From its baked clay tones that warm up any room to its earthy texture that’s just the right balance between rugged and refined, it’s no wonder that terracotta is a forever trend. But with warming, nurturing colours and textures set to dominate 2021, terracotta tiling is set to soar sky high. So here are the essential areas to get clued up on as we answer eight of your most-asked terracotta conundrums.
Is terracotta easy to keep clean?
In brief, absolutely. The beauty of terracotta (aside from its Siena-style colouring) is that it builds up a patina over time. In other words, the more you use it and the older it gets, the better and more characterful it will look. That means you don’t need to be precious when it comes to living in close quarters with terracotta tiling.
To clean it, vacuuming is best, but if you need to do any spot cleaning – muddy paw prints, for example – a stiff-bristled brush will usually do the job. For a deeper clean however, you can mop terracotta but make sure it’s with as little water as possible – so ring out your mop with all your might. You can use antibacterial solutions too, but we’d always advise misting those so you’re not saturating your terracotta – try a Bona floor cleaner for this.
Will terracotta stain easily?
If you get your terracotta sealed, it’ll form a liquid wax on the surface to protect it from staining with day-to-day use.
Terracotta is robust, but it’s not bullet-proofed so harsh chemicals or hot oil spitting at it in a kitchen is likely to cause it to mark.
Remember that if you do end up marking your terracotta, it can become part of its story. Embrace living with it in a laidback way and your terracotta will, over the years, become a rich tapestry of your life.
What sort of sealant should I use on terracotta and how do I apply it?
We recommend a three-step sealing process using our Stone Essentials products that are designed to work across all of our nature stones.
The first step involves deep cleaning so that you don’t risk trapping any dust or grit under the sealant. Next, our Stainblock Eco water-based impregnating sealer should be applied, once before grouting and once after. Allow 2 hours drying time between coats. Finally, when you’ve wiped away any grout residue the next day, apply the final sealant stage with our Stone Shield solution. At least two coats with sufficient drying time in-between and ideally up to three days will provide you with the best level of protection. Make sure to top up sealant every few years.
Should I grout terracotta level?
That’s down to personal preference but our advice would always be to recommended that you grout over the whole surface of the tile, that way, you make sure there are no imperfections that could stand out.
How hardwearing is terracotta?
Typically, our terracotta tiles are all 20mm thick making them highly abrasive; they’re never going to wear thin. That’s why you see reclaimed terracotta in so many warehouse conversions and in period properties – it lasts the course.
You’re highly unlikely to see cracks develop with terracotta if it’s installed properly. Ever so slight shrinkage cracks are the only sort that can develop over time depending on the environment they’re kept in, but they would be fine and look completely in-keeping with the aged character of your tiles.
Can you use terracotta in a bathroom?
Terracotta is a lovely, rustic choice for a bathroom whether you use it on the walls or your floors. Be careful using it in a wet room where there’s a walk-in shower however, especially if you don’t have underfloor heating to help dry it out quickly.
Is it ok to use underfloor heating with a terracotta floor?
One word – yes!
Why can’t I use the Marlborough Terracotta tiles outdoors?
A question we often get asked about this specific terracotta. Because they’re handmade with a very particular blend of clay, the Marlborough Terracotta tiles aren’t quite dense enough to withstand harsh frosts.