How To Fix & Seal Hand Made Terracotta

Terracotta is a natural product, so you can expect it will have colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, and other marks all of which make each terracotta floor unique.

Terracotta will arrive in its natural form, which can be much paler than the sealed finish, this is due to the sealing process.
There are other ways in which you can seal terracotta please visit LTP to see other options, this guide covers the traditional way of sealing terracotta.

Teatree Handmade 20x20-left unsealed, right sealed with LTP Boiled linseed oil & Antique wax

Teatree Handmade 20×20-left unsealed, right sealed with LTP Boiled linseed oil & Antique wax

The process of laying terracotta begins with spreading out your adhesive on your primed concrete or timber floor using a notched trowel, make sure to spread out the adhesive evenly and at the same thickness. Always work in manageable areas.

Then lay the terracotta into the adhesive, be careful not to get any adhesive on the top surface of the terracotta. Allow for a 5-10mm grout joint.
Leave the adhesive to set as per the manufactures instructions.

Once the adhesive has set, apply one even coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil and leave for at least 4 hours before applying the second coat. (remove any excess that is on the tile after 1 hour). Apply Boiled Linseed Oil until the terracotta is fully saturated.
Allow 24 hours for the final coat to cure.

Once the final coat has hardened apply a coat of LTP Antique Wax, leave for 20-30 minutes and the buff to a shine with a stiff brush or buffing machine.

After the wax has be buffed apply the grout in with a grout float, leave for the recommended time and sponge off the residues.
Once dry, dust of any remaining residues and then apply another coat of LTP Antique wax and leave to dry overnight.

For additional protection and to give the terracotta a shine, apply 2-3 coats of LTP Ironwax Gloss.

For more information please follow our video guide.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

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Its all about the Terracotta.

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Teatree Handmade Terracotta 340×340

Kitchen, conservatory or living room; terracotta once fully sealed is suitable for most areas in the house. With the added benefit that terracotta retains heat better than any other tile, the floor should never feel ice-cold to the touch. If used with underfloor heating these tiles will retain the heat even when the heating has been turned off.

Teatree terracotta tiles are handmade and therefore no two tiles are alike, they will have all the characteristics of a natural product; colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, and other marks all of which make each terracotta floor unique.

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Teatree Handmade Terracotta 340×340

The terracotta will come in its natural form, and so before sealing the tiles it is advisable to rub them down with an cloth to clear them of dust and any possible chipped edges. Seal with LTP Boiled Linseed Oil, not only does this intensify the colour, but as the Boiled Linseed Oil cures it hardens within the pores of the terracotta giving the floor extra mechanical strength.

Finally apply two coats of LTP Antique Wax, this aids in protecting the surface of the terracotta as well as giving the terracotta and grout a little more depth and colour.
The first coat should be applied before grouting to aid grout removal, and then a final coat after the grout has dried. This then protects the grout from staining.

If you require a more uniform terracotta you can opt for the Jose sempre machine-made terracotta.

These tiles have straight edges and each tile is very similar in size shape and thickness, so they will look very different from their handmade counter parts.
Furthermore, rather than using boiled linseed oil, you can seal them with LTP Mattstone to keep the terracotta looking as close to its natural form as possible whilst also protecting the terracotta from staining.

Jose sempre 20 x 20 c

Jose Sempre Machine made 200×200, Sealed with LTP Mattstone & LTP Clear Wax

The Handmade teatree tiles have been sealed with 3-4 coats of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil and 2 coats of LTP Antique Wax.
A sealing guide is as follows;

Once tiles have been layed in to a full bed of adhesive but before they have been grouted they will need a generous coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil applied with a paint brush.
The Oil is designed to soak into the tile and fill the pores from within, the oil then hardens within the pores.
Remove any excess that remains on the surface of the tile after 30 mins, and leave for 8-12 hours and then repeat.

200×200 terracotta should need approx 2-3 coats.
340×340 terracotta should need approx 3-4 coats.

After the final coat of linseed oil leave for 24 hours before waxing.
NB: Used Boiled Linseed Oil cloths can be a fire risk, dispose of any soiled cloths as per instructions on bottle.

Apply as generous coat of LTP Antique Wax with a micro fibre cloth and leave for 15 minutes , then buff well using a soft brush or buffing machine. Leave for one hour before grouting.

When the grouting has fully dried, apply a final coat of antique wax over the tile and the grout joints, rub in with a fluff-free cloth and buff.
Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least three days.

