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Care & maintenance

Care & maintenance

We craft our tiles with a great deal of care and attention, and hope that they will become a treasured part of your home for decades to come.

To ensure they stand the test of time, it’s important that your tiles are properly installed and cared for. Crackle glazed tiles in particular require special sealing.

Below you will find information about how to properly install your tiles, and how to care for them once they are installed.

If you have questions about placing an order with Marlborough Tiles, please visit our FAQ page. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if we can be of assistance.

As a result of our artisanal production and glazing techniques, some tonal variation should be expected in both our floor and wall tiles, which we try to reflect in our product photography. The surface undulation of our tiles may vary too, and tiles may not be perfectly square.

We recommend that tiles are removed from their boxes and laid out by eye, prior to fixing. Where relevant, mix tiles from different boxes during this process.

Our customers sometimes call to tell us that their new crackle glazed tiles are making little noises, even a week after they were put up on the wall. We tell them it’s just the tile singing, and explain what’s happening: the beautiful crackle glaze they chose is still crazing.


The glaze is essentially a piece of glass on top of the tile body known as the ‘biscuit’. It has been carefully crafted to shatter or 'craze' in a controlled way as it cools, leading to the appearance of a network of fine cracks. These subtle lines have a beautiful delicacy.


The process can continue – almost imperceptibly – for a remarkably long time. Even a week after the tile has come out of the kiln, been sealed and tiled onto the wall of someone’s kitchen.


Those fine lines are cracks, and will let in dirt. We take advantage of this to achieve our aged crackle look, rubbing a dark stain into the cracks by hand. Ultimately though, crackle glazed tiles should be sealed to prevent discolouration.

Before you begin, ensure that the surface of each of your tiles is clean and dry.

We recommend that you start by removing your tiles from their box and laying them out by eye (not using spacers) prior to fixing.


Establish which tiles need to be cut, and begin by sealing those tiles with one coat of sealer before cutting. This will protect the glaze from dust and dirty cutting water. We recommend using Marlborough Tiles Crackle Glaze Sealer. Apply the sealer with a soft cloth, buffing immediately into the surface until all excess is removed. Allow the sealer to dry for a minimum of two hours.


Adhere the tiles to the wall using adhesive. We recommend a variable grout width of 3-5mm for wall tiles.


If using a light coloured grout, such as our White, Jasmine or Silver Grey grout

  • Grout your tiles. Allow the grout to dry per the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Apply two coats of sealer, allowing each coat to dry for a minimum of two hours.
  • After 48 hours, tiles can be cleaned as normal.

If using a pigmented or dark grout, such as our Beige or Medium Grey grout

  • Apply three coats of sealer with a soft cloth, allowing each coat to dry for a minimum of two hours. Do not buff away any excess.
  • Grout your tiles, and remove any excess immediately using a sponge and water. Allow the grout to harden for approximately two hours, then use a grout stain remover to de-bond the grout residue and sealer. Wipe away residue with soft cloth.
  • Allow grout to dry per the manufacturer's instructions, then apply a further coat of sealer to the tile surface and joints.
  • After 48 hours, tiles can be cleaned as normal.


You can download the technical spec for our Crackle Glaze Sealer here.

Please refer to manufacturers' instructions for further information, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Clean your tiles using soap and warm water with a soft cloth. Acid based cleaners may react with our glazes and damage the surface of your tiles.


Please note that like any ceramic, our tiles are susceptible to damage from impact and abrasion. Tiles with reactive glazes are unsuitable for work surfaces.

We suggest that you remove our tiles from their box and lay them out by eye (not using spacers) prior to fixing. We recommend a variable grout width of 3-5mm for wall tiles.

“An excellent product and superb service. Many thanks to Grace and Jamie from Marlborough”

Nick Lester, customer

“Handmade tiles with wonderful glazes; the craftsmanship, the beauty and the customer service.”

Ephia Yasmin, customer

“Always visionary and ahead of the times from the outset.”

Ben Spriggs, Editor-in-Chief, Elle Decoration

“Your service is outstanding and everyone is stunned by the result. I could not be more delighted.”

Pat Jones, customer

“Marlborough are a trusted collaborator to design unique tile collections which delight our customers”

Rebecca Malon, Head of Design and Product Development Neptune

“Over 20 years, our brand has relied on Marlborough for specialist colour and glaze development.”

Colin Roby-Welford, MD of Fired Earth
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