Frequently Asked Questions

What is Talavera Tile?

Talavera Tile is a handcrafted and hand painted ceramic tile made in Mexico. During the colonial times of the 16th and 17th centuries the Spanish brought to México their knowledge of pottery, and tile making. The name of Talavera comes from the potters' town of Talavera de la Reina, Known in Spain for exquisite tiles and pottery. The small town of Talavera de La Reina is located a few miles from Madrid.

What are the advantages of using Talavera Tile?

Dollar for dollar, nothing else delivers the design impact that Talavera does! Other materials, including machine made tiles, seem cold and sterile by comparison. And when compared to other hand painted tile, the warmth, beauty and cost of Talavera tile just cannot be beat.

Where can these tiles be used?

Talavera tiles can be installed in kitchen back splashes, bathrooms, fireplaces, fountains, patio benches, counter tops, stair risers, and main entrance doors. These tiles should be used, however, only on countertops that are "light duty." Our Terra Nova and Santa Barbara tiles offer greater strength,and are suitable to countertops that need to withstand a bit more abuse.

As a design tool, Talavera tile offers a limitless array of design expressions and aesthetic solutions for almost any construction project. Set it straight or diagonally; solid colors or mixed with decos; random mix or checkerboard pattern; or solids with a decorative border added.

Can I order tile samples online?

Yes! You may order samples anytime. We usually ship out samples the same day they are ordered. If you order on a weekend or a holiday the order will normally go out the next business day.

How long until I receive my sample(s)?

Samples are sent from San Diego via UPS Ground. Orders of samples placed before 10:00 a.m. PT will usually ship the same day. Orders placed after 10:00 a.m. PT will be shipped the next business day.

With whom can I check the availability of a specific product?

Call toll free our customer service at 1-877-945-4900 during business hours or email us to

Why do some Talavera tiles have crazing and vary in appearance?

These are distinguishing features of Talavera tile that add to their beauty and uniqueness. They are not mass produced. Each one is painstakingly handmade by centuries old methods. They are literally small works of art and will vary slightly in color and shape.

How wide apart should the size of the grout joints be?

The size of the grout joint will affect the overall appearance of your ceramic surface. A 1/4" grout joint will produce an overall smoother looking surface, while a tight joint will produce a more "sculpted" appearance which shows off the slight pillowing surface of the tiles.

What type of grout should I use?

Typically for installing Mexican handcrafted tile sanded grout is used. However, you may choose between both sanded and/or Non-sanded grout. Sanded grout has sand added for strength. It is used for joints wider than 1/16 inch. Non-sanded grout is usually mixed with a latex additive to make it stronger and more workable. It is used for joints less than 1/16 inch wide. If you decide to use a tight joint less than 1/16 inch, it is recommended to use non-sanded grout.

What color grout should I use?

The color of grout you choose can greatly affect the look of your tile. Using a white or a light colored grout highlights the color in tile. Using a light grout with a light tile is good for hiding any mistakes you've made in setting the tile. Choosing a dark grout with a light tile, or light grout with a dark tile will emphasize the geometric pattern of your layout. Before you go wild with a colored grout, test it in a small area first.

How should I care for my Talavera Tile?

Clean the tile just as you would any other ceramic wall tile. Use only mild cleaners that are non-abrasive. Abrasive cleaners will scratch the surface of ceramic surfaces.

Can the tiles be used on the floor?

Sometimes. The tiles can be used as accents between other floor tiles or as borders.

Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?

Yes, in areas where freezing temperatures are not common. Tiles are Not frost resistant.

Can the tiles be used around a fireplace?

Any tile can be used on the face of a fireplace. It is not recommend putting the tile directly In the firebox.

Is it difficult to replace a broken tile?

Something like this should be left to a professional. The grout around the broken tile is removed first, then the broken tile is carefully removed using a hammer and chisel. (Do not forget to wear goggles). Scrape up all the hard mortar or adhesive. Then replace the tile and re-grout.