Terra cotta is one of the most versatile and time-tested building materials out there. It's made from fired clay and has been used for thousands of years in everything from major building construction down to decorative sculptures and functional pots. It's this versatility that has made it a popular choice for builders and homeowners alike.
Paving Stones and Flooring Tiles
Perhaps the most popular use of this material is as paving stones and ceramic flooring tiles. These products are often handmade, come in the soft reddish-brown color associated with southwestern architecture, and create a warm, antiquated look to any area in which they are installed. They are also very cost effective and, when sealed, are excellent materials for outdoor use. For all these reasons, terra cotta is regularly used by homeowners, businesses, and municipalities to construct beautiful kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, patios and walkways.
Terra cotta roofing tiles are also popular, especially in the southwest. Often referred to as Mexican or Spanish tile roofs, these tiles have been used for centuries to protect homes in mild climates from the elements. Keep in mind, however, that these roofing tiles aren't as strong as some other roofing materials. If you live in an area that experiences more extreme weather, look into concrete roofing tiles made to imitate their traditional, rounded reddish-brown look. They are perfect for creating that southwestern feel in areas where real terra cotta simply won't hold up.
Get that old world feel! Use this link to installTerra Cotta Tiles
Besides being a great paving, tiling, and roofing material, terra cotta is also used to create ornamental decorations and trim for homes and buildings. Because it can be shaped and molded into almost any form before it is fired, it is a choice material for manufacturing everything from decorative gargoyles to false pillars and columns. And because it can be glazed and colored to mimic everything from marble to sandstone, it is a cost effective alternative to more expensive decorative stone. Finally, terra cotta is also a wonderful material when it comes to decorative pots, plants and sculptures for landscaping or to add character to a patio or porch.
Talk to the Experts
Because terra cotta can be tricky to install due to its rough texture and sometimes fragile nature, installing it correctly is often the difference between a product that lasts a lifetime and one that doesn't survive being put in place. Contact a retailer, contractor, or mason experienced in the installation of this popular ceramic to ensure that its beautiful, time-honored appearance is something you can enjoy for years to come.