December 1, 2022 | Updated: December 5, 2022

Trends & Styles

Terracotta tiles; get the warmth without the hassle

The very word terracotta conjures images of rustic charm and earthy tones. As well as a material, it is a colour and nowadays even describes a mood.

The brownish, reddish and pink tones of terracotta are instantly recognisable. The colour is associated with the outdoors and country settings. The warmth and welcoming embrace of terracotta just got easier to use in your home décor with porcelain effect terracotta tiles. Read on to find out how.


Terracotta porcelain tiles

Cotto Colonial 120X120 (Available in-store)


Terracotta, timeless and organic

The origins of the word are connected with the earth, or more specifically, baked clay. Nowadays, because we are more aware of sustainability and organic building materials, there is a renewed interest in terracotta as a material in home décor. As a result, we are going to be seeing a lot more terracotta in the future. With this article, we want to help you get ahead of the curve and explain new advances in material technology. Porcelain effect terracotta tiles provide all the visual charm of terracotta without maintenance issues.


Terracotta tiles

Because of its easy availability and malleability, terracotta has been used extensively in construction over the years; everything from floor tiles to roof tiles to water pipes. Traditionally, the earthenware substrate was shaped into moulds and then left to dry in the sun. Later, terracotta was baked glazed and fired in ovens. At this point, it began to be mass-produced for the standard applications we know today.

During the Victorian era and the early 20th Century, terracotta was used as a replacement for stone for exterior cladding, known as faience. Many examples of decorative reliefs and exterior terracotta finishes remain today in public buildings constructed during this period. The colour of terracotta is therefore familiar in both urban and rural environments in the UK. Its tones look at home and comforting under the Northern latitude sun. And even on overcast days, it has a glow.


Terracotta effect tiles

Parma Cotto 8X30X0.85 (Available in-store)

Terraccota porcelain tile

Porcelain is, like terracotta, a material that comes from the earth. However, there are important differences between terracotta and porcelain. Its suitability for use in humid environments is one of them. Fortunately, with advances in material technology, specifically in porcelain, the advantages of terracotta are now available to exploit in previously unsuitable locations.

Terracotta effect floor tiles

One major disadvantage of terracotta is its very porous nature. Traditionally, when used on floors, the tiles require sealing. As a result, terracotta is not recommended for bathrooms and kitchens, or anywhere where there is high humidity. Now, terracotta effect porcelain tiles are a convincing alternative, recreating the colour, the texture and the mood. Porcelain also happens to be a sustainable option. Made from organic materials, porcelain has an exceptional life span, can be recycled and is hyper allergenic.


Terracotta floor tiles

The natural home for terracotta is the floor. There, it connects interiors back to the place where the material came from. There is a warm patina and a familiar quality that can radically transform a kitchen floor, or an entrance hall. Even bathroom floors can benefit from the tactile and glowing qualities of terracotta effect tiles.


Terracotta floor tiles

Parma Cotto 8X30X0.85  (Available in-store)

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The simple linear laying pattern of the terracotta effect floor tiles oozes country charm. Informal and welcoming, the different orange and red shades create a collage effect floor. The colours frame the comfortable furniture in contrasting finishes. Everything about this setting says, sit down, put your feet up and enjoy the moment.

Outdoor terracotta tiles

While traditionally terracotta tiles would require regular maintenance and upkeep in the outdoors that’s no longer the case. With these porcelain terracotta floor tiles for exterior use, water damage and moss are a thing of the past. Style the terrace with lots of potted plants and antique accessories to highlight the terracotta.


Terracotta bathroom

Traditionally, the use of terracotta in bathrooms was confined to floors. And these terracotta floor tiles would have had to be sealed and protected from the humid environment. Now, however, with terracotta effect porcelain tiles, the beauty and warmth of terracotta are practical and transformative.


Terracotta bathroom

Parma Cotto 8X30X0.85  (Available in-store)

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This statement bathroom is the essence of simplicity but equally warm and tactile. The floating timber cabinetry, porcelain WHB, and terracotta effect wall tiles have beautifully balanced textures. The neutral floor tile and the frameless mirror underline the aesthetic impact of the bathroom walls.


What colours go with terracotta?

Because terracotta is such an impacting colour we recommend that it should take centre stage in the bathroom and kitchen décor. Keep other colours within the neutral spectrum to really get the benefit of its earthy tones. Terracotta works well with pastel shades like pinks, baby blues and lavender in accessories.

  • White and off-white look great against the warmth of terracotta. The earthy tones help to warm-up sanitary ware and white kitchen cabinets.
  • Organic materials, like wood, cane, metal, and leather, are natural bedfellows of terracotta. These materials share a commonality with respect to tones of beige, brown and fawn. As such, they look great together, without trying too hard.
  • For hardcore fans of strong colours, terracotta can work with primary colours like deep red and verdant green. The colour looks particularly good with leafy plants, including shades of green and yellow.
  • Fabrics, upholstery and textile accessories such as towels and dishcloths in raw linen and cotton look sumptuous against terracotta.


Terracotta Vs Porcelain

Although both materials are made from natural elements, there are significant differences between terracotta and porcelain. The following list represents a schedule of the most salient differences. The ones you need to keep in mind when choosing materials for interior decoration and refurbishment projects.

  • Porcelain is a low-maintenance material, and suitable for humid environments such as bathrooms and outdoor terraces. Terracotta, if untreated, will crack in outdoor situations, especially in the UK climate. Water penetration together with the freeze-thaw action makes terracotta vulnerable.
  • Porcelain is an extremely hard-wearing material and will last and last. Although slightly brittle porcelain is hard and resistant to stains and spills. Terracotta is a porous material and somewhat delicate, in comparison to porcelain.
  • Terracotta is not a true colour, in so far as each tile is slightly varied in tone. This is not necessarily a disadvantage but you should be aware of this quality when choosing a tile.
  • On a day-to-day basis porcelain tiles simply require a wipe (on walls) and a mop (for floors) to keep them in pristine condition. Terracotta, on the other hand, is harder work and needs more TLC.



  • Highly vulnerable to water penetration in conjunction with freeze-thaw action
  • Low-maintenance material
  • Porous and delicate
  • Extremely hard-wearing
  • High colour variation
  • Colour variation is optional
  • Maintenance entails more effort and care
  • Ease of maintenance


For more information, please visit your nearest store, where our advisors will be happy to assist you.

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