Saltillo tiles are produced completely within the city of Saltillo, Mexico and in a lot the identical manner that glowing wines can solely be known as Champagne if they’re from the Champagne area of France, sun-dried terracotta tiles can solely be actually known as Saltillo in the event that they have been produced in Saltillo. These tiles are formed by hand from naturally occurring clay within the space after which dried within the solar. They’re later fired in a kiln. Terracotta, which means “burnt earth” in Italian, can consult with any form of pure clay shaped into tiles, dried, then fired in a kiln. Saltillo tiles usually include Lime Pops which expose themselves over time and are steadily absent in Italian clays. As well as, the Italian, French, and Spanish terracotta can steadily be extra sturdy as a consequence of their extruded manufacturing course of.
Terracotta tiles are predominantly made in one in all two methods: extruded (machine made) or handcrafted. Each strategies will service the shopper properly so long as the fabric is correctly put in and the tip person’s expectation corresponds to the supposed use of the product. The most important benefit of extruded terracotta manufactured by machine is that the clay is compressed and trimmed to the correct dimension, producing a robust, stable completed product. If we examine this to the method of creating a snowball, the more durable we push the snow collectively, the extra we compress it, the more durable and stronger our snowball is. The much less we compress it the extra seemingly our snowball is to interrupt aside. The machine compression course of permits for much less clay for use throughout manufacturing which might scale back materials and delivery prices. The compression after which firing of the fabric creates a robust and sturdy tile that ought to stand up to every day put on and tear of most shoppers.
A handcrafted materials, akin to Saltillo, often requires far more clay through the manufacturing course of and is made equally to the way in which children make mud pies. The craftsmen pack the clay into wooden or ceramic frames which outline the scale of every tile. As the scale of the tile will increase the thickness of fabric should additionally improve to keep up the integrity of every tile. An instance is a 12″ x 12″ handmade materials could must be roughly ¾” thick. As the scale of the tile will increase to a 16″ x 16″, the thickness of fabric wants to extend to a minimal of roughly 1″ to forestall the tile from crumbling or breaking through the set up course of. The added clay required in the handcrafted course of often will increase materials and delivery prices.
When a handcrafted clay tile is fired at excessive temperature, the warmth extracts the moisture from the clay inflicting a number of outcomes that should be thought-about through the choice course of. Small pockets of air are within the tile the place moisture had been earlier than firing making a really porous product. This porosity implies that any such terracotta is a poor selection for an outdoor utility in a colder local weather the place freeze/thaw situations exist. Additionally, the tiles steadily bow throughout firing. The bigger the tile, the extra exaggerated and pronounced the curl will turn out to be through the firing course of. The added thickness of fabric and bowing (which will increase absolutely the thickness) must be thought-about when trying to match supplies to present flooring. Handcrafted materials often additionally requires a thicker mortar base through the set up course of which might additional compound flooring thickness challenges. In different phrases, will the terracotta’s and setting materials’s added thickness enable it to be set subsequent to an present flooring or adjoining to carpet with out extreme lippage.
Ultimately, handmade or extruded terracotta or Saltillo will maintain up properly if correctly put in and I’ve seen many installations maintain up for over 50 years. The important thing to a profitable venture is the number of a top quality terracotta or Saltillo, correct substrate preparation, utilizing correct setting supplies and strategies applicable for the set up, and accomplished by a licensed tile contractor aware of these kinds of installations.