Handmade Terracotta in the process of being sealed

Handmade Terracotta in the process of being sealed

Finally, to ensure you get the best from your terracotta floor, use LTP waxwash aftercare for routine maintenance, this not only cleans the floor, but protects the sealer at the same time.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

Why Do I Need To Seal My Floor Or Wall Tiles?

Here at Wellington Tile we quite often get asked, why do i need to seal natural stone?  Natural stone like Terracotta, Slate, Polished Porcelain & Quarry Tiles ect.

Well its because they are Naturally porous, and if left unsealed every piece of dirt and grime will be absorbed by your natural stone, giving you a really big clean up job, to prevent this from happening we would definitely recommend sealing them.

 There are essentially three aims when sealing a tile.

  • Stain Prevention
  • Surface Protection
  • Surface Enhancement

It is not always possible or indeed necessary to achieve all the aims, however stain prevention tends to be the overriding aim.

To achieve these aims there is the choice of two types of sealers

These will either be spirit based or water based.

These two types of sealers can be used independently or together depending on the type of surface being sealed and depending on the type of finish required:

Essentially there are three types of finish:

The first two are achieved with impregnating sealers, and the third with Surface sealers

 Impregnating Sealers:

Unsealed, most natural tiles are absorbent to some degree or other, just  pour a tea

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

spoon of water on to an unsealed tile and observe how quickly the water is absorbed. English Limestone, Sandstone, Marble  and Terracotta tend to be the most absorbent and denser surfaces such as Granite and basalt? Much less absorbent, Travertine and Slate sit somewhere in the middle.

Full bodied Porcelain and Quarry Tiles may seem highly vitrified, but they can still be absorbent. On the whole the cheaper the tile here, the more absorbent it is likely to be..

 Tiles have small pin-holes and open fissures as part of its natural texture. This texture will tend to accumulate grit and stains as part of the natural wearing process and unless they are impregnated will cause the floor to stain.of water on to an unsealed tile and

An impregnating sealer will have a carrier, often white spirit and a sealer within it. Once absorbed the carrier evaporates leaving the sealer in situ protecting the tile just below the surface

Depending on the porosity of the tile, a second or third coat of sealer may be needed.

In some cases a secondary seal is required to protect the surface of the tile, or to give the surface a gloss or satin finish.

Impregnating sealers are absorbed into the tile sealing it just below the surface, they tend not to alter the characteristic of the tile and whilst they offer mechanical strength to a tile and in some cases ..colour enhancement.., they will not offer surface protection.

 Surface sealers

 To achieve surface protection and a different finish to the tile , a surface sealer is used, these will provide the tile with a gloss or satin finish. In this case clearly the natural look of the tile is being altered.

As a general rule surface sealers tend to be water based, rather than spirit based and

Apply LTP Glaze Protector

depending on the nature of the surface being sealed can be used on their own or in conjunction with an impregnating sealer.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of Spirit Based & Water Based Sealers

Spirit based and water based sealers now perform equally well provided you purchase a water based sealer rather than a water based water repellent.

In our experience whilst water based impregnating sealers are becoming more widely used for environmental reasons, spirit based sealers are still much more popular for the simple reason: they are easier to apply.  Spirit is a better carrier than water, so spirit based sealers transport the sealer deeper into a tile.

However, as with paints the trend is away from solvent/spirit based products to waterbased sealers.

Another reason for considering waterbased sealers is they have much less odour than spirit based sealers.

External Use:  Swimmimg Pool surrounds: Wet Rooms:

In most circumstances impregnating sealers will be breathable allowing use in wet area’s and outside.

This is not always the case with surface sealers:

Whether they are polyurethane varnishes or waterbased;  surface sealers are not breathable and should not be specified for wet area’s or externally.

And finally

 Everything above applies to grout joints as well as tiles. So remember to seal the grouting as well to achieve a perfect durable finish for your tiled surface with LTP Grout & Tile Protector.

LTP 600ml Grout & Tile Protector Aerosol

 

TEATREE HANDMADE TERRACOTTA IS BACK!!

 

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

Handmade Teatree terracotta 34cm x 34cm

 

As  sales director of Wellington Tile, one of the west country’s most established Tile Showrooms, Mark Atkins is well qualified to comment on trends in the market for floor tiles. What he has noticed is an interesting increase in demand for a tile that was last popular 20 years ago.

