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Ceramic Sublimation and YOU
most commonly sublimated ceramics, by far, are ceramic tiles and ceramic mugs.
Producing outstanding results with these two substrates require three basic elements.
They are: Learning superior graphic skills, using superior inks, equipment and
method and, above all, using superior coated ceramics.
is the last element (superior coated ceramics) that is the subject of this month's
article. We are writing this article, as a service, because of the increasing
number of telephone calls that we get every month about problems with ceramic
sublimation. 95% of the problems are caused by two factors.
are the problems caused by "salespeople" that can sell the products
but know very little about the proper use and application of the products. For
example, one of our friends lost quite a bit of money because they were told that
the supplier's ordinary gloss tiles were suitable for a swimming pool. Unbelievable!
When you are dealing with a vendor, make sure that you are talking to a knowledgeable
ceramic person, not just a commission sales person.
inferior coatings on the ceramics cause the second (and biggest) problem. It doesn't
matter if everything else in your production process is perfect, if the coating
is inferior. The only question that is open, is whether you will have problems
or in the future. A tile or mug is your artist's "canvass".
If that foundation is not excellent, your long-term results will not be excellent.
there may be other coatings and suppliers producing excellent results, we have
done the research and from direct knowledge can only endorse one. The suppliers
we are endorsing only use Rich Neely coatings (commonly called RN Coating) and,
above all, follow his strict manufacturing guidelines in process application and
not exactly a "household" name, Rich Neely is a worldwide known name
in commercial industry. After several years of development (and quite a few hundreds
of thousands of dollars), Rich first introduced his coatings in 1991 and opened
his own coating plant in Maricopa, AZ.
his original plant, Rich continued to refine his original coating and to develop
more. Rich closed his plant last year (due to more pressing business needs) but
he is certainly not inactive.
addition to supplying coating material to the five RN Coating certified facilities
listed below, Rich supplies his coating products to major industrial users. These
are not sublimation "blanks" suppliers. They are major corporations
using his coatings for their own use.
Coating & Supply - Missouri: Bison is the newest U.S., RN Coating facility
using the strict Rich Neely coating procedures. While the plant is new, co-owner
Paul Whitehill is not. He is a seasoned expert in the field of tile sublimation.
Actually, the word "new" is a bit of a misnomer, when describing Bison.
The plant ran for months (producing and inventorying their different tiles) before
they made their official "grand opening" announcement. That is very
rare in this business and shows foresight and concern for their future customers.
offers five different tiles and finishes, each best suited for specific applications.
The types offered are Glossy, Satin, Porcelain, Tumbled Stone and their new Glass
Tiles. While all tile types have profitable possibilities, we predict that the
new glass tiles (yes they really are glass) will take the interior decorating
world by storm!
"Tile Council of America" did independent testing of Bison's glass tiles.
Results proved the tiles met ANSI and ASTM standards for commercial wall and floor
applications. They passed freeze-thaw testing as well as resistance to chemical
substances. Perhaps even more importantly, the tile's surface has a coefficient
of friction (how slippery it is) that exceeds OSHA standards and a breaking strength
more than 700% above floor standards (Anyone who has had to deal with OSHA knows
how important it is to keep that Federal Agency happy!).
sent us a picture of a commercial job done with ArTainium UV+ inks (what we sell)
and their new glass tiles. It blew us away! Click
here to see what you think.
Information - BisonCoating.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
have read reports from three different "real-world" sublimators who
did extensive "boil" and microwave testing of RN Coated, certified mugs,
along with many others. The RN Certified mugs were the only mugs that had practically
no discernable color loss, after being in boiling water for one hour.
Sublimator 1st Choice - This company offers standard and premium grade mugs. The standard mugs are what most companies sell while the premium mugs are excellent.
Contact - http://www.sublimators1choice.com
Tiles & Mugs
of California - CA: This company originally started in 1970 as a custom emblematic
jewelry company (Awards and Ad Specialty folks take note. Their work is excellent.
We used to buy from them in the old retail days). Several years ago they began
offering RN Certified mugs and tiles.
considering them as a supplier, there are three very important facts for you to
know. Pricing - they are an ASI supplier. Prices on their web site are retail
prices. Your price on everything is half. Tiles - They only offer gloss, "spacer-less"
tiles. Most tiles have two "nubs" on the sides of the tiles. Theirs
do not. Also, their 4x4 tiles are actually 4.25x4.25. Frames - Their frames are
sized to fit their spacer-less tiles and tiles with spacers will not fit.
other feature that may benefit some is the fact that they also offer a decorating
service for their mugs and tiles. Remember, however, that Julie of California
is a true ASI supplier. There are always setup charges and orders take weeks to
produce, not days ("blanks", however, are shipped within 24 hours).
Information - JulieofCalifornia.com,
- United Kingdom: Listawood is known primarily for their RN Certified mugs but
we have heard that they are starting to offer coated tiles. This information is
not 100% confirmed.
reviewing their web site it seems like they are a prime manufacturer/coater, who
sells through distributors. We include Listawood to benefit our UK and European
friends. You will need to check with them for details.
Information - Listawood.co.uk, email@example.com,
Phone 01 485 529100
are four more important additional facts that we want to make sure you understand.
- While we are glad to help our customers with the technical aspects of ceramic
sublimation (and even sales and marketing) please do not call us about the technical
aspects of the tiles themselves, mounting tiles or specifics about the suitability
of specific tiles for your application needs. That's the job of ceramics suppliers.
- We are not saying that RN Coating ceramics are the only acceptable products
in the United States. There may be others that you are buying from and you feel
like their products are great. Wonderful! Don't change. What floats your boat
fills our sails with wind also.
- We are not saying that any supplier that we recommend is 100% perfect, 100%
of the time. We don't care if they make BB's or Yachts, we have never seen any
supplier that can promise perfection. The good ones, however, do stand behind
- We don't make a dime from any consumable's supplier that we recommend.