View Full Version : Lasering Ceramic Tile

Lynn Kull
10-19-2004, 1:59 PM
Hi guys & gals, just wondering if anyone has done much with cermic tile. I have a veterinarian building a new clinic and would like some dog paws engraved on ceramic tile for the side wall of his entry desk. The tile is kind of a sand color with a rough texture. I tried some tests at different settings and could get a fairly good burn but not much contrast. So I thought I would try a mask and paint, to my surprise after applying the mask the image was nice and dark. I have taken rubbing alcohol to the image and it seems permanent?

My question is could the fire created when burning thru the mask have darkened the outer coating of the tile? If so is there any other masking material that would darken the tile even more? thanks Lynn

P.S. I did do a mask and paint but like the more natural look of just the lasering better.

Gary Shoemake
10-19-2004, 2:36 PM
Hi Lynn

I have lasered tile and then have taken printers ink and brushed it on. I then let it dry just a bit and then wash it off. The ink will adhere to the lasered part and wash off the glazed portion of the tile. Another was is to get some of the ceramic tile paste from Thermark it comes in colors and it is heat set to the tile, I believe that Jorlink has a similar product.

The first method I used was for a karate studio and it has been 7 months and the tile still looks good and has plenty of contrast.

Hope this helps


10-19-2004, 7:01 PM
Hi Lynn,

Check out lasertile.com! There is a special glaze they use and it interacts with the lasers' wave Length. I have used it with SPECTACULAR results! There is supposed to be a cermatk type solution that you can spray or paint on - I can't vouch for it though...


Michael Wells
10-20-2004, 6:08 PM
Hey Lynn, You are right, the burning of the tape caused the scorching of the tile. This only works for certain ceramics though. If you run across tiles with a glazed finish you will have to use one of the marking solutions such as Cermark or ThermMark or a pre coated tile such as several on the market. But if you have the right mix, usually on lightly or unfinished tile and stones you can get a scorch to occur. Testing is the only way to know which ones will work and which ones won't. Just make certain that it won't come off easily. You might even want to use a wipe on silicone sealer to insure the longevity.

Kevin Huffman
10-21-2004, 9:58 AM
Hey Lynn,

We do the same as Gary and it comes out look'n GREAT. We do photo's and woodland scenes and many other images.
Just engrave away the image, which exposes the ceramic underneath. Rub the ink on. It will soak into the exposed parts of the tile and it will just sit on the top of where you didn't engrave. Just wipe the excess off with some alcohol.

We have even done it on white marble also for head stones.

Shari Loveless
02-04-2005, 12:17 PM
Where do you get printers ink? I would love to try this on some large tiles.

Ken Frisby
02-04-2005, 1:49 PM
I use Permanent India ink that is used for calligraphy, you can find it at most craft stores.

Michael McDuffie
02-04-2005, 2:01 PM
Altho it doesn’t answer your question about your tile, I thought I'd chime in with the tile I use.
I'm cheap and didn't want to pay for true laser tile so I did some experimenting with tile from Home Depot and Lowes. I found a white that engraves very nicely.
Its called Ragione White, is made in Indonesia and is SKU 19284 45503 and IIRC they are 48˘ each.
I'm pretty sure it comes from Home Depot.
Sorry but I can’t remember the laser settings but they were pretty light as I have 70 watts to play with. Look for a light putty color without breaking the glaze. I wouldn’t put these in a shower, as they may no longer be waterproof like a true laser tile would be.


Mike Mackenzie
02-04-2005, 2:43 PM

Try www.baypressservices.com (http://www.baypressservices.com) This is the same printers ink that laser sketch has on there site to paint marble and granite. It also works on Tile click the CML link.

Shari Loveless
02-04-2005, 3:19 PM
Thanks all. We have a Home Depot here now, so I will check out their selection as well. Can't wait to get my new laser. Bigger and beefier! oh yea!:D


Shaddy Dedmore
02-04-2005, 4:08 PM
Hey Mike... Do you have a name or a part number for the Ink from Bay Press? There's a few to choose from, and i wanted to get some and experiment.


Mike Mackenzie
02-04-2005, 6:08 PM

It is CML-OIL Base Plus VS729 this is the opaque White they have other colors as well but we just got the white to try.

It seems pretty easy to use pretty much wipe it on and then wipe it off but it definitely makes a difference on the laser sketch marble.

We found that if you mix it with some Naphtha before applying its easier to apply and remove.

You would definitely need to dilute it if you were planning to brush it on.

Gary Shoemake
02-04-2005, 6:40 PM
Hi Shari

I went to a local Michaels craft store and in the calligraphy section they had a package that has eight colors in it. The brand name is Winsor Newton, colors black, brown, orange, violet, blue,scarlet, emerald green and yellow. They all seem to hold up fairly well I've done some tiles with the different colors and there are outside on my sundeck exposed to the elements. I admit that I'm not in an area with drastic weather changes, ( Southern New Jerset 3 miles from the Delaware Bay and 7 to the Atlantic Ocean) but the tiles seem to be okay.Price was around $25.


Shari Loveless
02-04-2005, 7:05 PM

Thanks for the info. We have VERY limited shopping here. If they don't have it at WalMart, we don't get it. This last November they opened a Home Depot here because of all the home building, but we are limited in general shopping. We have lots of gas stations and fast food places. That's about it. Next trip to Phoenix I'll stop by a Michaels and pick some up. I think the colors would be a nice thing to try. I much prefer the artistic and fun things you can do with a laser. This forum is very informative. I truly enjoy reading about what people are doing with their equipment. And the problem solving seems to be A+.
thanks again,

Ken Frisby
02-04-2005, 7:42 PM

Your in luck, Wal-Mart has acrylic in bottles that are cheap and work great for indoor use. Rub-N-Buff also works.

Michael Wells
02-05-2005, 8:40 PM
No more limited shopping Shari... The internet is here and you can buy virtually anything right there!!! Even from Wal-Mart!!!