There are a plethora of ways to think of terracotta and ultimately of Terracotta Style. Let’s start with the name itself. Is it terracotta in one word or terra cotta used as two words? Is this really Mexican tile that looks like adobe? Are we thinking of Italian red material? Well, both spellings are recognized as correct and as to origins, terracotta tiles can be Mexican, Italian, French, Catalan, Californian etc., etc. That said, below is a British version via the legendary Fired Earth in the U.K.
via Fired Earth
Back to the name terracotta for a second. Loosely, we can translate the term as “baked earth” or “cooked earth”. Well in what fashion is it “baked” or “cooked”? On to production methods. The well known Saltillo tiles, shown below, from Mexico are literally baked in the sun. They usually are quite porous and need specific installation techniques. Another location for terracotta production is Impruneta about 30 minutes south of Florence. This material is kiln fired and naturally denser that its sun baked cousins.
Yet another manufacturing concept is to create Terracotta Style tiles by using cementitious materials that produce concrete tiles that have amazing terracotta visuals. Please see below a fine example of this style, from Arto, This product allows for a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes suitable for a true variety of floor and wall applications.
Terracotta Style flows very organically within the parameters of almost all current design plans. The multitude of sophisticated options that are now available affords unlimited adornment potential. All the best and thanks for reading!