small batch artisan tile

clé tile guild fundamentals small batch white matte kitchen backsplash

an elevated, glazed thin brick

the understated silken luminesce of clé guild fundamentals small batch white matte offers a quiet freshness to the familiar white subway format. this glazed brick features a subtly varied satin matte surface with natural iron speckling. bright yet serene, this tile will complement any design from modern to classic.

clé guild fundamentals small batch black, white, gloss, matte moodboard
clé tile guild fundamentals small batch white matte kitchen backsplash

why we love fundamentals

clé guild fundamentals is a locally produced, artisan tile line created in clé tile’s san rafael guild. clay for this line is sourced from the base of the sierra nevada foothills. minimally processed, this rugged material possesses natural mineral inclusions which when fired, create a uniquely speckled surface, a direct expression of the earth from which it is made. glazes are formulated of natural minerals and pigments, giving each kiln load a small batch, hand crafted feel. clé guild fundamentals are available in white and black in both matte and gloss surfaces. at once rustic and elegant, fundamentals are an elevated glazed brick alternative to classic subway tile.

handcrafted from the clé guild

the clé guild was born of our desire to create the finest glazed brick and was the culmination of that idea, combined with state-of-the-art ceramics technology and artisanal technique. fundamentals was the first collection to come out of the clé guild. produced in northern california, this small-batch, handcrafted tile is sophistication manifest and gives a feel of luxury and significance without being conspicuous. the unique firing process, using the state-of-the-art blaauw kiln combined with the purely natural composition of the glaze (stone powders, metal oxide pigments) allows for a richness and luminescence rarely found in many of today’s glazed bricks.

clé tile guild fundamentals small batch white matte kitchen backsplash

design / photos: sarah a. intelligator

perfect grout to match

product specifications

technical specifications

freeze thaw rated icon

freeze thaw rated

radiant heating compatible icon

radiant heating compatible

uv resistant icon

uv resistant

heat resistant icon

heat resistant

stove backsplash icon

stove backsplash

sink backsplash icon

sink backsplash

interior floor icon

interior floor

light residential icon

light residential

interior wall icon

interior wall

exterior wall icon

exterior wall

fireplace surround icon

fireplace surround

fountain waterline icon

fountain waterline

pool waterline icon

pool waterline

shower icon


steam shower icon

steam shower

* see installation and maintenance guide for specific requirements

surface type

finish type

level 2: slight

level 2: slight

level 2: medium

level 2: medium

level 1: light

2 1 / 2 " x 8" x 1 / 2 "
water absorption
avg. 10.6%; non-vitreous

see more information under 'wet area application' in our clé guild fundamentals installation and maintenance guide below

Pieces per sqft calculated using clé's recommended grout joint size of 3/8"
6.54 pcs/sqft

Pieces per box
44 pcs/box


what grout joint size should i use?

we recommend a 3/8” grout joint with our fundamentals collection which allows for 6.54 bricks per square foot. should your project require a smaller joint, keep in mind that additional bricks will need to be ordered as our checkout calculations are all based on 6.54 bricks per square foot.

here are the pieces per square foot for a few other common grout joint sizes:

1/8” grout joint - 6.97 bricks per square foot
1/4” grout joint - 6.75 bricks per square foot

pieces per square foot comes to 7.2 when no grout joint is taken into account

what grout type and colors do you recommend?

clé only recommends mapei ultracolor plus fa grout to reduce the risk of grout haze and staining.

important: if clé guild fundamentals tiles are being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you must also apply a penetrating sealant or grout release prior to grouting in order to minimize the possibility of the contrasting grout curing in the inherent hairline cracks.

grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our bricks. and due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a full proof grout color selection for any of your clé bricks.

