent across boxes and shapes. These look like seconds... each individual box is fine...

    I guess if you own it the edge tile is the most off, can you use the field tile and mix it in a way that is pleasing? I would use the smallest white schluter- it really disappears when installed.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    No, I don’t have enough of the field tile that matches the trim. The only sent me two boxes that come close. There is no mixing and matching, I tried. It’s just too different from the rest. I’m waiting on my tiler to let me know what he can do with miter cuts. The only other thing is to get the Schutler, which is too modern for my kitchen.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    I just got the last order last night at 8pm. They haven’t responded yet, but there isn’t much that can be done since they can’t get it right. They wouldn’t take the last back either, just remade my order, which was worse than the first. I sent them samples from each box of field tile and they still couldn’t match the color that is suppose to be the same.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    What about getting a piece of wood trim and painting it close to the color of tile?

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    I would discard the bullnose as it doesn’t match. Is there enough of the field tile that matches well enough to do the whole project? I would not use the schluter rondex, I would use jolly. I know you feel it is too modern but it will disappear while I fear painted wood will scream ‘oops’.

    I would try again on a return though showing them the new photos.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Yes, the original order was fine, except for the trim they sent, so I have enough field tile with that. The only thing wrong was the trim pieces which they consistently produce in a bright off white that’s doest match their magnolia color.

    The replacement order includes two boxes of med grey solid tile, that’s even darker than the original and the same bright off white as the original trim. Almost like they sent me the same trim back. Did someone forget to stir the pot before they fired this off?

  • ILoveRed
    last month

    You need to talk to someone with more authority than the person you talked to....escalate this.


    no way I would accept a “no”. I would not use that tile nor would I make do.



  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks I will escalate the issue Monday. I’ve only talked with a sales associate that promised to make it right. I’ll look at the jolly again, but the straight edge trim for my the top of my low tiles traditional kitchen was not what I was wanting. My timer states he can bevel the tile. I’m not sure what that is going to look like but most likely just a straight edge.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    The company responded stated it’s very rare for two orders to be messed up for one customer. They seem to be willing to do something, but for some reason I do not believe they are able to recreate the magnolia color at this time in trim or field tile. Went back and picked up a textured jolly in a similar color. This seems to be the best solution, unless my tiler’s bevel job is more traditional.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    Has your tiler seen the tile? It’s easy enough to bevel natural stone but a ceramic tile just exposes the white clay center... have him make one to show you before you go this route.

    Glad fireclay is responding on a weekend- that’s promising. Minimally they should credit you the bullnose tiles.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Agreed. I like the roundness of the rodec, but they didn’t have the color I needed in store. I’ll order online I guess.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    I was planning to go higher previously but the clean edge of jolly looks better flush with good. I order the rodec as well to see.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    last month

    I'm so sorry this happened to you, and hope that they make good on your order.

  • Ephma
    last month

    I hope you find a resolution you’re satisfied with. Your kitchen is going to look beautiful. I love your counter choices and your cabinets are a great color.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    last month

    Wow! I use Fireclay a lot in my projects but I've never seen a variation that dramatically different. Those are definitely two different colors, not "shades" of the same color, IMO.


    I would definitely escalate this. Your photos are pretty hard to argue with.

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks all. I’ve heard only good things about this company here and that’s why I used them. This might be a recent QA issue from COVID, who knows. Now that I’m looking at the jolly up on the wall, flush with hood, this might actually be better than all my other idea with trim just above it. Hmm

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month

    My only concern is the jolly creates a bigger gap than 1/16 spacers I’m going to use. Is this an issue?

  • ILoveRed
    last month

    I don’t think 1/16” is a big enough space/grout line with handmade tiles. I used 1/8” and honestly it should have been bigger for the best look.

  • PRO
    Fireclay Tile
    last month

    Hi, Steph-- Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We absolutely understand your frustration and are committed to making sure you are happy with your order. A small percentage (~1%) of our customers experience challenges with color variation, which is at the low end for handmade artisan tile. We take all feedback seriously. Our Head of Support reached out to you over the weekend and we look forward to helping you finish your project :-)

  • Steph
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Update: Someone at Fireclay reached out explained the current issue with this color. Magnolia is transparent color effected by the type of clay used to produce the tile. The trim on my original order was used from a different lot of clay. The clay they used to fire my field tile no longer exists, so that pretty much changes what is expected or tolerated for this color. They stated that this is not a issue with most colors, just the transparent produced glazed.

    From Fire Clay: Magnolia is a transparent glaze applied on top of a white "primer" we call engobe. White, transparent glazes can exhibit more variation not because of the actual glaze but because of the color of the clay. We believe that the glaze is not the issue, it was the color of the clay and the raw materials that fired differently resulting in different "canvases". Unfortunately, sometimes that clay body color is so slight that it isn't obvious from the naked eye until color is applied to it. Your experience helped highlight some critical steps that our team needs to take to ensure customer satisfaction going forward.

    Fireclay graciously provided options moving forward, but as it stands, that color is pretty much done. Hopefully they will update the samples going out and promo pics online. Cle tile has the same issue explained with special limited edition firings. That, it really doesn’t explain the QA issue I experienced.

  • PRO
    Fireclay Tile
    last month

    Hi again, Steph - Glad you were able to connect with our Head of Support on the phone today. We stand behind every product and every order with our Maker's Guarantee which promises that if it's not right, we will make it right. We want your tile to be the most beautiful thing in your home and to last forever!

    We look forward to hearing back from you on your decision of how you'd like to move forward. We are happy to refund you for your trim if you decide to keep the field tile and use a Schluter trim, or remake your entire order for you in an alternate color of your choice (lead time expedited of course!). And yes - to answer your question, we QA the order as a whole by pulling tile from different boxes. Thank you again for your feedback.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    last month

    Ah! That would explain it. Good that you got an answer.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    last month

    I took the liberty of looking up their spec sheet online which indicates their color variation scale. Magnolia (the color you ordered) is a V3, which means it's roughly somewhere in the middle of color variation from least to most. Regardless, they appear to be willing to make this right, so you should take them up on it.


    I'm sure these COVID times has put a wrench into the production works--I know I'm having production issues in general with varying manufacturers. Not an excuse, but I've found my clients to be fairly flexible under the circumstances. Good luck!

  • PRO
    Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc
    last month

    Wow! Shocking color variation. Glad to hear they're going to help you out. So frustrating to lose time and effort on stuff like this. I've never had a problem with FireClay -- we love and use their tile often. Waterworks, however a different story -- complete nightmare.