If you’re considering terracotta tile as a flooring option for your home, this post is for you!
We ask a lot of our homes. They’re a haven from the stress of the world around us, the anchor for our families, the place where we gather with friends and loved ones , and increasingly – where we work. Ultimately, our homes reflect ourselves. And finding the best way to express our unique personalities through our surroundings can be challenging.
But when the right design elements align, the results can be magical. We should know; we see it daily in our work. So if you’re looking for a way to bring new life and character to your abode, look no further than the unique and beautiful world of terracotta tiles.
- Terracotta Tiles Are Fashionable
- Terracotta Tiles Are Good for Flooring
- Pros and Cons of Terracotta Flooring
- How Long Do Terracotta Floors Last?
- Contact Us for Design Advice
- Room Visualizer Tool
Terracotta Tiles Are Fashionable
Terracotta tiles speak the love language of the home. They’ve been a staple in traditional dwellings in Mexico, Europe, South America, and Asia for centuries. Today this famous tile is found worldwide in all sorts of living spaces, thanks to its durability, timeless style, and endless design possibilities.
Terracotta tile stars in Southwestern and Spanish revival homes; in coastal and mountain settings; in rustic farmhouses, ranch houses, and country estates. It adapts to its surroundings and to the personality of the home’s inhabitants.
Terracotta’s unique textures and color variations make it a crowd-pleaser for any space, and these tiles integrate wonderfully with other decorative elements and furnishings in your home. Have a cozy cottage with a garden? The terracotta tile fits right in with your countryside décor and adds a splash of personality to your rural surroundings.
Got a room with a view? Terracotta tile loves a scenic overlook: feature it in a space with big windows to draw the eye along the gorgeous tile flooring and right out into the breathtaking landscape beyond the glass.
Varieties of Terracotta Flooring – Colors & Patterns
One of the most distinctive aspects of Saltillo Terracotta tile is its natural color variations. Traditional Saltillo Terracotta colors range from red and orange to warm yellow and gold in tone. Some tiles even have unique striped patterns (due to how they are stacked when kiln-fired). Sealing the Saltillo tiles will also give them a darker color.
With so much personality in every tile, there’s no end of color and design combinations at your fingertips! Pair a traditional burnt-orange shade of Terracotta tile with a copper stove backsplash for rustic charm in your kitchen. Try a textured, Antique tile surface in your bathroom with a clawfoot tub, glass wall sconces, and cozy towels. Transform your bland bedroom into a getaway destination with rich Manganese Terracotta brown tile, accent floor rugs, and luxurious bedsheets. Finally, breathe new life into your living room with a breathtaking Spanish Mission red tile paired with deep leather chairs, a statement rug, and colorful paintings.
Terracotta has the versatility to either be a backdrop or make a bold statement, depending on your style preferences. It complements muted stucco walls, bright courtyard designs, stainless steel appliances, brass fixtures, upholstered furniture, marble countertops, dark wood beams – the list goes on and on. Terracotta also shines in combination with other types of materials that we offer. Think: colorful Talavera accent tiles and statement Cantera stone columns.
Summon your inner home decorator because our Saltillo Terracotta tiles come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, too. In addition to the more traditional square and rectangular shapes, our pattern options include Octagon and Hexagon, Picket, Star Cross, Arabesque (also known as San Felipe), Riviera and Fleur de Lis (two of our best sellers!), and Botella. Furthermore, arrange these shapes into detailed designs. For example, try our 6×12 Terracotta Saltillo tiles in a Herringbone layout or incorporate our 12×12 Octagon Saltillo floor tiles with 4×4 Talavera accent Mexican tiles.
Our floor tiles are available in numerous sizes for all your Terracotta tiling needs, and we can also create custom size tiles for any unique requirements. Mix and match shapes, sizes, and colors to find the perfect fit for any space. Explore our blog for advice, too. For example, we can walk you through picking the best Mexican terracotta flooring for your kitchen!
And the cherry on top: natural Terracotta ages beautifully, taking on a rich patina over time that enhances the warm, toasty shades of brown, orange, and yellow for a vivid, lived-in look.
The thrill of home design with Terracotta tile is in the discovery: don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. Try combining Terracotta tile colors and shapes with other elements of your home that have meaning to you:
- Your favorite patterns and textures
- Soft textiles
- Warm or cool wall colors
- Hardwood or carpeting
- Artistic lighting
Terracotta tiles can be the central component of a dynamic room design or add the finishing touch to a neutral space with a vibrant tile color pop. Discover more in our Complete Guide to Terracotta Floor Tiles.
Terracotta Tiles Are Good for Flooring
So, what’s the deal: are Terracotta tiles actually as durable as some people say they are? The proof is in the pudding. Homeowners and business owners worldwide have relied on Terracotta tiles for generations, and the results speak for themselves. Known as the “perfectly imperfect tile,” Terracotta tiles are incredibly long-lasting, provided they are authentically crafted and correctly protected.
Rustico makes Saltillo Terracotta tiles with clay dug exclusively from specific riverbeds in the Mexican city of Saltillo, Coahuila. Saltillo clay is renowned for its high quality and durability. Our craftsmen handshape the clay into molds just before setting them out in the sun to dry. Afterward, we kiln-fire the clay in a traditional process that further strengthens the tile.
And finally, most commonly, we preseal the tiles before shipping with 5+ coats of a penetrating sealer for protection and additional fortification. We strongly recommend topcoat sealer paired with our sealed Saltillo for optimum durability. This topcoat sealer for Saltillo tile will help preserve the look and improve the longevity of your new favorite flooring…especially in outdoor spaces!
