Frequently Asked Questions
How are Foundry Art bronze tiles made?
Each Foundry Art design is first carved by hand in sculptor’s wax. From these original wax tiles we make multiple casts, or “patterns.” At the foundry, we press the patterns into specially prepared sand. We then carefully remove them, leaving exact impressions of the designs in the sand. Into each cavity we pour white-hot molten bronze. After the bronze cools, we excavate the raw tiles from the sand. Next, we put the tiles through several finishing steps to smooth their surface and give them just the right character – not too rough and not too refined. We then buff each tile, and brush on a protective coat of wax to slow down the natural patina process. Finally, we polish the tiles by hand with a soft cloth.
What are Foundry Art tiles made of?
Our Traditional Bronze is a variety of silicon bronze typically used for casting fine sculpture. Our White Bronze is similar but has a lighter, cooler tone. Both are alloys of copper and tin, and are among the most durable types of bronze.
Where can I use Foundry Art tiles?
You can use Foundry Art bronze in any application – wet or dry, indoors or out, including floors, walls, countertops, shower, and bath surrounds, fountains, pools, and garden walls. The high durability of bronze makes Foundry Art tiles suitable for even high-traffic applications.
Note: Due to the carving height of some Foundry Art tiles, they are not suitable for floor use. See individual products for specific details.
How will the appearance of Foundry Art tiles change over time?
Bronze becomes more beautiful with age. Its patina deepens and matures – time, weather, and wear each playing a part. Technically, the process is called oxidation because the bronze responds to the oxygen in the atmosphere. Indoors, bronze mellows and gradually darkens. Some deepening of the color occurs in as little as a few weeks, and the patina then slowly darkens over a period of years. When used in a floor, the tiles are gradually polished by footsteps. Like the shiny nose of a well-loved statue, this is a beautiful reward that comes only with age. In a wet location such as a shower, Foundry Art bronze will develop a deep patina with hints of soft green over time; however, regular cleaning with a soft abrasive pad, such as Scotch Brite, will keep the tiles bright indefinitely. Outdoors, the natural patina process is accelerated and ultimately an opaque patina will develop.
What can I do if someday I want to make my tiles bright again?
To restore the original brightness, the tiles may be polished quickly and easily with a soft abrasive pad such as Scotch Brite. If the tiles have darkened significantly, you can polish them with copper cleaner. A light coat of paste wax will help the newly polished tiles stay bright.
Should my tiles be sealed?
No, sealing is not necessary, although after installation a light coat of paste wax can be applied to slow down the natural patina process.
What kind of variation is there from tile to tile?
COLOR: The moment we finish each tile, the natural patina process begins. When your new tiles arrive, they may be a bit lighter in color than the older showroom samples. In addition, there is some variation in the initial brightness of the tiles since the final polishing is done by hand. During installation, the grout will polish the tiles slightly, lessening the variation from tile to tile.
TEXTURE: No two Foundry Art tiles are exactly alike. Our casting and finishing techniques purposely encourage differences from tile to tile. Other more mechanical techniques could eliminate these variations, but we believe they add to the tiles’ beauty. The rough areas and other irregularities serve as reminders of the many hands that make our tiles.