What is Acceptable Color Variation from the Tile Sample Selected to What is Provided?

QUESTION

It took me awhile to find a tile I wanted in my kitchen since it was being remodeled. I ordered a porcelain white and gray tile from a sample at the store. When it came in, I was extremely disappointed that it had a very large percentage of BROWN throughout the tile. My question is, is this an acceptable variance in color? The retailer will not provide a refund.

ANSWER

ANSWER - What is called Shade Variation is normal in the tile industry, but what is considered reasonable variation depends...

In the industry we have what is called in ANSI A137.1 Aesthetic Classes, which is defined as how tiles may vary in color, texture, or appearance according to the tile manufacturer's design or intent.  V0 class is Very Uniform Appearance with a smooth surface.  V1 class is Uniform Appearance with minimal variations.  V2 class is Slight Variation that has clear distinguishable differences, but similar in color.  V3 is Moderate Variation where there are differences in color and texture within each tile that is consistent with the other tiles.  V4 is Substantial Variation where the color and texture differences are random within each tile and throughout the other tiles. There is a chart that goes with these classes that demonstrates what is meant in the respective variation.

It is up to the seller to make sure that they properly represent and convey how the particular tile series will vary, and the samples and descriptions they provide should be consistent with what they supply to the buyer.

On the other hand, it is up to the buyer to verify if the tile order is acceptable or not before they install the tile.  Once installed the tile cannot be replaced without substantial costs.

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