Sustainable and luxury don’t often go hand in hand. But reclaimed terracotta tiles are a welcome surprise. These tiles are salvaged from older properties and sites and don’t go through the same rigorous process as new tiles, which means they have a fraction of the carbon footprint.
Reclaimed terracotta tiles are a fantastic way to add character and charm to a property. Yet there are many examples of interior design and architecture around the world where they do just that.
Historical examples of terracotta used in building and design
There are numerous instances of terracotta being used in historical architecture, which has contributed to the material’s modern popularity.
Some of the well-known landmarks that feature terracotta include:
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy has a terracotta-tiled dome roof. Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi built this masterpiece. He is one of the founding fathers of Renaissance architecture. The cathedral remains one of the most popular destinations in all of Italy.
Museums in London, UK
The Victorian and Edwardian eras welcomed buildings with exteriors constructed entirely of terracotta, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, built-in 1852, and the Natural History Museum, which was built in 1881.
Kantanagar Temple in Bangladesh
The medieval Kantanagar Temple, or Kantaji Temple, in Bangladesh, was built in the 18th century and is constructed almost entirely of terracotta. It’s a religious site but also one of striking design, with many architects visiting the temple to marvel in the detail of its construction.
Terracotta tiles in modern architecture and interior design
Everything from classic square terracotta tiles to hexagonal tiles and mosaics have made their way into contemporary architecture, providing a dash of European charm and warmth to any design.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples of terracotta tiles in modern interiors.
Mediterranean Wine Cellar in San Francisco by Gast Architects
Travel anywhere in Italy or France. You’ll see that terracotta features prominently in wine cellars. It is just like here in this San Francisco home. By laying the floor tiles at a 90-degree angle, the architects have created a space with heaps of character, charm, and personality. Note how beautifully the tiles sit against the painted white stone walls – a look you can easily recreate in any room in your home.
Traditional Kitchen in Dallas by Isler Homes
Traditional doesn’t have to mean all-stone. In this property, they used terracotta tiles to create a charming, characterful floor. The white cabinets and metallic details, such as the gold light fixtures and door handles. These details help to bring this design into the 21st century while paying homage to tradition. The use of marble here is unexpected but another way to add interest.
Tiled Bathroom in Phoenix by Arizona Designs
Hexagonal terracotta tiles are perfect for the bathroom and work especially well here thanks to the sloped ceiling. This is a traditional feature in many European homes. Pairing the tiles against natural wood and a curved, stone-built wall around the walk-in shower is another means to add authenticity. You could further elevate this space with a terracotta-built sunken bath.
Traditional Kitchen in Dallas by Sharif & Munir Homes
This kitchen doesn’t have bundles of natural light, which is where the terracotta tiles come in. Many contemporary kitchens rely on light for instance. On the other hand, terracotta is a way to add warmth to a space while leaning into the ambiance of historical, stone-built mountain properties in Italy. As a result, you can achieve a similar look with a converted property, especially if you’re looking to transform an old farm building.
Reclaimed terracotta tiles for your home
Our range of reclaimed terracotta tiles spans a variety of shapes and sizes, including:
Hexagon terracotta tiles
These highly decorative tiles are perfect for splashbacks and floors. Because of that you can lay them on top of underfloor heating for a finish that’s not only pretty but also functional.
Parquet terracotta tiles
Embrace your love for herringbone patterns with these 3×12” terracotta tiles. You can use to add heaps of texture to a floor while also making a space look bigger.
Rectangular terracotta tiles
Dreaming of a robust, farmhouse-style entranceway or utility area? These rectangular terracotta tiles are just the ticket. Because they’ll continue to distress over time for more of that traditional charm.
6×6” square terracotta tiles are the standard and work in any setting. Use these tiles to create a charming kitchen floor or floor-to-ceiling in the bathroom. So that you can give your home a Mediterranean edge.
A note from our designers
Don’t be afraid to use different types of reclaimed terracotta tiles in the same room. Just because you have a parquet floor doesn’t mean you can’t use 6×6” tiles on the walls. Even if it’s just to add a subtle surround that off-sets your white walls.
Discover our full collection of reclaimed terracotta tiles here.