“Five years ago it was all travertine and stone, but recently the trend has moved back to Terracotta which was last at its most popular in the 1990’s.”

Over the past decade stone, especially travertine has made such an impact in interior design that despite its obvious attraction, home owners are beginning to look around for something different.

For those who like a machine made tile, porcelain with its durability and ease of maintenance is the obvious choice, however when it comes to a natural tile finish, terracotta is back in favour.

With its natural warm tones and depth of colour, terracotta flooring  not only works well both in modern and tradition settings, but it also has some practical benefits:

The  natural insulating qualities of this baked earth tile , makes it the ideal surface to place over underfloor heating systems: Terracotta retains and releases warmth in a most efficient manner.

“Our business was founded in 1980 as an importer and distributor of terracotta and now that we are re stocking our warehouses with the same tile a generation later, is rather pleasing “ .

Teatree terracotta looks aged and full of rustic character from the first day of laying once sealed. These tiles are entirely handmade, therefore no two tiles are the same.

This terracotta has all the characteristics associated with a handmade tile – beautiful colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, nooks and crannies on surface and edge, together with the advantage of the clay being able to retain heat. This floor will never be ice cold to the touch. Stated sizes are nominal and imprecise and there can be different porosity within a batch.

Teatree_handmade_34cm_terra

Fixing & Sealing Guidelines

PRIOR TO FIXING – Please inspect the tiles as soon as they arrive. This will give you a chance to rub down any chipped edges with a emery cloth. Make sure the sub floor is sound, level, free from dust and paint etc.

FIXING – Lay tiles into a flexible floor tile adhesive, it is important that sufficient adhesive is used to enable the tiles to be well ‘bedded’ without hollows beneath. If tiling onto a wooden floor, the floor has to be sound with no flexing. If there is any movement we recommend overboarding with either 18mm plywood or specific backer boards. Flexible adhesives and grouts must be used along with the correct board fixings as per manufacturers instructions. Once the adhesive has set clean the surface of the tile using a dry white emulsifying pad and wipe with a dry micro fibre cloth to remove any loose matter and dust.

FIRST STAGE SEALING – Apply a generous coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil with a paint brush, the oil is designed to soak into the tile, thus filling the pores from within. The oil then hardens within the pores, remove any excess that has not absorbed after 30 minutes. Leave for a minimum of four hours and repeat.

Rough Guide – 

20 x 20 cm = 2 to 3 coats

34 x 34 cm = 3 to 4 coats

Leave 24 hours after the final application of Boiled Linseed Oil, remember to remove any unabsorbed Oil after 30 Mins.  NB: Used Boiled Linseed Oil cloths can be a fire risk, dispose of any soiled cloths as per instructions on bottle.

Apply a generous coat of LTP Antique Wax with a micro fibre cloth and leave for 15 minutes, then buff well using a soft brush or buffing machine.

Grouting – After at least one hour after waxing grout in the joints and sponge off residues. After allowing the floor to dry (Approx 30 minutes), dust off any residual grout from the surface, making sure that all grouting smears have been removed and then leave to dry for a couple of hours.

Final Sealing Stage – When the grout has cured/dried apply a final coat of LTP Antique Wax over the tile and grout joints, rubb in a with a fluff-free cloth and buff with a soft brush or buffing machine. Protect from water for 24 hours and do not wash surfaces for at least three days.

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

Close up of Teatree Terracotta 200 x 200 x 20mm once sealed

General Maintenance – Do not wash your floor with detergents or bleach as these will strip the waxes, for best results maintain with LTP Waxwash for general cleaning and maintenance once a week.

The foregoing advice, whilst given in good faith and from experience gained in various installation situations is for guidance purposes only. If in doubt at any stage of floor laying, experiment before proceeding further or seek further advice. Neither the supplier nor the manufacturers will be liable for any dissatisfaction resulting from these instructions nor will they in any circumstances accept responsibility for any damaged or incorrect tiles once they have been fixed.

A Collection Of Images From Finished Projects.

TERRACOTTA
Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

 

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TRAVERTINE/LIMESTONE

Dinning Room Floor 3 SAMSUNG TECHWIN DIGIMAX-340 Around Swimming Pool 2 Wet Room Walls & Floors 1 wet room 1 Kitchen Diner Floor 1

Olive Flagstone

Olive Limestone Flagstone

SLATE

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Brazilian Black Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

GLAZED WALL & FLOOR TILES

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Oxida

Oxida

Bronzea

Bronzea

canamia secoyva (1) IMG_20140319_200115

 

DSC_1413 DSC_1392 DSC_1390 DSC_1388

 

For More Images Please Visit Our Facebook Page Wellington-Tile-Company Or Our Twitter Page @Wellytile

Is My Floor Suitable For Underfloor Heating?

