About Terracotta floor
Terracotta floors are built from hard unglazed tiles, reddish and brown in colour. How red the tiles are varies based on the amount of iron in the clay used. A common choice for hallways, kitchens and bathrooms, terracotta tiling gives spaces a rustic, warm feel. Its name comes from the latin for ‘baked earth’, the tiles are kiln fired at around a thousand degrees. Where alternative stone choices are glazed before being fired, terracotta is not, meaning it’ll need to be properly sealed before being laid.
Maintaining Terracotta flooring
Professional installation is highly recommended for terracotta flooring, since it can be a challenging job. A damp and moisture proof subfloor is absolutely essential, any moisture could seep through to the porous tile and cause staining and irreparable damage. Terracotta tiles do work nicely with underfloor heating, which is one way to help avoid any issues with the subfloor.
Terracotta is a porous tile, so any spillages will need to be wiped up as soon as possible, the tiles should then be thoroughly dried. Liquid damage can occur in under 15 minutes if not, so don’t put it off! Terracotta actually becomes more porous with age so ensuring the sealant remains topped up is vital, we’d recommend a fresh coat at least once a year, perhaps more for areas of heavy footfall. Acids and alcohols in particular can quickly mark the surface. It can stain easily too, proper sealing will help avoid problems here. As with other smaller format tiles, the grouting can be vulnerable to wear too, but regular hoovering can dramatically extend its lifespan. Cleaning at least couple of times a week is advisable to prevent any dust and debris from being ground into the sealant, keeping the tiles looking great for longer.
Finishing Terracotta floor
Exactly which cleaning and sealing products are used will vary on a case by case basis. If in any doubt it’s really worth getting a bit of professional help, terracotta does require a bit of maintenance but has a beautiful, unique look when properly cared for.