Tile Fix Direct Blog

Talking About Terracotta: Making the Tiles Look Great

Terracotta tiles create the perfect rustic look in any home. The red, orange, and yellow hues are not only inviting, but add a touch of comfort, too. In order to keep the terracotta tiles looking great, it’s important to properly seal, wax, and clean the tiles.

Any terracotta tile that you’ll receive from Tile Fix Direct will be completely porous. Therefore, it is important that you use the traditional oil and wax (or synthetic sealant) method to ensure your terracotta tile is waterproof, sealed, and looking great. Oil gives the terracotta tiles a more vibrant, darker amber colour and deep stain protection. The wax (or synthetic sealant) provides a surface coat and shine.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose the correct tile adhesive for your project. If you’re having trouble choosing, please use our Tile Adhesive Selector. (Just remember to choose natural stone as the tile type.)

  • Fix the tile. Make sure that the terracotta is laid on top of a 100% bed of adhesive and there is no adhesive on the top of the tile. (If adhesive gets on the top of the tile, wipe it off with a clean cloth immediately.)

  • Before moving to the next step: Make sure that the tiles are 100% dry – oil and water do not mix.

  • Treat the tile with LTP Boiled Linseed Oil. The oil acts as the primary sealant for the tile. When applying the oil, spread it as evenly as possible with a paintbrush, sponge, or cloth.

  • Note: Do not over apply the oil and leave excess oil because it will get sticky and will need to be removed using a cloth soaked in white spirit.

    Keep in mind: It can be hard to get an even first coat because of the porosity of the terracotta – it will soak the oil up straight away. You’ll need to apply 3-4 coats (or however many it takes to reach saturation).

  • Let the tiles dry. Allow the tiles to dry for as least 24 hours, if not more.

  • Grout the tiles. Grout as normal once the tiles are completely dry.

  • Coat the tiles with wax or synthetic sealant. Apply 3-6 thin coats of a synthetic sealant like Lithofin Multiseal until a nice and even sheen is achieved.

  • Note: Allow approximately 30 minutes between each coat. After all coats are applied, it will be no less than 24 hours before the tiles become waterproof.

    Keep in mind: It is likely that you’ll need to replenish the synthetic sealant every 9-12 months.

  • Looking after your tiles. In order to keep your tiles looking good, it is imperative to clean the tiles on a regular basis. We recommend using Lithofin Easy Care. You just have to add the cleaning solution to a bucket of water – simple and easy. The cleaner is designed to clean the terracotta tiles without stripping away the protective sealants that have been previously applied.

Once these steps are complete, your terracotta tiles will surely become a focal point in your house.

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