As the stay at home order drags on in my state, I’ve been looking for creative projects I can do with my son. I discovered photo tiles and found that he loved to figure out how to display photos of himself.
So, I’ve been looking for the best photo tile company and so far have explored both Snaptiles and Mixtiles. For those of you who are also looking for fun photography projects to do with your kids, here is my complete Snaptiles vs Mixtiles breakdown.
What are Photo Tiles?
One of the Snaptiles photo displays we made in my son’s room.
Photo tiles are small tiles with either adhesive strips or magnetic backs that allow you to print and hang your photos easily without nails.
The problem with explaining what photo tiles are, though, is that every company builds their photo tiles with very different materials. Some companies use wood while some use styrofoam. Additionally, some allow you to hang your photo tiles anywhere with adhesive strips while others allow you to use them on metal because they use magnets.
With such a range of materials, some of which are better quality than others, it can be difficult to figure out where to purchase your photo tiles without going through some insane trial and error.
Thankfully, I’ve done the trial, and made all of the errors for you!
Snaptiles vs Mixtiles Build Quality
Of the three Mixtiles photo tiles I ordered, only two were usable since one had a huge ink smear.
Let’s start with Mixtiles.
Mixtiles are 8-inch by 8-inch photo tiles that use peel-and-stick tape so they can be applied anywhere. The peel-and-stick tape can be reapplied should you decide to rearrange your tiles (but only a handful of times before the tape stops working).
Unfortunately, in my experience, Mixtiles build quality just wasn’t there. I ordered three Mixtiles and of those three, only two were usable because the third had smeared ink across the whole surface of the tile.
I found my experience with Snaptiles to be much more pleasant. Snaptiles are magnetic photo tiles, each of which are 8-inch by 8-inch, that allow you to snap them together to create a collage of sorts on your wall, like the rocket ship shown above..
Your order comes with a mounting bracket that can support up to 12 Snaptiles at a time (or 30 with the addition of some thumbtacks).
Snaptiles are extremely lightweight so there’s no worry of the photo display falling apart.
These photo tiles are made of SBS acid-free paperboard, so they’re much lighter than Mixtiles photo tiles. Snaptiles also come with UV protection lamination so you won’t need to worry about hanging them on a wall that gets direct sunlight.
Overall, the Snaptiles build quality was loads better than Mixtiles. Not just because you can rearrange each tile endlessly because they stick together through magnets, but because the quality control is actually there. I can’t imagine Snaptiles sending out any photos with ink smears.
In the Snaptiles vs Mixtiles debate, Snaptiles definitely wins when it comes to build quality.
Snaptiles vs Mixtiles: Creating a Photo Display
Mixtiles use peel-and-stick adhesive strips to create photo displays.
Once you’ve received your photo tiles, you’ll need to figure out how to display them. Thankfully, all photo tiles are built for easy hanging.
Mixtiles simply need to be pulled out of the box and stuck wherever you want on your wall, almost like stickers. The peel-and-stick tape means creating a Mixtiles photo display is incredibly easy.
Creating a Snaptiles photo display takes a few additional steps, but it certainly wasn’t a difficult process. The mounting bracket features four adhesive strips on the back and comes with an (adorable) tiny level so you’re sure to hang it evenly.
You just take the backing off, press down on each strip for 10 seconds and that’s it.
Then, to create your Snaptiles photo display, you’ll mount your first tile (the anchor tile) to the bracket by removing two perforated areas and snapping it into place. From there, the magnets do all the work.
Snaptiles vs Mixtiles App
If you’re going to be ordering photo tiles, the app you use to do so is almost as important as the quality of the photo tiles once they arrive at your home.
You can choose from a variety of edges, which include different color borders. From there, you simply place your order by adding your address and payment method.
For those who are more tech-savvy, a three-step process may not be as customizable as you would like it. But, for those who are less tech-savvy, the Mixtiles app is nice because there’s literally no way to get lost in the process.
The Snaptiles app only works for iPhones, since they have yet to get an app on the Google Play store.
The Snaptiles app is a bit more in-depth. You can pull photos from your phone, just like with the Mixtiles app, but you can also pull photos from Facebook or Instagram very simply. Once you’ve chosen your photos, you can add a variety of filters on them and adjust them by zooming in or centering them.
You then head to check out where you can either create an account through the Snaptiles app or check out as a guest.
In the Snaptiles vs Mixtiles argument, the Snaptiles app is definitely more in-depth. However, the Mixtiles app does have one feature that I wish the Snaptiles app had. Before ever entering your address or credit card information, the Mixtiles app tells you exactly when to expect your items to arrive.
Snaptiles vs Mixtiles Price
The Mixtiles price is currently $36 for a three pack with free shipping. Every additional tile you buy beyond three is then just $9. Importantly, Mixtiles offers a money-back guarantee (in case you also happen to get a tile smeared with ink).
Snaptiles, on the other hand, sells starter packs of 4 tiles for $49 (which works out to $12.25 per tile). But, every additional tile you buy after this is $9 a piece. Snaptiles also offers free shipping.
Based on my experience, Snaptiles is the better option. The build quality is definitely better and quality control in my test was better with Snaptiles as well. Add in the ease of mounting and the endless reuse possibilities thanks to the magnetic attachments, and you have a recipe for the ideal photo tile setup!