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Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta tiles available from Atlas Ceramics provide your home with a warm, Mediterranean look and feel. Here is what you need to know about terracotta and how to use it in your remodel.

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7 items in Tiles
Antique Pammet Terracotta 285mm x 285mm


Handmade Terracotta 200×200


Handmade Terracotta 300×300


Handmade Terracotta 400×400


Natural Terracotta 200mm x 200mm


Natural Terracotta 340mm x 340mm


What is Terracotta Tile?

Terracotta tiles are a hard surface flooring material consisting of red or earthy-coloured clay. Terracotta is a form of ceramic, providing a sturdy and durable floor. Take a trip around the Mediterranean region, and you’ll notice hundreds of Tuscan-style homes with terracotta roof tiling.

However, roofs are not the only application for terracotta tiles, and many tiling manufactures offer flooring consisting of this ceramic material. Manufacturers excavate clay from the ground, then shape it in a mould before letting it dry in the sun.

After moulding, the tiles bake in a kiln at high temperatures to remove air pockets. The final result after firing is a tile with excellent strength and durability, suitable for a multitude of uses in and around the home.

Terracotta tiles are very similar to ceramics in the sense that they are porous and susceptible to staining if left unsealed. Sealing the flooring adds additional strength while protecting the tiles from water and other liquids that could stain the tiles.

More homes across the UK are changing from traditional ceramics to terracotta flooring due to the attractive nature of the tiles, and the visual effect they provide the home.

Are Terracotta Tiles Expensive?

Terracotta is a mid-range price point for tiling, with less expensive variants costing around £33/m2, while the more costly tiles will run you £48.88/m2. When we compare terracotta to ceramics, there is a 10 to 30-per cent increase in costs, and if you want to seal the tiles, then you can expect to pay more for professional installation and sealing.

While terracotta ids by no means a cheap material, its more affordable than most natural stone products, like limestone and sandstone. Terracotta also offers a visual aspect that many people confuse with natural stone.

What is the Difference Between Clay and Terracotta?

Terracotta tiles consist of clay fired to high temperatures to improve its properties of strength and durability. However, ceramics also include lay – So, what is the difference between these tiles?

  • Clay – Stoneware, earthenware, and kaolin are the most commonly encountered forms of natural, organic clay used in tiling manufacture. Some manufacturers mix polymers into the clay when making tiles, to improve the strength and durability of the flooring.
  • Terracotta – Terracotta is an Italian word that translates to “baked earth.” These tiles come from clay deposits around Italy, producing reddish or earthy colours. Manufacturers don’t use any additional materials in the clay mixture before sending it to the kiln, and they rely on high firing temperatures to increase the tiles strength.

Can Terracotta Tiles Be Used Outdoors?

Terracotta is suitable for applications in and around the home. We’ve already discussed the way Mediterranean homes use terracotta roofing, but its ideal for outdoor tiling as well. We love the look of a terra cotta patio, with the clean, earthy-red colour, and slightly rough texture.

However, it’s important to note that terracotta is a somewhat porous material, similar to ceramic. As a result, the tiles may absorb moisture, reducing their structural integrity. It’s for this reason that we recommend you seal terracotta tiles for outdoor use.

After sealing, terracotta tiles can withstand any abuse the environment throws at them, making them a suitable tiling solution for use around the pool and water features.

How Do You Treat Terracotta Tiles?

Most terracotta tiles come in a raw and untreated format. If you’re using terracotta for walling, then you don’t have to worry about sealing the tiles. However, if you intend to use terracotta tiles for interior flooring, we recommend you treat and seal the tiles after installation. Sealing improves water-resistance while preventing excessive wear in high-traffic areas of your home.

Here is a brief guide on how to treat and seal your terracotta tiles.

  • Drying – After installing your tiles, wash them down using warm water and a mop. Leave the floor to dry before starting the treatment process.
  • Apply Linseed Oil – For unglazed terracotta tiles, we recommend you start the sealing process with linseed oil. Linseed oil fills in the pores of the tiles, leaving them with a shiny and glossy look. Use a paintbrush to apply the oil, and work on one tile at a time.
  • Check for pooling – After applying linseed, check for any pooling of oil, and redistribute it with your brush until you achieve a smooth finish.
  • Leave to dry – Wait for 30-minutes to allow for the oil to absorb into the terracotta. After which, wipe the floor clean using a micro-fibre towel.
  • Apply sealant – Wait for 36-hours before applying your sealant with a paintbrush.

Can You Paint Terracotta Tiles?

It’s entirely possible to paint terracotta tiles.

However, the primary reason why people purchase terracotta tiles is for its pleasing natural aesthetic. If you want to pain terracotta, you are wasting your money and should look into buying a cheaper type of flooring to minimize your costs.

How Do You Clean Indoor Terracotta Tiles?

To clean terracotta tiles, we recommend that you use a 25-per cent solution of stone floor cleaner available from Atlas Ceramics, along with 4-litres of warm water. Clean the floor using a sponge mop, and dry the floor using a towel or rag.

Can You Steam Clean Terracotta Tiles?

We don’t like using steam cleaners to wash out terracotta tiles. While steam cleaning is very effective at removing dirt and grime from your flooring, it also damages the sealant.

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