Top Ten Tips: Terracotta

  1. Before your terracotta tiles are laid, consider your grout joint. Generally, a machine-made tile with a square edge will suit a narrow grout joint, whilst a handmade, aged rustic tile will look better with a wider grout joint.
  2. Terracotta colour tones will vary from tile-to-tile. To achieve a uniform finish, lay the tiles on the floor first, without adhesive, so that you can move them around.
  3. Terracotta is very absorbent and it will need sealing to protect it from dirt and stains. The sealer will also strengthen the clay. Before applying, make sure that the surface is clean and dry, so that residue doesn’t become trapped between the tile and the sealant.
  4. Different types of sealer will provide a different finish. For example, Boiled Linseed Oil will darken the colour of the terracotta, which can then be finished with a paste wax to give a traditional shine. To keep the terracotta a lighter shade, use LTP Mattstone or Colour Intensifier instead of Boiled Linseed Oil.
  5. We recommend sealing the terracotta before the tiles are grouted, to protect them and to facilitate the removal of the grout.
  6. If you’re using Boiled Linseed Oil, ensure that it isn’t over applied by wiping up any excess after 20 minutes. and please be aware that Boiled Linseed Oil is self-combustible, so dispose of any soiled cloths with care.
  7. Apply a final coat of wax finish once the tiles have been grouted, covering the tile and the grout joint; it will need protecting too, as grout is also absorbent.
  8. Apply felt pads to furniture feet and place door mats either side of entrances, to protect against dirt and water. Clear up any spillages as soon as possible.
  9. Clean your floor with a mild, pH-neutral detergent. General-purpose floor cleaners are often acidic and they could compromise the protective sealer.
  10. When your terracotta tiles start showing signs of wear, deep clean the floor and apply a new coat of sealer.

For more advice on tile types, installation, sealing and maintenance, call the Wellington Tile team on 01823 667242 or pop into our showroom.

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