Saltillo tiles are produced completely within the city of Saltillo, Mexico and in a lot the identical manner that glowing wines can solely be referred to as Champagne if they’re from the Champagne area of France, sun-dried terracotta tiles can solely be really referred to 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 and then dried within the solar. They are later fired in a kiln. Terracotta, which means “burnt earth” in Italian, can discuss 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 incessantly absent in Italian clays. In addition, the Italian, French, and Spanish terracotta can incessantly be extra sturdy attributable to their extruded manufacturing course of.
Terracotta tiles are predominantly made in one in all two methods: extruded (machine made) or handcrafted. Both strategies will service the consumer effectively so long as the fabric is correctly put in and the top person’s expectation corresponds to the supposed use of the product. The main benefit of extruded terracotta manufactured by machine is that the clay is compressed and trimmed to the right dimension, producing a powerful, strong completed product. If we examine this to the method of constructing 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 probably 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 and then firing of the fabric creates a powerful and sturdy tile that ought to stand up to each day put on and tear of most customers.
A handcrafted materials, corresponding to Saltillo, normally requires way more clay in the course of the manufacturing course of and is made equally to the way in which youngsters 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 might have to be roughly ¾” thick. As the size of the tile increases to a 16″ x 16″, the thickness of material needs to increase to a minimum of approximately 1″ to stop the tile from crumbling or breaking in the course of the set up course of. The added clay required in the handcrafted course of normally 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 have to be thought of in the course of 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 this sort of terracotta is a poor alternative for an out of doors utility in a colder local weather the place freeze/thaw circumstances exist. Also, the tiles incessantly bow throughout firing. The bigger the tile, the extra exaggerated and pronounced the curl will turn into in the course of the firing course of. The added thickness of fabric and bowing (which will increase absolutely the thickness) must be thought of when trying to match supplies to present flooring. Hand made materials normally additionally requires a thicker mortar base in the course of the set up course of which might additional compound ground thickness challenges. In different phrases, will the terracotta’s and setting materials’s added thickness permit it to be set subsequent to an present ground or adjoining to carpet with out extreme lippage.
In the top, handmade or extruded terracotta or Saltillo will maintain up effectively if correctly put in and I’ve seen many installations maintain up for over 50 years. The key to a profitable venture is the collection of a high quality terracotta or Saltillo, correct substrate preparation, utilizing correct setting supplies and strategies acceptable for the set up, and accomplished by a licensed tile contractor acquainted with a majority of these installations.