the art of tile coasters

One reason I use travertine tiles for my work is very simple and practical..I want my coasters to be absorbent.

I often am asked online and even at craft shows….are they absorbent? And the answer is yes!

For me, I want my coasters to absorb moisture. I live in Minnesota and in the summer months, it gets very humid here and my drinks (and me) get very sweaty.

So if it’s important for you too that your coasters absorb moisture then you need to look for the following when looking online or at a craft fair:

  • Stone tiles…travertine tiles for example which are what I use. You don’t want to purchase tile coasters that are ceramic because those are sealed tiles and the moisture will pour right off your coaster. Travertine tile is a natural stone that will soak in the moisture.
my tiles after being stamped, ready for painting
  • If the design is stamped and/or painted on, that the tile is baked so the design doesn’t come off with the moisture. I bake all my tiles after I stamp and paint them so the design will stay when wet. I made my original tile coaster set about 10 years ago and the design is still there.
where the painting and stamping happens
  • If the design (for example when paper is used for the design) is sealed in with a chemical sealer then the moisture will run off as well. If you see a glossy finish then more likely it will not be absorbent.

Lastly, turn over the coaster, make sure there some sort of protection on the bottom to protect your table top finishes.

so that is a little bit about my process and about tile coasters…if you have any questions, drop me an email!

Lovely comments so far...

  1. those are awesome Ellie!

  2. thanks 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. jasmin holzbauer

  4. Keep it up; keep posting more n more n more.
    travertine paver

  5. We have recently started selling tumbled marble coasters and they seem to absorb moisture pretty well just like the travertine coasters.

  6. What kinds of paint work? I am also wondering about other mediums like really nice artist markers or permanent markers if you can get them in a wide enough color selection.

  7. Megan says:

    What kind of paint do you use? Does it seem to affect absorbancy?

    • Megan~

      HI! I just use an all purpose ink and no it doesn’t affect absorbancy after the tile has been baked in the oven.

      If you have any other questions, let me know!


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