Hey @franchinoashley, glad you’ve joined us!
I think practicing on ceramic tile is a good idea, but with the potential difference between the tile and plate, I would want to do a trial test on the actual material, so as a precaution I would count on needing two plates. I would do a design for myself as the test, and if the test runs well, worst case is you will have a decorative plate of your own.
Over the two years we waited for our machines I saved a ton of cardboard for testing, but I learned it is best to test on the intended material, and ended up tossing the massive cardboard collection in the recycle bin.
Cardboard is useful for jigs!
As you explore the spectrum of materials available to you, it won’t be long before your experience will give you a “feel” for what you can expect from your glowforge with any given material.
The journey of exploration was like a treasure hunt for me.
Enjoy the adventure, and be sure to share your triumphs with us!