The word “terra cotta” means “baked earth” in Italian, and its rich orange and brown coloring certainly lives up to its name. For thousands of years and across the world, architects favored terracotta tiles to build iconic structures. Both ancient Chinese palaces and classical Greek temples had roofs built from these tiles. Continuing this legacy into the modern age, Country Floors offers an excellent selection of terracotta products from Spain and Italy.
To create a handmade or traditional look, manufacturers pour the clay into wooden trays and bake them under the sun for a long time. Some factories use kilns to fire them.
Afterward, manufacturers "tool" the clay to give it a rustic and handmade appearance. They then wax or hand-rub the tile with a variety of oil stains.
Types of Terracotta:
Handmade: this style is truly hand made and tiles are shaped and poured in wooden molds and set to dry on sand. Clay is mixed then it is hand shaped in to tiles, or other shapes like fan shape, or arabesque shape inside wooden molds. Tiles are then set to dry under natural sun for several days. Once they are dry, they are fired in homemade kilns. These kilns burn variety of materials like wood, or coal. Surface has a smooth finish to it with hand shaping. Back side sits on sand so it has a more textured finish to it. This type of terracotta has a lot of natural pits, veins, and coloration. Tiles are stacked inside the kilns and different parts of them have different colors. Color of this terracotta also depends on the local clay materials in that area.
Machine made terracotta:
This type is a lot more industrial and consistent. Basically, all the tiles look the same in color, shape, and size. They are very uniform and give a consistent look. Machine made terracotta also is more durable. Clay mix is controlled and sampled for quality control
While the most common size is 12x12, our tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We offer square, rectangular, and octagonal forms. In addition, every tile is unique due to its handmade nature. While size, thickness, and color will slightly vary, we offer a choice in design and crazing (fine surface cracks).
In addition to their attractive rustic appearance, our terracotta tiles are easy to maintain and extremely durable and long-lasting.
Many resorts favor them for all exterior areas, such as walkways, sunrooms, and interiors. Terracotta tiles are also perfect for constructing wastewater pipes, roofing, and surface embellishments.
We recommend a cement mortar bed for installation.
To maintain, clean with a mild cleanser and damp cloth. Do not use corrosive cleaners. As some glazes are acid-sensitive, do not use an acid-based cleaner since it may cause discoloring. Tiles may be sealed with a penetrating sealer. Make sure to test any sealer on a small area before fully applying.
We do not sell our terracotta tiles in a single piece. The color of a real tile may differ from its appearance on an electronic screen. We can provide a sample before placing a whole box order.