Terracotta tile is one of the most popular ceramic tiling options in the world. The tile’s name originates from Italy, where terracotta is a common flooring material. To make it, clay is fired at low temperatures to produce the earthy undertones that terracotta is famous for.
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Terracotta tile flooring is popular with property owners that want a ‘natural’ aesthetic for their homes. As traditional terracotta typically contains a mixture of brown and red colors, it’s easy to see why this is a popular choice in many Mediterranean and Central American properties. While the surface of terracotta can be porous without glazing, it’s a cheap tiling choice that’s easy to clean and maintain.
Terracotta Tile Variations
While all terracotta tiling contains similar elements, there are a few options to choose from if you’re in the market for new flooring. Let’s explore them in more detail below:
Traditional Terracotta Clay Tile Flooring
Traditional terracotta clay tile flooring comes in a host of colors, tones, and shapes. You’ll find terracotta clay colors that range from brown to yellow with plenty of red in between.
With so many traditional terracotta designs to choose from, you can find a tiling choice that suits the interior design of your property. If you’re looking to take advantage of natural, earthy colors that offer a rustic aesthetic to your home, there’s no better option than terracotta.
Mexican Terracotta Tile Flooring
Terracotta manufacturing is prominent in various Mexican regions. It’s also an extremely popular flooring option with residents throughout the country. Mexico’s terracotta export industry is responsible for many of the terracotta tiling products in the United States.
Most Mexican terracotta tile flooring is manufactured by hand, which provides an authentic aesthetic that you may not find in other tile designs.
Terracotta Laminate Flooring Tile Effect
If you can’t purchase traditional terracotta flooring, you have the option to purchase terracotta laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is cheap, easy to install, and benefits from durability. While this may not be as attractive as traditional terracotta, it’s worth considering if you can’t afford authentic tiles.
Vinyl Flooring Terracotta Tile Effect
Aside from laminate terracotta flooring, you can buy vinyl terracotta flooring if you’re looking for a synthetic alternative to traditional tiles.
This is another durable synthetic material that can be designed to resemble terracotta.
Is Terracotta Tile Flooring Durable?
The durability of your terracotta tile flooring is largely dependent on its design. For example, if you don’t have a sealant on top of your tile, it won’t be as durable. While natural terracotta tiles have their benefits, you must use glazing or another seal to prevent water damage and other issues.
Terracotta is a naturally porous material, so water can easily enter your flooring if you don’t use a seal to protect your tiles. You may need to replace the seal regularly to prevent damage. The durability of your terracotta is largely dependent on the treatments you provide to the tiling.
Property owners should also consider the density of the tiling that they purchase. If a manufacturer labels a terracotta tile as ‘high density,’ this means that it’s on the more durable end of the spectrum. On the other hand, ‘low density’ tiles are more susceptible to cracks and water damage.
Handmade vs. Machine-Cut: Which is Best?
If you’re in the market for terracotta flooring, you’ll find there are two primary manufacturing methods: handmade and machine-cut.
- Handmade terracotta tiles, such as the tiling manufactured in Mexico, provides an authentic and earthy aesthetic. While the edges and colors may vary, this is a popular choice with property owners that want the benefits of a handcrafted product. Keep in mind that handmade terracotta tiles are often more expensive and more difficult to install.
- Machine-cut terracotta tiles are ideal if your priority is congruency, as this type of flooring benefits from precise cutting machinery that forms tile shapes with pinpoint accuracy. This means even coloring, perfectly proportioned tiles, and a simpler installation process.
Should I Glaze My Terracotta Flooring?
While many property owners choose to glaze their terracotta tiling, it does impact the flooring’s aesthetic appeal. The glaze makes it harder to notice the earthy colors that make terracotta flooring so unique.
So why do property owners choose to glaze terracotta if it impacts the clay’s appearance? Glazing provides waterproofing and protection to an otherwise porous surface. It’s an excellent way to add durability to your terracotta flooring.
If you’re hoping to protect your tiling without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal, using hand glazing is an excellent middle ground. Hand glazing won’t reduce the clarity of your terracotta flooring as much as traditional glazing.
Tile Flooring Terracotta: Contact SDA Flooring Today
If you’re a property owner in Seattle, SDA Flooring is the city’s most trusted supplier of flooring materials. We offer a range of terracotta tiles to our clients in the region and we can also help you identify tiles that are suitable for your interior design. Contact our team today to discuss our flooring options.