Are clay tiles and terracotta floor tiles different?

Here is a question which often comes up from those looking for a natural finish for their flooring: are clay tiles and terracotta floor tiles different?

To answer this question we will need to take a look back at the history of ceramics, which began way back with the creation of the first utensils and containers.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at the etymology of the word ceramics – which is a generic term meaning all products made from fired clay – which comes from the ancient Greek kéramos, which means clay.

Clay is the raw material from which all ceramic materials are made, an inert material in its natural phase, before the processing begins: preparation of the clay, modelling, drying, decoration and firing.

Out of all the uses of clay, terracotta is the most ancient and traditional ceramic product.
Some of the most characteristic features of terracotta are its porosity and reddish color, and it is created by firing clay at temperatures of up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
The very first ceramic products in history were terracotta items, and date back to prehistory. The use of terracotta then expanded from utensils to architecture in the middle ages, and then on to the sculptural and decorative arts – including tiles.
Terracotta has therefore been one of the most popular and versatile materials for millennia.

The main differences between clay and terracotta tiles

We have seen the differences between clay and terracotta at a material level. The porcelain stoneware solutions offered by Emilgroup start out from the look and characteristics of the natural materials in order to faithfully reproduce their look and finish.

While clay tiles are inspired by the organic element, in its natural and still malleable state, terracotta provides a more artisan look, as well as the reddish coloration that creates a completely unique mood.

Terracotta effect tiles are the ideal choice for a warm, welcoming space reminiscent of the Italian family dimension and traditions. It is a high-impact, refined solution which draws on the oldest ceramic arts without ignoring more contemporary tastes – one of the most successful meetings of tradition and modernity. A terracotta-effect floor provides all the charm of the ancient manufacturing techniques – the mixture, the molding, the firing – in new, modern and welcoming, high-design environments.

Clay tiles and flooring: the right product for any environment

Clay is the material it all starts out from. It is the natural element which has given life to a very long tradition of materials and finishes. It is precisely due to this founding characteristic within the ceramic industry that clay tiles can meet the stylistic requirements of any environment in an effective and versatile manner. From living areas to bathrooms, from bedrooms to outdoor paving, contemporary esthetic taste has molded clay to the widest range of decorative styles and requirements.

Clay floor tiles are a particularly on-trend choice due to their ability to bring the most natural and elementary sensations into modern, refined living spaces; a return to origins which starts out from the earth and is able to raise itself to the most refined floor coverings.

The central nature of this fundamentally important material, clay, is also a major part of the history of Emilgroup. The famous Sixty collection, which celebrates the first 60 years of the Group’s history, is indeed dedicated to a material of excellence – clay. A return to our origins which nevertheless looks forward towards new design profiles. It is a sophisticated collection, with clay the undisputed protagonist, which takes the perceptions of this crude and primordial material and holds it up in a new light which emphasizes the history, essential nature, form, manufacturing artistry, and attention to detail which have set Emilgroup apart ever since it was founded.

Sixty by Emilceramica is an amplification of the perceptions of clay tiles, from its appearance to its tactile sensations, providing virtually infinite design possibilities. Available in the Fondo (plain) version, with a full, linear finish which is soft and silky to the touch thanks to the Silktech technology which also makes the tile anti-slip – a particularly refined characteristic for the design of clay tile floors – and the Timbro (stamped) version, which adds patterns, details and volumes into the surface for a three-dimensional interplay ideal for exploring the most refined design horizons.

Natural floor tiles: the timeless beauty of clay

More and more often, contemporary taste comes from combining tradition with innovation, between a natural look and feel, and modern design keys. In this delicate balance, clay tiles are the ideal solution to once again experience the timeless charm of this material in refined, modern spaces designed with more than just a nod to authenticity. Sixty is, indeed, the collection which sets aside decorative superstructures to celebrate the pure material – an exaltation of the character, the form, and the lines that the surface reveals under the light. This collection is a celebratory journey through Emilgroup’s first 60 years with a color-based theme, which associates a dominant shade with each decade. Starting off the journey are the natural effect tiles in Fango color, representing the fabulous 1960s, composed of warm, dense and comfortable atmospheres. Timeless charm which has reached the modern day unchanged. A versatile color scheme suited to clay wall and floor coverings with a soft, classic look. The creative possibilities are enhanced with the Esagona, Minibrick (in Lux (glossy) and Matte finish) and Mosaico decorations.

Black clay tiles

They say it goes with anything. The color black and clay tiles are indeed two of the biggest players in design, with an unrivalled versatility. Black clay floor tiles combine the tradition and naturalness of the material with the sophisticated taste of the dark color. Elegance, intensity, charisma. These are the pillars of the Sixty Antracite color – the refined shade with which Emilgroup marks the passage to the new millennium. A refined product for minimalist spaces, but also able to form the foundations for richer decors, used with continuity of colors or for bolder contrasts, the Antracite color is available in a wide range of formats, from traditional sizes up to the extra-large format 120 x 120 cm.

The decoration, the finish, the format, the color. With Emilgroup’s solutions, clay moves through the millennia, reinventing and enriching itself with new sensibilities, retaining all its evocative power unaltered.

10 August 2022


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