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When it comes to adding tile to a home, a lot of us head to the local warehouse stores to choose from a variety of selections. Using tile in a home for artwork can enhance homeowners' surroundings while adding value and bringing home a museum-quality artwork look.

"We've all seen beautiful works of art made of tile and a lot of us would dismiss [the thought] that we could ever have it in our home because it's so cost prohibitive," says Patsy Hodge of the Tile Factory: Original Tile Solutions.

But that's all changed. The company produces tile patterns from your own artwork in mosaic and laser-marked tiles. They also have tiled artwork to choose from. Hodge says the laser-marked tile is produced in neutral colors whereas the mosaic tile is more colorful. One of the advantages of using tiled artwork is that most artwork begins to fade as time passes but as sixteenth Century Italian artist, Giorgio Vasari wrote, "Mosaic continually brightens with age."

The Tile Factory engineered the Mosaic Tile Master process which reduces the cost and speeds up the design and delivery of producing unique tile for residential and commercial applications.

"It's like photo-quality detail [on a tile] and that image is as permanent as the tile itself. It's not a surface imprint. It's literally a photo-thermal reaction within the glaze of the tile -- so, it's sub-surface within the glaze," says Hodge.

The tile size choices are four, six, and eight inches. They're applied to the wall or floor in the same fashion as ordinary tile. Or the tiles can be framed for the full effect of a museum-style piece of artwork. "It can be installed on the whole wall," says Hodge.

So how are homeowners using the tiles to decorate? Hodge says they're making murals that create custom-made views. They're using tile to brighten a dark or out-of-the-way corner. She also says homeowners are using their own unique designs to create family heirlooms by turning an inexpensive piece of furniture such as a hutch or bookcase into a one-of-a-kind item by applying customized tile to it. Many are using tile to create a themed-room. For more ideas visit, tilefactory.com

Things to consider before you turn your artwork into customized tile.

Choose quality artwork to start with. For laser tile, your end-product will be produced in sepia, grey, or black and white. It needs to be a high resolution form of artwork in order to produce the sharp details.

"The designs are limitless. You can create something subtle, bold and striking, or a timeless piece," says Hodge. She adds, "[Using laser tile] you can still have a neutral-colored theme but create such high impact with some kind of design running throughout the tile."

Hodge says a grid is added so that the tile can easily be installed in the proper design on a wall or the floor. Some homeowners choose to make smaller tiled pieces of artwork and then frame them and hang them on the wall. Hodge says that concept is popular with holiday artwork. After the season is over, it can be removed and stored for next year.

Part of what's making this type of décor popular is the tile's durability which creates versatility for usage. "These images have been out in the hot desert sun and they do not fade," says Hodge.

Creating lasting images through tile helps sustain value in your home while bringing unique décor that sets your home apart from the rest.

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