World-class art of fired ceramics has been developed over a thousand years in China. Many of the great historical landmarks in China are handsomely decorated with works of art in fired ceramics.
You can also find fired ceramic art in other civilizations some in raised-relief (but mostly as floor tiles or wall tiles). Today you can reproduce these as digitally printed decorations.
Wall tiles can be for kitchen, bathroom, or other rooms, in North American culture, tiles tend to be limited to bathroom and kitchen. But you can always break out of the mold and use tiles anywhere in the house.
Every substance and material in a building can be printed on or decorated with a wide-format inkjet printer (if you so desire). Today you can run doors, windows, Venetian blinds, wall sections, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, table tops, and refrigerator doors through wide format flatbed inkjet printers.
Diverse Technologies for Printing on Tiles
There are at least three inkjet printer technologies for printing on floor tiles.
- Dye sublimation heat transfer
- Direct printing with solvent ink
- Direct printing with UV-cured ink.
Dye sub means printing on transfer paper and then using a heat press to transfer the image via sublimation onto the tiles.
Direct printing with solvent ink printers onto tiles is rarely done, but it is possible if you have a flatbed solvent ink printer. You would tend to need tiles that can accept solvent inks. Keep in mind that both dye sub, solvent ink and UV-cured ink are for printing on tiles after the tiles have come from the kiln. If you need to bake the design into the tile, that involves other technologies.
In this era of mass customization and constantly changing consumer trends, the ability to make rapid alterations on a production job is becoming increasingly essential.