So you tend to start the sublimation customized tile business or you want to decorate your home with DIY. Sublimation on tile requires a specific temperature setting and a lamination coat that should be applied appropriately otherwise the blank will likely be faded or ghost. To let you know the appropriate method of sublimating time and lamination, I’ve compiled a guide on how to do sublimation on ceramic tiles.
Sublimation On Ceramic Tile
Well, ceramic sublimation is a perfect idea for DIY but as we know sublimation cannot be done without a poly coat on ceramics and hard substrates. Some company manufacturers do provide ready-to-sublimate blanks like sublimation mugs. But tiles may not be available ready-to-sublimate and I’ve also got a plain light colored tile to prepare it first for sublimation.
Here I’ll be using a thermal laminating pouch to melt it onto the surface of the tile. So that sublimation ink can be embedded with the laminated tile. So let’s go ahead and start.
Sublimation On Tile With Laminate: Supplies Required
Check Sublimation On Canvas
Step 1: How to laminate
I’ve got the 8.5×11 thermal lamination pouch because my tile substrate is larger. Simply take the pouch apart from the middle because the thermal laminating pouch will have 2 sheets in each pouch. Clean the tile with a clean cloth and glass cleaner to remove the fingerprints.
The shining side should be upward to you and the matte side of the sheet should be facing the tile. Now place a piece of butcher paper underneath the tile and another piece on top of the lamination sheet. Press the tile for 3 minutes at the temperature of 380 F. Also, check the substrate after every 60 seconds to ensure that everything is going fine.
Step 2: Cutting
Do not touch the tile after removing the heat press because the ceramic tile will be enough hot that is why leave it for about 30 minutes to cool down. After cooling, cut the lamination sheet edges which are excess using a Xacto knife.
Step 3: Ready to sublimate & image design
I’m using PicsArt software to design my image. You can use photoshop or any other software or download free images for sublimation. I’ve done some sublimation settings according to the size and color management. You can do this accordingly although my settings are showing in the image.
And here is the print ready to go ahead for heat transfer.
Step 4: Tape down
Place the printed paper onto the tile and tape it down. Put the piece of butcher paper over it and press the tile for 2 minutes at 380 F. After heat pressing, let the tile cool off for a couple of minutes or either use heat-resistant gloves to remove the sublimation paper and butcher paper.
Step 5: Final Result
After removing, clean the surface with a cloth to remove the little bit of ghosting like white clouds. And here is the final sublimated tile. Do let me know in the comments how stunning it is looking.
How Do You Sublimate On Tile With Polycrylic?
This process is a bit complicated and won’t provide the shiny results as the lamination. But still, you can try it
- Take a regular paint brush and apply Minwax’s polycrylic coat on the tile. Let it dry for 15 minutes and apply another coat. Leave it overnight.
- After overnight, sublimate it for 2 minutes at 380 F with your design and leave it to cool down.
- After 30 minutes, do not peel off the paper instead, dampen the tile into the bowl of water or pour water to remove the sublimation paper.
- Once the paper is removed, take a clean towel or sponge and rub the surface to eliminate the paper residue and ghosting.
- Apply the last coat of polycrylic to bring a shiny and clean look.
Check How To Sublimate A Mug
So we’ve guided you to the right method to do sublimation in tile. If you’re sublimating for your home then your wall will have a customized tile with images of your beloved ones. Or you can frame it and decorate your craft desk. The only step you need to do is to laminate the tile before doing the sublimation process. Sublimating tile is a super-easy job that can be done flawlessly but there are some prerequisites that we need to follow.