One Way to Know if it’s Real Saltillo Terracotta Tile
Not sure if you’re getting the “real deal” Saltillo Terracotta tile? Look at the tiles and see if you can spot any paw prints. If your tile was authentically made with clay in riverbeds in Coahuila, Mexico, and you spy some paw prints, lucky you! Your Mexican tile is likely real – meaning the paw prints came from live animals. Paw prints occur when Saltillo tiles are laid out in the sun to cure. Animals naturally wander by over the course of the day or night, leaving their unique mark on the clay.
Some producers will stamp a fabricated paw print onto their tiles, but this does not ensure quality! On the contrary, we believe it only diminishes the tile’s authentic, rustic appeal.
Many people consider Saltillo tile’s genuine paw prints (seen in this Riviera Saltillo pattern below)to be trademarks of good luck, so consider spotlighting these paw-print tiles in popular areas of your home (such as your kitchens or entryways). They’re a great conversation starter, too!
Pros and Cons of Terracotta Flooring
Like any tile, there are pros and cons to Terracotta tiles. Fortunately, these ‘cons’ can generally be avoided with a bit of foresight and buyer savvy.
Here’s the deal: not all Terracotta tiles are created equal!
For starters, some producers create tiles from a type of clay that is less durable than needed to serve homeowners well. As a result, it may crack, crumble, stain, or take substantial weather damage.
Furthermore, the manufacturing process is of the utmost importance: Some terracotta tiles made by machine (also known as “quarry tiles”) may have a lower quality than those made by hand. A machine may be able to turn out tiles quickly and uniformly, but it cannot always ensure durability to the same degree as handcrafted tiles. Plus, a truckload of tiles that all look exactly the same isn’t exactly our idea of unique and inspiring Terracotta flooring.
Granted, there are some cases where a uniform tile is called for (such as office spaces where thinner, low-budget tiles are required). In these cases, machine-made Terracotta tiles can be the answer. But in our book, tile for tile, handcrafted is best. At its core, your Terracotta tile should have as much personality as you do – and that isn’t a realistic expectation when it’s made by machine.
How Long Do Terracotta Floors Last?
Saltillo tiles are the toughest Terracotta tiles available. In fact, these tiles outlast a person’s lifetime when they are properly made. This means using extremely durable clay (Saltillo clay) that is formed, dried, cured, and kiln-fired in a proven process to strengthen the tiles and create traditional color variations. And it also means treating and top coating the tiles before installation.
Speaking of best practices, we firmly believe in employing experienced artisans to handcraft our Saltillo Terracotta tiles because we know how essential their skills are for an authentic, top-quality product. In fact, most of our artisans have been handcrafting Saltillo tiles for generations! In addition, we hold our Terracotta tiles to a very high historical durability and beauty standard and don’t settle for less than the best.
The bottom line is to use high-quality tiles and sealer if you want your Terracotta tile investment to last a lifetime. Following the steps above reward you with durable, unique Terracotta tiles that are truly worth their salt.
Want to Make a Statement?
Contact Us for Design Advice
Anything Else I Should Know?
As a discerning customer, you do not have to put up with subpar Terracotta tiles! So, ask as many questions as you want about any part of the creation process and expect reasonable transparency. However, suppose the producer is unwilling to share information with you about their clay’s origins, crafting methods, presealing and topcoat products, or anything else related to the quality of the tile. In that case, we encourage you to continue your search elsewhere.
Whether you choose Rustico Tile & Stone or a different producer, it’s always better to wait a little longer to find the right source than to spend money on a product that will disappoint you.
Easy – grab a price estimate! Fill out our short form to request pricing. We need the basic info – name, email, city, state, and zip code – to ensure an accurate quote based on your location. And don’t worry, we don’t share these details with anyone, ever! We’ll review your form and email the price estimate to you or call with any questions. Next, we’d love you to tell us a little about your project. Even if you don’t have all the details worked out yet, fill us in on whatever you’ve got.
Now, enough scrolling – let’s make something amazing together! Are you excited about your Saltillo Terracotta tile journey but unsure where to begin? A tad bit overwhelmed by how many fantastic design possibilities are available to you? Don’t worry – we’re here to assist! Read our post about the 10 Most Important Questions to Ask about Terracotta Tiles.
Call us at 512-260-9111 or drop us an email, and we’ll be happy to walk you through your options. Helping our customers find the perfect combination of tile colors, sizes, and patterns to make every space in their homes count is our bread and butter.
Shop a Few Terracotta Tiles in Our Samples Store
- 12×12 Octagon Tile in Spanish Mission Red Terracotta Flooring$5.25
- 8×8 Hexagon Saltillo Tile | Sealed Mexican Pavers | Rustico Tile$3.75
- Authentic 16×16 Mexican Saltillo Tile: Real Clay Tiles$7.15
- Product on saleBeautiful Arabesque Tile Pattern in Rustico Saltillo Tile | San Felipe$3.75
- Picket Tile Pattern | Rustico’s Spanish Mission Red Saltillo Flooring$5.40
- Riviera Pattern in Manganese Saltillo Tiles | Rustico Tile and Stone$4.50
- Rustico Tile | 12×12 Octagon Tile in Manganese Saltillo Flooring$4.25
- Product on saleStar and Cross Pattern in Antique Terracotta Tile | Nonslip Tiles$4.50