I was first introduced to materials that were truly Natural Terracotta Tiles during a trip to Florence, Italy. In the early ’80s, the Impruneta area offered a wonderful array of classically produced natural terracotta tiles that still linger in my imagination. Since then, that area continues to serve a solid niche in terms of architectural, natural, authentic terracotta products.
Subsequently, a visit to Barcelona brought to my attention the terracotta tile produced by a small, but very intense family business. Similar to the dense material from Impruneta, a key feature of this Catalan material was its density and hard-wearing characteristics.
Fast forward to the late Fall of 2017. Let’s talk for a moment about, our sister company, the iconic Country Floors brand. Long known for natural terracotta tile, in fact since 1964, when this company essentially pioneered this category in the United States. Mr. Norman Karlson founded Country Floors as an avid connoisseur, collector, and author interested in historical tiles. During his travels in Europe as a professional photographer, he admired the beauty and artistry of tiled walls and floors everywhere he went. The terracotta usage around the Iberian Peninsula was one of many elements that caught his eye.
This takes us to our Reclaimed Collection, which features antique reclaimed terracotta floor tiles dating back from 100 to 200 years ago during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Salvaged from farmhouses and historical buildings, these tiles have been tediously recovered by hand, hand cleaned and hand-finished one tile at a time making each tile truly unique.
Now, please look at the very top of this post and you will see that Reclaimed Collection of natural terracotta tiles and then immediately above another image from that same collection. A word here about authenticity. The commodity portion of the wall and floor covering market offers many items that generate a “terracotta visual”. Naturally, these items have their place. However, our effort is to provide ideas on materials that are truly Natural Terracotta Tiles, such as those above.
This post has been a labor of love and an ode to a timeless material. Marbles Systems has locations across the United States and in Puerto Rico. Thanks for reading! Please text me at 305.986.1046 with any questions or concerns.