How to Lay a Terracotta Floor


Laying a terracotta tile floor can be a challenge in itself. Especially if the Terracotta Tiles are Reclaimed, the tiler must pay more attention to details and the tiles itself. These are not modern engineered products – they are usually a few hundred years old and made by hand and heated in old kilns. This article goes into how to lay a terracotta tile floor. 


Terracotta Floor


  1. Dry Lay – dry lay the terracotta tiles, make certain the pattern and the style fit the space. 
  2. Laying – Lay the terracotta tiles on a screed or hard surface flooring, we recommend making use of a Flexible Floor Tile Adhesive. Terracotta is quite brittle before being laid. 
  3. Seal – Seal the floor tiles to protect it from spills and moisture.
  4. Grouting – Make sure to use a grout float or squeegee to work the grout right into the spaces. 

Also Read: Flooded Floors: 7 Design Tips For The Best House Flood Protection

Dry Lay

Terracotta Floor


before doing anything it’s important to dry lay the tiles. Make certain the pattern and the design fit your idea and the space it’s in. The last thing you want is to lay the tiles and realize it’s not the pattern you want.

One of the greatest things about terracotta tiles is its various pattern designs available. Depending on the tile anything from herringbone to a basketweave is available. The variations and patterns designs are almost endless!


Terracotta Floor


Once you have decided on your tiles and the pattern you want, it is time to lay them. Before doing anything, make sure the location is tidy and also dirt free. Generally, you will lay the floor on a screed floor but a hard flooring surface is imperative, as any give in the floor and the tiles may crack. For reclaimed terracotta, we suggest utilizing a flexible flooring tile adhesive (whatever glue you make use of, read the directions thoroughly).

Once mixed it is recommended to just outline a portion each time so the adhesive does not dry before the tiles are laid. Pour out some of the adhesives and spread with a combed trowel. 

Lastly, it is time to lay your floor tiles. Press the tiles down so they are strongly in place in the setting and also pattern you desire. Remove any excess adhesive you discover on the top of the tile with a wet sponge before it dries and becomes too difficult. 

Once laid it is important to seal before grouting. There are several methods to do this, but either by spray or brush would be the preferred method. Allow the sealant to penetrate the terracotta tile and wipe away any excess sealer with a sponge. Once sealed, it’s important to leave it overnight, but make sure to review the guidelines on your sealer. 

Note: we strongly advise a High-Quality Sealer. Good sealers last over a decade and will save you money in the long run. 


Terracotta Floor


Once laid and sealed, it’s time to grout. Before grouting, it’s important to use the same technique when grouting to acquire a consistent outcome and remove any excess adhesive on the terracotta tiles. We have found the best way to do this, is to use a grout float or squeegee to work it in the tile spaces without leaving any voids or openings in the joints. By working the grout into the spaces you ensure no bubbles or spaces appear. 

At this phase, it is also important to remove any excess grout from the floor by working your float diagonally across the tiles. This ensures grout from the surface is removed but the spaces in between remain filled. Once dried, a light dusting will appear on the surface of the tiles. Remove this by lightly wiping a damp sponge across the top. This takes a bit of patience and requires some delicacy to not remove the grout from the spaces. Make sure to wash and rinse the sponge while wiping away the excess grout. 

This part of the process takes a keen eye. You mustn’t let the grout dry too much but on the other hand, don’t wipe away the excess grout while it is too wet. 

Note: we suggest using BAL Wide Joint Grout.

Seal-Once Again

Terracotta Floor


Once all done, we advise sealing again. This ensures that any spills will not penetrate the tiles and will be easily wiped away. By sealing again it makes sure to cover any areas you might have missed the first time and means you won’t have to seal again for a while. 


The whole process can be a challenge – laying a terracotta floor is not easy work. But, if done correctly, can leave you with a beautiful floor that will last a lifetime. 

The whole procedure can be a challenging duty, yet done right will leave you with a stunning looking Terracotta Floor that will certainly last a lifetime.

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