getting that perfect belgian reproduction look

by clé tile | published: Sep 12, 2019

clé has always been inspired by the european embrace of tile and how easily surfaces can be elevated and embellished by the materials that adorn them. it’s what we have imbued in all of our products, especially our belgian reproduction line of terracotta.
we created the line as an homage to the great open spaces of northern europe, using rich black terracotta to create a tile with refined rusticity that could work indoors or out. as a result of hand mixing and traditional firing methods, each batch of tile contains variations in tone which should be considered before installation. depending on the color and spacing of the grout used, these tiles can take on a completely different look and feel. results can range from dark and austere to richly weathered.
here we offer three of the possible looks that can be achieved using specific grouts and techniques.

look one

showcase the natural state of terracotta and its inherent earthiness by using a simple, natural sanded grout. just apply the grout as you would any tile, keeping the tile surface as free from grout as possible. this method is especially suitable for outdoor installations, as it allows the tile to age naturally.

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look two

to highlight your chosen installation pattern and celebrate the shape of the tiles, pair the tile with a sanded grout that is lighter in color than the tile, such as timberwolf (our favorite neutral light gray) or even biscuit for a warmer feel.


look three

the only way to get this moody, consistent dark look is use a charcoal or black grout. it will stain the tile and helps give the entire installation an even, dark consistency. we outline specific grouts and steps to achieve this result in this step-by-step guide.


photo credits:

look one: sara tramp for emily henderson | look two: laurie frankel; taylor and taylor | look three: laurie frankel