Tile Frames - How To Frame Your Art Tiles
Art tiles have long been a favorite of the Arts & Crafts style enthusiast. Most all art tiles are handmade and also painted (glazed) one at a time an artisan. Art tile can be incorporated into a tile installation such as a fireplace surround or tile backsplash. Art tiles are also collectable and are often displayed within a tile frame. Oak Park Home & Hardware has been offering tile frames of all kinds since our inception in 2001. We also sell art tiles framed and frame tiles for our customers.
If ordering or purchasing a tile frame for some of your existing art tiles, then there are some important things to consider. There are also a few nuances in framing your own art tiles so the following information can be helpful.
Art tiles can vary greatly in size, thickness, and quite frankly are irregularly sized. Even though the tile may be listed as 4" x 8", It could be 4-1/8" at its top and 4" at its bottom. The same is true for its height. The tile thickness can also vary greatly. A tile thickness can be anywhere from 3/8" thick up to 5/8" thick. Adding to this variable is the fact that some tile designs have raised image areas along the edges making them more suitable for a front mount tile frame. When ordering a tile frame, it is always best to provide all of the critical dimensions of the tile. Maybe even send a picture of the tile to us along with its dimensions.
Tile Frame Designs
There are many tile frame designs available from straight edge frames with mitered corners, thru-tenon designs, to frame designs with tapered sides and arched top or bottom. The frame stock is typically referred to as "rails" or "rail width". As an example, our Oak Park style frame has 2" flat stock rails. And our Legacy style frame has a 3" wide rail which is slightly angled with a biscuit joint. We also have some more unique frames such as our Mitered Bead frame with 3" wide rails and a raised bead edge. All of our tile frames are offered in the traditional quartersawn white oak in a few different finishes. Some of our frames are also available in different wood types.
Tile clips are offset Z-Clips and come in many offset sizes. The reason why the clips come in varying offset sizes is because tile thicknesses vary but the tile frame stock thickness does not vary. So a very thick tile will protrude out the back some. Tile clips are secured with a wood screw to the frame. If the clip does not fit completely flush to the tile surface, then you can use a small piece of corrugated cardboard between the tile and the clip.
The back opening for the tile is typically at least 1/8" wider than the tile. Wood can expand and contract somewhat from humidity changes so you do not want the tile to be tight or snug. Otherwise the corner of the frame can split. It is best to use strips of corrugated cardboard all around the tile (see image below). This will also allow you to position the tile bias to the top, bottom, left, or right if needed.
Front Mount Tile Frames
Some tile have thick raised edges in its design and best fitted for a front mount tile frame. This works for tiles which have a finished glaze edge only. You can install tiles into a front mount frame using either velcro strips or 100% silicone adhesive. We prefer the silicone adhesive. It only needs a dab in the corners of the tiles and a bit along the longest edges. You need to allow 24 hours for drying before hanging the framed tile.
Hanging A Tile Frame
Many tile frames have a keyhole slot for hanging. This typically requires only one pan-head screw which protrudes out from the wall surface enough to insert the frame and slid it left or right a bit so it cannot be pulled from the wall easily. For more information on keyhole slots, click here.
Some tile frames will come with the traditional picture hanging wire and hardware.
You may also prefer to display your framed art tile with a tile easel. This will allow you to move tiles around from time to time and from room to room. Just make sure that the groove in the tile easel fits to the frames edge.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you would like to order an art tile frame and require some help, please do not hesitate in contacting us!