Limestone Learning Center

How Strong is Terracotta?

How Strong is Terracotta?

For millennia, terracotta has been the preferred medium of artists and architects. You find it in ancient pottery, Old World architecture, and modern home decor. Originally, artisans selected terracotta for its accessibility and versatility. Nowadays, people choose it for its aesthetic. Because of its bountiful history, terracotta provides a culturally rich, rustic feel. If the charm of terracotta appeals to you, you may be wondering just how practical it is for home use. Is it really strong enough for flooring and roofing? 

What is Terracotta?

Italian for “baked earth,” terracotta is an earthenware clay with an orange to reddish-brown hue. Artisans extract this iron-rich clay from the ground, shape it, and then fire it in a kiln. Many choose to glaze or seal the final product for additional protection. 

Durability of Terracotta

Terracotta is a naturally resilient material, fortified with fire and glaze. It’s fireproof, weather-proof, impervious to temperature changes, and tolerant of salty coastal air. It’s also resistant to mold, bacteria, rot, and insects. Even with little to no maintenance, terracotta can last for more than a hundred years. In fact, archaeologists have uncovered terracotta figurines and structures dating back thousands of years. There’s no doubt that terracotta is a strong, durable material. 

Common Uses for Terracotta

You know those rust-red ceramic pots you keep your plants in? They’re likely made from terracotta. Though pottery is the most iconic use for terracotta, it’s certainly not the only one. Terracotta is actually widespread in Mediterranean and Mexican art and architecture, making it emblematic of Tuscan, Spanish, and Southwestern design. You’ll find it in bricks, roof tiles, floor tiles, backsplashes, and sculptures. Since terracotta is strong, durable and long-lasting, it can also be reclaimed and reused. 

How to Select the Best Terracotta for Your Project

Raw terracotta is porous and won’t live up to the same standards of sealed terracotta. Always select terracotta that is professionally sealed or glazed. Aside from that, it’s hard to tell if it’s high quality just by looking at it. That’s why it’s important to go with a reputable dealer or workshop. You can trust the artisans at Impression with your terracotta project. With over 25 years of experience, we’ve earned our reputation as one of the most respected natural stone dealers in the region.

Discover the Strength and Beauty of Reclaimed Terracotta from Impression

Strong and attractive, terracotta is the perfect choice for many home projects. At Impression, we salvage beautiful and unique terracotta tiles from French farmhouses, chateaux, and other architectural structures. Our reclaimed terracotta is high-quality, durable, and distinctly charming. We know you’ll love the rustic aesthetic and European flair terracotta brings to your space. Contact us today to learn more about terracotta and natural stones.