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Journal

Mastering Timeless Terracotta

8 February 2021

Used on walls and floors for centuries, terracotta tiles have never gone out of fashion. A timeless look perfect for classic and contemporary interior projects, this rustic surface solution has seen a huge surge in interest with consumers, designers and architects alike. Artisans of Devizes’ Creative Director Hamish Smith shares his expert advice on how to apply this natural material for best results, ensuring the tile’s surface remains protected and easy to maintain for many years to come.

Marlborough Terracotta Parquet – @emmarosestyle

How To Clean Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta is easy to keep clean, as it builds up a unique patina over time so the more it is used and the longer it is installed, the more characterful it will look. To clean, just a simple vacuum is all that is required. For any spot cleaning such as muddy paw prints, a stiff-bristled brush will do the job. For any deeper cleaning, mop with minimal water. If using an antibacterial cleaning product, mist it before applying so that the liquid does not saturate the stone. Bona floor cleaner is our recommended product.

Marlborough Terracotta Parquet – designed by Run For The Hills

How To Protect Terracotta Tiles From Stains

To protect terracotta from staining, it should be sealed. This natural material is pretty robust but it’s not indestructible so avoid spilling hot oil or using harsh chemicals. Any marks should be viewed as part of its character and lived-in look.

Antique Burgundy Terracotta

How To Apply Sealant To Terracotta Tiles

Here at Artisans of Devizes, we recommend a three-step sealing process using our Stone Essentials products which are designed to work across all our natural stone.

First, give the stone a deep clean to avoid trapping any dust or grit underneath the sealant. Next, our Stain Block Eco Sealant should be applied. A water-based impregnating sealer, it needs to be applied once before grouting and again afterwards. Lastly, wipe away any grout residue the next day and apply the final sealant stage with our Stone Shield solution. Apply at least two coats with sufficient drying time in between and ideally up to three days will provide the best level of protection, which can be topped up every few years.

How To Grout Terracotta Tiles

The question of whether terracotta should be grouted level is down to personal preference but we always recommend that you grout over the whole tile surface to ensure any imperfections are concealed.

Marlborough Terracotta Picket

Are Terracotta Tiles Hardwearing?

Our terracotta is typically 20mm thick so it is highly abrasive and will never wear thin. A properly installed terracotta tile is unlikely to develop cracks other than slight shrinkage cracks that can emerge over time depending on the room it is installed in. This should be viewed as part of the aged character of the stone.

Can I Use Terracotta Tiles In A Bathroom?

A lovely, rustic option for bathrooms for both walls and floors, terracotta is suitable for bathroom use. However, take care in wet rooms with a walk-in shower, especially where there is no underfloor heating to help it dry quickly. And yes, it is compatible with underfloor heating.

Marlborough Terracotta Parquet (left) and Antique Burgundy Terracotta (right)

Can I Use Terracotta Tiles Outdoors?

Unfortunately, our handmade terracotta tiles are not suitable for outdoor use, as it is not dense enough to cope with harsh frost.

Three of our favourites…

Marlborough Terracotta Parquet

An Instagram favourite, our Marlborough Terracotta collection offers both hexagon and brick shapes giving a contemporary twist to this classic stone. Perfect for kitchens, conservatories, utility rooms and hallways.

Antique Burgundy Terracotta

Oozing character and charm, this 100-year-old reclaimed French terracotta brings a totally unique look to kitchens with natural variations in size and colour.

Marlborough Terracotta Brick

For a traditional touch, our hexagon and brick shaped tiles add a timeless, warm and gently rustic feel to kitchens, bathrooms and hallways.

Shop all Terracotta tiles