Terracotta Installation Guidelines

Antique Terracotta and Belgian Reproduction Terracotta Installation Guide

Antique Terracotta and Belgian Reproduction tiles are unglazed, non-vitreous terracotta tiles, which are hand-formed and fired.

Antique Terracotta

Our Antique Terracotta tiles, also known as parafeuille are reclaimed from architectural structures from the South of France. Offered in both 6” hex and 6” squares, these terracotta tiles are perfect for any project in need of the extreme color and texture variation inherent in authentic antique Belgian terracotta paving.

Belgian Reproduction Terracotta

Created from the same simple methods used hundreds of years ago for the production of modest terracotta, our Belgian Reproduction Terracotta is offered in a Belgian Black shade that is a varying 3/4” – 1” thickness and available in an 8” square, 8"x9x7/8" hex, 2"x8x7/8" rectangle, 6" losange diamond, 8" circle, 8" circle, star 8.5"x7/8" and cross 6"x7/8" (bundle), 8” square and 2"x8x7/8" rectangle (bundle) and 8" circle and 6" losange diamond (bundle). Extreme variation of surface texture and color are to be enjoyed.

Installation reccomendations

It is recommended to always defer to your trade consultants (architect, engineers) and your tile contractor.

TCNA guidelines and ANSI A108, 1118, & A136 – Version 2013, printing reference 2013.1 are to be used as references for substrate preparation and tile installation methods for standard ceramic tile projects and are required for proper installation.

Always prepare your substrate to allow for this type of flooring. As with any tile installation, clé recommends that all situations falling outside the standards addressed by TCNA and ANSI recommendations be addressed, resolved and approved only by the project architect or engineer.

Belgian black tiles come pre sealed to keep your tiles safe from excessive abrasion during shipping as well as to further support your tiles through the rigors of the installation.

General Installation Tips:

Your tiles will arrive with a top surface revealing swirls and lines of sanding/rubbing marks that are left from the process of pre-polishing and sealing the terracotta. These markings insure that your tiles have been pre-treated and same markings will diminish or disappear once grouted and cleaned.

if your clients prefer this marked surface and gray and varied coloration, they should grout with natural gray grout. 

if your clients prefer this marked surface and shade variation to diminish and darken, they should grout with charcoal colored grout. 

Be sure to clean the excess dust from the tiles prior to setting. 

We recommend natural grey grout for antique terracotta.

For Belgian Black we recommend two grout finishes- 1) natural grey grout (for a highly patinated dark gray finish) or 2) black grout (for a more uniform black finish). 

We recommend the use of thin set methods using at least a ½” grout joint and avoiding the use of spacers. 

After the tile has been grouted they will need to be thoroughly cleaned. 

Product usage

Indoor and outdoor applications are perfect for walls and residential and commercial flooring. Miracle 511 Porous Plus can support the tiles in freeze/thaw locations only if used above grade and/or on vertical applications where the tiles have an overhang. However, to use the Miracle 511 Porous Plus, you must first clean the tiles thoroughly with Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Cleaner that can be purchased directly from Miraclesealants.com. Once the tiles have been thoroughly scrubbed using this cleanser- the Miracle 511 Porous Plus can be applied as per manufacturer's instructions. 


For cleaning of terracotta tiles, we recommend the use of colorless and neutral pH cleansers- only to be used for the purpose of removing soil or stains. Some clients prefer to use an oil-based cleanser such as Murphy's Oil Soap in order to allow the terracotta to deepen in tone and develop a patina more quickly.  A nylon scrub brush used with such cleansers can be useful for particular rigorous maintenance as is necessary, and should be used only as a limited cleaning program. 

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