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Everything you need to know about Terracotta Tiles

  • Tiles
Oct 21, 2022
Terracotta tiles design ideas for your home interiors - Beautiful Homes

Terracotta tiles have been around for decades and are ripe for a comeback. Know all there is to know about terracotta tiles before you install them in your home!

As a homeowner, you’d prefer tiling that is very sustainable and maintainable. Terracotta is a very good example of that. Terracotta tiles have been around for what seems like forever, and have a difficult-to-match old-world vibe. Porcelain, stone or vitrified tiles do not have the same rustic vibe that terracotta tiles do. Terracotta tiles are usually made up of red or brown clay. This clay is hard-pressed into whatever shape you desire and are then dried by exposing them to very high temperatures in an apparatus known as the kiln. Let’s learn a bit more about these tiles that will impart an earthy tone to your home.

 

Clay ceramic tiles are a very broad category, and terracotta is just one of those tiles.   Terracotta comes from Italian, literally translating to “baked earth”. Terracotta roof tiles and Terracotta floor tiles are usually red because of their high iron content. You can find numerous different options when considering terracotta tiles. There exist various categorizations of terracotta tiles. Yet another process, known as surface burnishing, can also reduce the natural tendency of absorbency of terracotta. Burnishing as a process is undertaken during the manufacturing stage and contains rubbing or polishing the surface with fine abrasive materials to create a denser and smoother finish.

Low-Density and High-Density Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta roof tiles or terracotta floor tiles can sometimes be classified into low-density and high-density tiles. This is obviously owing to the density of the materials in the tiles, and hence the tiles themselves. All this means is that the higher density tiles are more resistant to cracking and they are a better choice for areas with heavy use or heavy footfall. Low-density terracotta tiles are usually used indoors. They are more porous, so they are also not a good choice for wet areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

Low & high density terracotta tiles for your home design - Beautiful Homes
Glazed & unglazed terracotta tiles for your home design - Beautiful Homes

Glazed and Unglazed Terracotta Tiles

Ceramic tiles can be categorised into glazed and unglazed versions. Glazing refers to a process wherein the ceramic tile is bonded with a glass-like surface finish. This is achieved during the second firing process. Dyes can be blended with the firing material to give a certain tint to the glaze. This is usually how ceramic tiles obtain their colour. The glazing process also creates a waterproof surface to the tile, thus making it immune to stains etc. Glazed terracotta tiles are shiny and vitreous. Glazed terracotta tiles are thuis highly suitable for use in areas which have heavy moisture like kitchens and bathrooms. To avoid slipperiness on a glazed terracotta tile, one can opt for the anti-slip glazed finish on the terracotta tiles. A small drawback of glazing terracotta, however, is that it reduces the natural beauty of the terracotta tile.

Hand-made and Machine-cut Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta brick tiles can be handmade or they may also be available in machine-cut variants.

 

Machine-cut tiles are created by a process that fires and then cuts terracotta tiles into very precise geometric shapes or forms. This process is usually computer-guided. These tiles are very shapely and are consistent in their dimensions, thus retaining the natural beauty of terracotta with the ease of installation. Handmade terracotta tiles are made using a process that is indigenous to several specific areas like Mexico or much of southern Europe. Handmade terracotta tiles have slight irregularities that sometimes enhance the aesthetic and give it a more earthen and natural feel. 

Handmade & machine cut terracotta tiles design - Beautiful Homes

Handmade terracotta tiles are obviously far more expensive as the craftsmanship takes more skill and time than the machine-cut variants. Installation of handmade terracotta tiles can also be difficult because of the irregularities in dimensions and may require professionals.

 

 

Pros and Cons of using Terracotta Tiles
 

PROS:

  • Terracotta tiles (or clay floor tiles) are highly durable and scratch-resistant. If properly maintained, they can last a lifetime.
  • Terracotta tiles (or clay floor tiles) are naturally resistant to mould and bacteria and when sealed properly, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • They have a natural warmth to them and feel warm on the foot.
  • Terracotta brick tiles do not fade owing to prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays which makes them ideal for outdoor tiling.
  • Since Terracotta is made out of natural and organic materials, it is a very sustainable and eco-friendly option.


 

CONS:

  • Terracotta tiles are porous in nature. This makes them susceptible to absorbing liquids like water into the core leading to algae growth. This can be solved by using a glazing and sealing process. You can also get your tiles oiled or permanently marked with citric acid and vinegar.
  • Another drawback is that the handmade terracotta tiles are pretty expensive. This is because hand craftsmanship requires more skill and time than the machine variants.
  • Another downside is that terracotta tiles require regular maintenance. The tiles need to be periodically cleaned and treated to block the pores. Outdoor tiles require special treatment to ensure they are weather resistant, and especially water resistant.
  • Terracotta is also very difficult to repair. It becomes difficult and challenging to repair if certain parts of the flooring break off.

 

 

Uses for Terracotta Flooring

Terracotta floor tiles have a rustic charm while being used as a flooring material. Terracotta tiles are also a good material where certain regional home styles are desired - it is a perfect match for certain interior design styles like Mexican, Mediterranean, or even Southwest.

Terracotta floor tiles for your home interiors - Beautiful Homes

This material to create a terracotta floor is a great choice when it comes to any old-world or natural settings, as well as décors like the log cabin style. Terracotta is popular for living room interiors and also for enclosed porches. Terracotta is warmer than stone or glazed ceramic and is hence perfect for a décor that is earthy.​

Terracotta floor tiles or terracotta wall tiles can be used in a limited capacity for outdoor applications (like transforming any floor into a terracotta floor), but only in weather that does not get regular freezing temperatures. In colder climates (like the Tundra), moisture that gets absorbed into the terracotta wall tiles and they can freeze and lead to cracking of the outdoor terracotta tiles.

Terracotta tiles for your home exterior design - Beautiful Homes
Terracotta tiles for bathroom design ideas - Beautiful Homes

Terracotta can be made available in various colours as well. Terracotta is naturally available in various hues depending on where the clay is obtained from. They usually range from yellow to dark brown. They are also available in various hues of red owing to the high iron content in certain clays. Saltillo tiles (made from clay found in Saltillo, Mexico) are predominantly used as outdoor terracotta tiles and they have a peculiar blend of yellow and reddish tones.


How can Asian Paints Beautiful Homes Help?

At Asian Paints Beautiful Homes, we understand how significant it is to build each corner of your home. You simply need to let us know about the sort of interior design you are looking for, and we will assist you in transforming your vision into reality by fine-tuning your ideas. Whether you want to create more aesthetic appeal or align the vibe of your space with existing structures or play with terracotta wall tiles or terracotta roof tiles or terracotta floor tiles - we will be able to meet your needs well. We also help with specific furnishings such as terracotta tiles design or terracotta wall tiles design and can guide you through the whole process of selecting or renewing terracotta tiles wall. We happen to be experts in modern small bedroom cupboard designs and portable cupboard styles and have designed scores of customised interiors keeping the terracotta tiles design in mind. We also provide specific help with terracotta tiles design designs such as bedroom cabinets.

 

Our approaches to modern interior design ideas come in a wide range. At Beautiful Homes, we provide a large selection of products and services to cater to your interior design and décor needs. We've got it all, from furniture to wall treatments, lighting to wood solutions. Our design professionals are well-versed in all styles of interior design and bedroom cupboard storage ideas. Our interior designs are splendid yet functional enough to create an elegant environment and make your experience memorable. From the right furnishings and materials in diverse colours to a variety of options and accessories for your home—find what you’re looking for, and get your terracotta tiles design and home interior design ideas just right.

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