terracotta installation guidelines

Antique Terracotta and French Reproduction Terracotta Installation Guide

Antique Terracotta and French Reproduction Terracotta 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 French terracotta paving.

French Reproduction Terracotta

Created from the same simple methods used 100’s of years ago for the production of modest terracotta, our French Reproduction Terracotta is offered in a Belgian Black shade that is a varying 3/4” – 1” thickness and only available in an 8” square. Extreme variation of surface texture and color are to be enjoyed.

Installation recomendations

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:

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

We recommend natural grey grout for 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 throughly cleaned prior to sealing.  This can be done using Miracle Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Cleaner in conjunction with a floor machine (or orbital palm sander) fitted with a thick white pad.

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 on vertical applications where the tiles have an overhang.

Maintenance and sealing 

After the tile has been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed allow the tile to dry a minimum of 24 hours before sealing with Miracle 511 Porous Plus. Please follow instructions for careful application of sealant. This limits the need for cleaning and maintenance. 

Please refer to the sealant manufacturer for proper sealant recommendations and applications.

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. 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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