  • first, have your professional brick contractor complete your brick installation, except for the grout portion.
  • next, when ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
  • lastly, choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your brick selection.

note that the full mapei ultracolor plus fa color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. visit the mapei website to view

for more information about grouting please see our clé guild fundamentals installation & maintenance guide.

collection dimensions

rectangle - 2 1/2"x8"x1/2"

disclaimer: please note all dimensions are nominal. additionally, dimensions between tiles can vary +/- 1/8 inch.

installation and maintenance guide

read before you buy this tile

do i need to seal fundamentals bricks?

we recommend applying sealant or using a grout release prior to grouting if the brick has visible crazing. if fundamentals is being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you should also seal before grouting because many bricks may have crazing without it being visible to the eye and would only come out with the grouting of the bricks as the invisible crazing absorbs the dye from the contrasting grout. dry applications do not need to be sealed as the final step of installation.

for applications in wet areas (backsplashes, showers, steam showers, pool & fountain water lines), grout lines and areas of visible crazing must be sealed as the final step of installation. sealant will not penetrate the glazed brick surface but it will penetrate and protect grouted areas and any crazing that reaches the clay body.

for more information about sealing please see our clé guild fundamentals installation & maintenance guide.

do you offer trim for your clé guild fundamentals bricks?

at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.

- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the bricks to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- another way to complete your tiling is to run a bead of caulk or grout along the exposed brick edge.
- if you have a painted surface next to your brick, you can choose to paint the outer edge of the brick to match the painted surface.
- like with any of our bricks, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the brick.

how do i take care of my clé guild fundamentals bricks?

over time, a natural patina will occur on floors as they are maintained and naturally wear. mild, pH neutral soaps should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. clean using soft materials, like a cloth, instead of coarse materials. grout lines can be cleaned with warm water and a soft bristled cleaning brush. always avoid harsh chemicals and acidic or alkaline cleaning products. do not allow water and liquids to sit on the brick surface. miracle tile & stone cleaner is effective as an ongoing maintenance cleaner and is gentle for everyday use.

single coat reapplication of the penetrating sealant is required once a year on all grout lines in shower applications due to the continuous exposure to water. reapplication is needed more often if installation is in a steam shower or pool/fountain. please refer to a professional for this.

see our clé guild fundamentals installation & maintenance guides for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this collection?

our clé guild fundamentals bricks are glazed, and both the white and the black bricks are available in two finishes; matte and gloss - expect light texture variation.

how much variation should i expect?

clé’s fundamentals brick shades and colors vary from brick to brick, some more than others. clé celebrates this variation resulting from our artisan production methods and choice of raw materials. glazed bricks are created by hand, one at a time, from unrefined clay and natural pigments, resulting in intentional variations of color including iron spots, but also variation in shade, texture and size.

due to the color and shade variations, it is very important to blend the bricks from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing. do not install without blending bricks from all boxes. our bricks are subject to variations in color, texture, size and finish.

what's crazing, and should this be expected with fundamentals bricks?

our fundamentals glazed thin bricks are made by hand and the bricks with matte finishes can show visible crazing. crazing refers to the hairline cracks which may occur in the glaze surface of brick after firing and is common in handcrafted brick.

variation and imperfection ratings:

fundamentals bricks are rated 'level 2 slight' for both color and texture variation, 'level 2 medium' for size variation, and 'level2 medium' for irons spots. fundamentals bricks with matte finishes are also rated 'level 1 light' for crazing.

see illustrations in the technical specifications section above, and read more about the ratings in our tile variation and imperfections guide.

how will my fundamentals samples compare to my actual order?

as noted in the variation and add on orders sections of our faq, color and size variation between production batches (or kiln loads) of fundamentals brick, in addition to variation from brick to brick, is to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the product. this also makes it possible that your sample will not be a perfect match with your actual order.

are there best practices for sampling clé guild fundamentals?

due to the variation in color of our handmade bricks as well as the variation in texture of each tile we strongly encourage sampling more than one piece to get a better sense of what the tile has to offer.

why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to brick cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs.

is it possible to purchase more of the same material after my initial order (i.e. place an add on order)?

color and shade variation between production batches (or kiln loads) of fundamentals brick is a normal occurrence and to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the collection. please keep this in mind when calculating your order, and be sure to purchase enough material.

for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.

try before you buy

order sample

calculate your project

sq.ft. needed

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs


total sqft



total boxes




1 total pieces

IMPORTANT: we recommend a traditional brick grout joint size of 3/8” with this collection which allows for 6.54 tiles per square foot. should your project require a smaller joint, keep in mind that additional tiles will need to be ordered as our checkout calculations are all based on 6.54 tiles per square foot.