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terracotta 101: everything you need to know about this timeless classic

have you settled on our our unique antique terracotta tiles for your project but are just unsure about how to get the installation just right? these unglazed, non-vitreous terracotta tiles, which are hand-formed and fired, are much different than cement so the installation is quite different. below is some basic information to help ensure that you get have a smooth and successful installation:.


what exactly is antique terracotta?
our antique terracotta tiles, also known as parafeuille are reclaimed from architectural structures from the south of france. offered in both 6” hex and 6” squares, these terracotta tiles are perfect for any project in need of the extreme color and texture variation inherent in authentic antique french terracotta paving.


we have also just introduced a new series of french reproduction terracotta which uses the same simple methods used hundereds of years ago for the production of modest terracotta and is offered in a belgian black shade that is a varying 1 ¼” – 1 ½” thickness and only available in an 8” square. extreme variation of surface texture and color are to be enjoyed. 



how is it installed?

it is recommended to always defer to your trade consultants (architect, engineers) and your tile contractor. TCNA guidelines and ANSI A108, 1118, & A136 – version 2013, printing reference 2013.1 are to be used as references for substrate preparation and tile installation methods for standard ceramic tile projects and are required for proper installation.
always prepare your substrate to allow for this type of flooring. as with any tile installation, clé recommends that all situations falling outside the standards addressed by TCNA and ANSI recommendations be addressed, resolved and approved only by the project architect or engineer. 

first, clean the excess dust from the tiles and be sure to pre-seal your tiles with a sealant such as miracle 511 porous plus. this will support the tiles through installation and grouting. *be sure to keep the sealant only on the surface so that it doesn’t act as a bond barrier to your adhesive.* we recommend the use of thin set methods using at least a ½” grout joint and avoiding the use of spacers. natural grey grout is the recommended color for terracotta or a dark charcoal for the belgian black terracotta. 




where can i use these phenomenal tiles?
indoor and outdoor applications are perfect for walls and residential and commercial flooring. Miracle 511 Porous Plus can support the tiles in freeze/thaw locations only if used above grade and on vertical applications where the tiles have an overhang. 

how do i care for my new tiles to make sure they age with beauty and grace?
proper maintenance of any tile is critical to the upkeep of a lasting installation. upon completion of the tile installation and grouting, it is recommended that a penetrating sealer be used, again, to maintain the finish of terracotta. this limits the need for cleaning and maintenance. the type of sealants available will allow for a variety of finishes to be determined by the designer or architect for the project. please refer to the project designer or architect for sealant selection, and to the sealant manufacturer for proper sealant recommendations and applications. 


now you have some tools to guide you in your installation, if you ever have any other questions please go to our website for more information on installations or our different kinds of terracotta along with our glazed terracotta. 


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