Flooring / October 2, 2018 / Charlotte Mcneely.
Terracotta tiles are turning up in more homes than ever, according to the newest decorating trends. Because of their versatility and warmth, it’s no miracle that more homeowners are choosing terra cotta over other tiling options. However, if you’re looking to add terracotta tiles to your home, here is what you will want to know.
The term terra cotta is Italian for ‘baked earth.’ This waterproof ceramic used for some things: pipes that carry water and waste, vessels for drinking or storing, surface decoration as well as some art pieces and tiling. The brownish-orange color creates a subdued and natural look as opposed to less natural looking design techniques.
The use of terracotta stretches back through history. Many early civilizations were using terra cotta as a way to produce pottery and sculptures as well as using it in roofing their homes. In the very beginning of this kind of craft, the artisans would bake the statues in the sun to dry and harden them. As cultures developed, this sun drying technique as replaced by an open hearth of fire and later with a kiln. The reason why the clay would need to a fired so thoroughly would be to create a stronger and more durable material for everyday use.
Terra cottage most great method of terracotta would have to be the terracotta army as created for Emperor Qin Shi Huang in about 209 BC. These significant terracotta army figures were designed to follow the Emperor upon his death so that he would have an army then as well.
The use of terracotta is advantageous for many reasons. For one, the terracotta is a much simpler process. With the use of bolds, the artisans can create one piece and then replicate it as much as they please. The terracotta is also much lighter than if you were to use other materials. You can also glaze it to change the overall color and texture, or you could create a metallic look. While you would want thicker terra cotta for tiling or roofing that would appear outside of your home, it is still widely used for the outdoors. However, with the changing of seasons and weather conditions, you would require to be sure that the piece was dried thoroughly to resist cracking and changing.
While most people consider terra cotta to be a warm brown color, almost orange in some lights, there are other options when you choose a glazed finish. You can also combine terra cotta tiles into colored patterns, as is seen often in more ornate decorating styles. For example, the outsides of some buildings have a created with terracotta tiles into the shapes of birds and other figures.
Regarding using terracotta tiling in your house, you may need to reconsider installing it as flooring. Not only will this help to warm up any room, but it is also extremely durable under some conditions. With the hard surface and resistance to moisture, terracotta flooring can be both an accent as well as an enduring piece of your home.
The terracotta tiles that you might want to lay in your home are generally very thin by design (to increase their tightness) and will need to be put in a mortar to hold their design. After being set into the cannon, the tiles are generally rinsed with buffered acid to reduce the residue that might remain – lime, glue, or cement as well. It is one of the principal reasons why most people do not attempt to create this look on their own – leaving this kind of work to experienced professionals.
Because of the construction of the terracotta, there is very little maintenance that is required as it is already water resistant and ready for use. Outside uses of terracotta tiles will necessitate being treated with water sealing products to increase their durability. However, as you can see, terracotta tiles can be used in some ways to decorate and add charm to your home.