Handmade Tiles

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Terracotta tile flooring is among the most versatile type of floor tile on
the market today. They are made primarily of clay and they add beauty
and warmth to any room. For this reason they are a favorite among
homeowners. Add to this the fact that terracotta tile flooring often looks
better as it ages!

Terracotta tiles come in all shapes and sizes. Terracotta tiles are
also versatile and durable enough to be used outdoors, on patios
and driveways. They can enhance the curbside appeal of any home.

Terracotta, Terra cotta or Terra-cotta (Italian: "baked earth",
from the Latin terra cocta) is a clay-based unglazed ceramic, the term
can be applied where the fired body is porous and red in colour.

Its uses include surface embellishment in building construction.
The term is also used to refer to items made out of this material
and to itsnatural, brownish orange color, which varies considerably.
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An appropriate refined clay is partially dried and cast, molded, or
hand worked into the desired shape. After further thorough drying it
is placed in a kiln, or atop combustible material in a pit, and then fired.
After pit firing the hot ware is covered with sand to cool, and after
kiln firing the kiln is slowly cooled.
The unglazed color after firing can vary widely, but most common
clays contain enough iron to cause an orange, orangish red, or
brownish orange color, with this range including various colors
described as "terracotta".
Terracotta has been used throughout history for sculpture and pottery,
as well as bricks and roof shingles. In ancient times, the first clay
sculptures were dried (baked) in the sun after being formed. Later,
they were placed in the ashes of open hearths to harden, and
finally kilns were used, similar to those used for pottery today.

However only after firing to high temperature would it be
classed as a ceramic material.
Terracotta tiles are made out of fired clay. No two terracotta tile floors
look exactly alike. Color ranges from a light honey color to a deep red/brown.
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Terracotta tiles are beautiful in their natural state. However, they are
very porous. In order to be durable and last longer, they need to be
sealed, often more than once during the initial installation.

Sealing can be rather tedious, so you may want to leave this to a
professional, unless you are experienced.
Terracotta tiles are easy to maintain. Simply sweep the floor thoroughly
and clean with a damp mop and mild household detergent. There are
several cleaners on the market made especially for terracotta floors.
From time to time, you may wish to use a grout cleaner, to keep
the grout from darkening and looking dirty.

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