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product line - fornace brioni terracotta floors

fornace brioni features an extraordinary collection of both traditional terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles made in collaboration with architect and designer cristina celestino.

the traditional terracotta - or cotto - heralds from gonzaga, a small town in the lombardy region of Italy steeped in renaissance history and renowned for its terracotta. these tiles are still created by hand by the family-run company, now in its third generation, headed by alberto brioni.

created from the finest clays from the floodplain of the river po, cotto is nothing more than the combination of water and earth that when exposed to fire, creates a subtle alchemy that becomes embodied in each tile. both natural and ecological, each hand-made tile is unique and offers the best of italian craftsmanship.

as part of their collaboration, cristina celestino explores the traditional history of fornace’s cotto and teases out interpretations that are at once contemporary and rooted in familiarity. the further addition of glazed ceramic tiles round out the offerings with bright modern color choices and sleek lines. the resulting collections delve into themes of classical architecture, with nods to renaissance grottos and italian gardens, and a subtle playfulness enhanced by clean modern forms.

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what grout joint size should i use? 

we recommend a 3/8" grout joint for bibiena, cotto tivoli capriccio, and our cotto variegato tavellas, and 1/4" grout joint for cotto listellos.

note that our piece per square foot calculations for bibiena, cotto tivoli, capriccio and our cotto variegato tavellas incorporate a ⅜” grout joint, as well as 1/4" grout joint for cotto listellos. should your project require a smaller joint, keep in mind that additional tiles will need to be ordered as our checkout calculations are all based on the below pieces per square foot:

bibiena - 2.31 pieces per square foot when incorporating a ⅜” grout joint
cotto tivoli - overall square footage of 8.9 per 24 piece bundle when incorporating a ⅜” grout joint
cotto variegato tavellas - 1.09 pieces per square foot when incorporating a ⅜” grout joint
capriccio - overall square footage of 22 per 70 piece bundle when incorporating a 3/8" grout joint
cotto listellos - 5 pieces per square foot when incorporating a 1/4" grout joint

here are the pieces per square foot when no grout joint is taken into account:

bibiena - 2.42 pieces per square foot
cotto tivoli - overall square footage of 8.5 per 24 piece bundle
cotto variegato tavellas - 1.13 pieces per square foot
capriccio - overall square footage of 20.4 per 70 piece bundle
cotto listellos - 5.33 pieces per square foot

what grout type and colors do you recommend?

clé recommends the use of mapei flexcolor cq grout for use with our fornace brioni terracotta.

if you're using cotto variegato tavellas, coto listellos, cotto tivoli, bibiena, or capriccio on floors or in wet applications, grouting is required. you will need to seal both the tile surface and grouted areas as the final step of installation.

grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our tiles. and due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a foolproof grout color selection for any of your clé tiles.

  • first, have your professional tile contractor complete your tile installation, except for the grout portion.
  • next, when ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
  • lastly, choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your tile selection.

note that the full mapei flexcolor cq color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. visit the mapei website to view.

for more information about grouting please see our fornace brioni terracotta floor and wall installation & maintenance guide.

do i need to seal fornace brioni terracotta tiles?

fornace brioni terracotta tiles are extremely porous and should be sealed after grouting with mapei flexcolor cq to maintain their appearance and avoid staining. exterior walls require vertical weather flashing and waterproof, penetrating sealant. exterior floors must be installed above grade with waterproof, penetrating sealant.

for more information about sealing please see our fornace brioni terracotta floor and wall installation & maintenance guide.

do you offer trim for your fornace brioni terracotta tile?

at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.

- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- a visible tile edge can be sanded to make the side match the main surface of the tile.
- like with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.

how do i take care of my fornace brioni terracotta tiles?

over time, a natural patina will occur on floors as they are maintained and naturally wear. mild, pH neutral soaps should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. clean using soft materials, like a cloth, instead of coarse materials. always avoid harsh chemicals and acidic or alkaline cleaning products. grout lines can be cleaned with warm water and a soft bristled cleaning brush. immediately clean up spills—do not allow liquids to sit on the tile surface. most stains can be removed with a pH neutral dish soap, hot water and the scrub side of a sponge. miracle tile & stone cleaner is effective as an ongoing maintenance cleaner and is gentle for everyday use.

IMPORTANT: the more foot traffic there is, the more wear and tear you will have and the more maintenance the floor will require. maintenance will include periodic stripping and re-application of sealant, especially for low commercial traffic floors. single coat reapplication of the penetrating sealant is required at least once a year in shower applications due to the continuous exposure to water.

see our fornace brioni terracotta floor and wall installation & maintenance guide for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this collection?

our fornace brioni terracotta floor and wall tiles are porous and unglazed. the surface of bibiena, tivoli, capriccio, and cotto variegato tiles is honed with slight texture variation, whereas the listellos are unfinished with medium texture variation.

how much variation should i expect?

all fornace brioni tiles are made by hand, therefore variations in thickness, depth, color, shade, size, texture and finish are to be expected. due to the noticeable color and shade variations, it is very important to blend the tiles from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing. do not install without blending tiles from all boxes.

for color variation, tivoli, bibiena listellos and capriccio are rated 'level 3 medium', cotto variegatos 'level 4 heavy'. all fornace brioni floor and wall tiles are rated 'level 2 slight' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy' for size variation, as outlined in our tile variation guide

how will my fornace brioni glazed ceramic samples compare to my actual order?

as noted in the variation and add on orders sections of our faq, color and size variation between production batches (or kiln loads) of fornace brioni glazed ceramic tile, in addition to variation from tile to tile, is to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the product. this makes it unlikely that your sample will be a perfect match with your actual order.

what should i expect with my order of fornace brioni terracotta tile?

calcium flashing can occur on terracotta tiles but generally comes off by itself during the installation process. if needed, calcium deposits can be removed via a quick wet sanding before sealing the tiles.

why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs.
for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.

dimensions:

cotto variegato tavella - 8"x16"x5/8"
bibiena - 8 1/2"x9 1/2"x3/4"
listello - 2 1/4"x12"x1/2"

terracotta tivoli bundle:

total - 8"x28 1/2"x5/8"
terracotta pill - 4 1/2"x16"x5/8"
terracotta tivoli listello - 1 1/2"x9"x5/8"
terracotta rectangle - 8"x16"x5/8"

capriccio bundle:
total - 19" x 27" x 5/8"
capriccio heart - 8" x 11 1/4" x 5/8"
capriccio large cross - 12" x 13" x 5/8"
capriccio rounded listello - 7 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 5/8"
capriccio bouchon - 3 1/4" x 3 1/2" x 5/8"
capriccio small cross - 8" x 10 1/2" 5/8"

disclaimer: please note all dimensions are nominal. additionally, dimensions between tiles can vary +/- 1/4 inch for variegato tavellas, bibiena, listellos, capriccio, and tivoli.

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interior floor, exterior floor, interior wall, exterior wall, shower floor, shower wall, residential low traffic, residential high traffic, commercial low traffic, sink backsplash, fireplace surround. Limit all exterior usage to locations not affected by freeze thaw. 

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installation & maintenance guide

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