Yes, Underfloor heating can be installed under just about any floor covering.

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Underfloor heating is simply a heating system installed underneath, rather than above the flooring, providing radiant heat to the room. Once installed electric underfloor heating will perform significantly better than radiators. If you are considering installing underfloor heating in your home, but are unsure as to whether it is really worth your while, take a look at the many advantages below:

Comfortable temperature 

The heat given off by underfloor heating makes for a much more comfortable depth of warmth in the home. The heat is distributed closer to the bottom of the room than the top, so all of the heat given off is felt.

Energy efficiency                                                                insulation

In general, less heat is lost via ventilation when an underfloor heating system is used. This means rooms stay warmer, improving energy efficiency.

It is also the case that underfloor heating uses less energy, again improving energy efficiency and, lowering household energy bills.

Room control

With underfloor heating, it is possible to control the temperature of each room individually, from a central location. This means that people who like their bedroom to be cooler than their living room, for example, can easily adjust their system to their preference.

Interior design

Finally, an often overlooked benefit of underfloor heating is the fact that there are no bulky radiators cluttering up the room, so homeowners are freer to make the best use of their space.

Sizes available

They are supplied in outputs of 100w, 150W or 200W per square metre and come in a large range of sizes allowing you to select the perfect underfloor heating system whatever your room dimensions. For the prices of the 100W, 150W and the 200W please call 01823 667242 or email us at info@wellingtontile.co.uk.

In normal circumstances they do not add any build height to your tiled floor as they are so thin that they are contained within the tile adhesive layer.

Terracotta Wall and Floor Tiles

Terracotta Wall and Floor Tiles  

Terracotta tiles, from the Latin terra cotta meaning baked earth are just that:

Examples of terracotta floors

Terracotta is a traditional, authentic flooring tiles that possess a warmth, a charm and a character, often missing from more contemporary factory produced alternatives .

Spain and Mexico tend to be the main sources of terracotta floor tiles sold in the UK, however it is possible to buy terracotta from a range of other countries such as China, Vietman, Iran  and India.

Terracotta tiles as a flooring was a popular choice in the 1980’s and 1990’s in the UK as the unsophisticated warm finish it offered complemented the design requirements of the time which tended to focus on rustic, farmhouse/cottage style kitchens and barn conversions.

Since then the fashion and demand for natural tiles has shifted towards stone and travertine, however the demand for terracotta floor tiles still remains solid in more rural locations especially for barn conversions.

Terracotta tiles fall into one of two categories: Machine made terracotta tiles and Handmade terracotta tiles.

Machine Made Terracotta Floor Tiles

Our Jose Sempre range of Machine Made terracotta tile tends to be  a more highly fired, disciplined, more vitrified tile similar to a quarry tiles, yet still possessing warmth and charm. A mellow sandy coloured terracotta tile, the tones varying from pale seinna to burnt amber.  The smooth and manicured look fits well in any location and works well in contemporary settings.

Jose Sempre terracotta floor tile example

Hand-made and Semi Hand-made Terracotta Floor Tiles

Our range of Handmade or semi hand-made terracotta tiles are much more varied and rustic in appearance and are formed by pressing raw clay into molds: this produces a durable but low density tile.  Handmade terracotta tiles act as excellent insulators underfoot and are  especially suitable for use in conjunction with underfloor heating systems.

Hand-made terracotta tends to be either a honey/beige in colour or a rich leather red colour. In addition some tiles can be almost salmon pink in appearance.This terracotta tile shows all the characteristics associated with a handmade terracotta tile:  attractive colour, tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, nooks and crannies on the surface and edges of the tile.

A kitchen floor laid with terracotta tiles

Do I Have to Seal Terracotta (Terra cotta) Tiles?

As with all natural tiles and grouting, sealing and maintenance is very important. In order to get the best out of your terracotta floor tiles it is vital to consider the sealing options and then to follow the prescribed maintenance regime as this will not only ensure that the natural character of the floor is fully enhanced, but also with correct maintenance the floor will continue to look at its best for many years.

For further information  on Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Terracotta (Traditional Method) please visit LTP