Terracotta tiles come in all shapes and sizes. Terracotta tiles are also versatile and durable enough to be used outdoors, on patios and driveways. They can enhance the curbside appeal of any home.
Terracotta tiles are made out of fired clay. No two terracotta tile floors look exactly alike. Color ranges from a light honey color to a deep red/brown.
Terracotta tiles are beautiful in their natural state. However, they are very porous. In order to be durable and last longer, they need to be sealed, often more than once during the initial installation. Sealing can be rather tedious, so you may want to leave this to a professional, unless you are experienced.
Terracotta tile flooring is very easy to keep clean once sealed. It is most often used in just about every area of the home, due to its versatility. Because it is very water resistant and also resistant to the elements, it can be used outside on patios and driveways.
Inside the home terracotta tiles are used in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and entryways. They are water, allergen and bacteria resistant, a plus for most homeowners. As mentioned before, they do have to be sealed to have these properties. As an added plus, terracotta tiles are very affordable.
Terracotta tile flooring is not as hard as other types of flooring, yet it is still durable. Additionally, it does not feel as cold underfoot. For these reasons, it is a favorite for use in kitchens and bathrooms.
Do It Yourself
Installing terracotta tile flooring is a moderately difficult task. We advise trying this yourself only if you are fairly experienced. This is because terracotta tiles can be over ½” thick, and will raise the floor above what it may have been before. Installing terracotta tiles usually amounts to a two-day job because of this reason. In addition, grouting needs to be done with precision, otherwise the floor will not look right.
If you feel that you have sufficient experience to install terracotta tiles, you should still make a trip to a home hardware store to get a quick refresher on installation.
Below are some tips on installing terracotta flooring:
1. Make sure the subfloor is clean, dry and SOLID
2. You can install terracotta tiles over a vinyl floor
3. If the existing floor is ceramic or any other type of tile, it will have to be removed; otherwise, the floor will be too high
4. Use a thin cement adhesive
5. When applying the adhesive, work with a small section of floor at a time, otherwise it will dry out too quickly
6. You need to allow the floor to dry at least 24 hours before grouting.
7. Use spacers when starting the grouting job
8. Apply sealant after curing has been completed about 2-3 weeks
Terracotta tiles are easy to maintain. Simply sweep the floor thoroughly and clean with a damp mop and mild household detergent. There are several cleaners on the market made especially for terracotta floors. From time to time, you may wish to use a grout cleaner, to keep the grout from darkening and looking dirty.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Terracotta Tiles