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50 Terracotta Tile Ideas With Pros And Cons
What Is Terracotta?
Terracotta is a material, the name of which comes from an Italian phrase that means “baked-earth”. Terracotta tiles are made from clay that has been shaped into their form and then fired or baked to become hard. They are a variety of ceramic tiles that are porous. Most natural terracotta floor tiles come sealed in order to protect them from spills which can lead to mold or stains. Some terracotta tiles are burnished to create a tighter surface finish to reduce water absorption.
Terracotta ranges in warm earth toned colors from yellow to red, brown, and pink. The color comes from the high iron content of the soil from which the clay is found.
Terracotta Tile Finishes
There are two main tile finishes for terracotta: glazed or unglazed. Glazed terracotta floor tiles have a colored or transparent vitreous coating. This coating protects the terracotta tile floor from any liquid that is spilled. It prevents stains and the growth of mildew. Manufacturers create terracotta tiles in a variety of glaze levels from semi-glazed to high-glazed. Glazed terracotta tiles offer many benefits but are more expensive than unglazed tiles. Unglazed tiles do not have a protective coating, but have a more natural look. Sealing unglazed tiles will give the surface some protection against moisture and stains.
a beautiful entryway clad with hexagon terracotta tiles and a glazed wall, with a rough wood bench and beams, lots of potted plants
Terracotta floor tiles are very durable. Glazed terracotta is the most durable form of tile, though unglazed tiles with a quality sealer are also long-lasting. All terracotta tiles wear better in covered and protected areas. Unglazed tile is the most fragile and may crack in cold environments.
Terracotta tiles create a gorgeous and earthy style with depth and texture. Designers use clay tiles in versatile home design from modern and contemporary to rustic and traditional.
Terracotta tiles are sustainable and recyclable floor choice. Clay is a less expensive natural floor product compared to natural stone surfaces and porcelain tiles. Installing terracotta tile can be a DIY job if you have experience in tiling, which again decreases the costs.
a farmhouse kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, blue cabinets, a navy kitchen island, a black cooker, wooden beams and pendant lamps
a farmhouse kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, grey cabinetry, a graphite grey kitchen island, wooden beams and pendant lamps
a farmhouse kitchen with green shaker cabinets with white stone countertops, a terracotta tile floor, a stained vintage table and chairs
a farmhouse kitchen with tan plaster walls, a terracotta floor, a concrete kitchen island, a wooden dining set and metal pendant lamps
a farmhouse laundry with a terracotta tile floor, navy cabinets, white countertops, open shelves and a basket is very cozy
a Mediterranean bathroom with blue printed tiles, a terracotta tile floor, stained cabinets and arched mirrors
a mid-century modern living room with glazed walls, a terracotta tile floor, a fireplace, some seating furniture, potted plants
a mid-century modern living room with white walls and a ceiling, a terracotta tile floor, a leather sofa, a stained cabinet and a fireplace
a modern bathroom clad with white skinny tiles and square terracotta ones, a large neutral vanity and potted plants
a modern farmhouse bathroom clad with terracotta tiles, with black cabinets and a rough wood table that is a kitchen island
Terracotta Tile Cons
Terracotta is a porous substance similar to natural travertine. Glazing and sealing makes the floor tiles more water resistant. If you have unglazed terracotta flooring tiles, it is important to wipe up any spills before they have a change to soak into the tiles.
Water will not soak into glazed tiles, but these may become slippery when wet. Make sure that if you are using glazed tiles in areas with water they have a slip-resistant surface.
If you have unglazed tiles, sealing your floor is the first step to beginning well. Use a commercial sealer formulated for terracotta or create your own with linseed oil and turpentine. Check by dropping a bead of water onto the floor. If it soaks into the tile, reseal the tile.
a modern farmhouse bathroom with white tile walls and a terracotta hex tile floor, a whitewashed vanity, an oval tub and greenery
a modern farmhouse kitchen in black and white, with a terracotta tile floor, black cabinets and a large table as a kitchen island
a modern farmhouse kitchen with a terracotta herringbone tile floor, blush cabinets, a white marble backsplash and pendant lamps
a modern farmhouse kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, a white subway tile backsplash, white shaker style cabinets, dark-stained wooden beams
a modern farmhouse kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, black cabinets, a large kitchen island, pendant lamps
a modern farmhouse kitchen with lower grey cabinets and a large kitchen island, a terracotta tile floor and pendant lamps
a modern grey kitchen with a glazed wall, a terracotta tile floor, graphite grey cabinets and a white dining set
a modern rustic bathroom clad with terracotta tiles and neutral Zellige ones, an oval stone tub, a woven pendant lamp
a modern rustic bathroom with white plaster walls and a terracotta tile floor, a stained vanity, an oval tub and greenery
a modern rustic dining room with white walls and wooden beams, a terracotta tile floor, a whitewashed table and woven chairs
Location For Use
Terracotta tiles work best in covered locations in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Outdoor applications should be limited to climates that do not experience regular freezing temperatures. If outdoor tiles soak in water and it freezes, the tiles can crack.
a modern rustic living room with a stained ceiling and wooden beams, a terracotta tile floor, white seating furniture, a black hearth
a modern Sapnish living room with wooden beams and a terracotta tile floor, a hearth, built-in seatings, printed texiles
a neutral bathroom clad with white Zellige tiles, with a shower space and an oval tub, a terracotta tile floor, a stained vanity
a neutral bathroom with a refined vintage feel, with a large window and a tub next to it, a terracotta tile floor and an acrylic stool
a neutral bathroom with white plaster walls with niches, a wabi-sabi tub, a terracotta floor, a white stool and baskets
a neutral Provence kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, tan cabinets, a large hood and a white Zellige tile backsplash
a neutral shabby chic kitchen with a Provence feel, a terracotta tile floor, shabby chic whitewashed furniture and an entrance to the garden
a refined vintage breakfast nook with a terracotta tile floor, a blue banquette seating and a chair, a stained table and a chic chandelier
a rustic Spanish style liivng room with terracotta tiles and plaster walls and a ceiling, a refined daybed, baskets and potted plants
How To Clean Terracotta Tiles
Vacuum your terracotta floors on a regular basis to keep them free of dust, debris, and sand that can stain or scratch the surface. Do not use a vacuum attachment that scratches the floor. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush.
Mop your terracotta tiles each week with warm water and a cleaner for terracotta. Do not use a soaking mop. Instead, use a mop that you have wrung out to avoid leaving standing water on the tiles.
a Spanish style corridor with terracotta tiles, dark-stained and white upholstered furniture, tall candelabras and a glazed wall
a Spanish style kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, navy cabinets, a large cooker and a built-in hood, dark-stained wooden beams
a vintage kitchen with sage green shaker style cabinets, a large hood, a glossy tile backsplash, a wooden table and some artworks
a vintage space with a terracotta tile floor, a dark-stained console table, decorative plates and a vintage lamp
a vintage-inspired white kitchen with only lower cabients, a large cooker and a hood, stained beams, a large table that is a kitchen island
a welcoming kitchen with a large window, a terracotta tile floor, light-stained cabinets, open shelves and a large kitchen island
a white famrhouse kitchen with a terracotta tile floor, white shiplap cabinets, niches, a large kitchen island and pendant lamps
a white galley kitchen with sleek cabinets made more eye-catchy with a terracotta tile floor, butcherblock countertops and artwork