5 Creative Ways To Use Terracotta Tiles In Your Home

The options for what tiles you should use in your home are almost endless, but few are both as timelessly stylish and functional as terracotta. Terracotta literally translates to baked earth in Italian, with respect to the way the clay is heated, giving the material its classic rust color, explains WorldAtlas.

Terracotta is instantly recognizable, thanks to its unique coloring and porous surface, which makes it highly adaptable to a variety of design styles and aesthetics. It is also incredibly durable, not easily damaged by general wear and tear, and quite easy to clean. Their long-lasting, hardy nature makes terracotta tiles a great option for flooring, walls, roofs, decoration, and a long list of other places. Few other tiles, or any materials for that matter, offer the level of versatility that terracotta does. Keep reading for some great ideas on how to use terracotta tile in different areas of your home.

Rustic kitchen flooring

Terracotta is an excellent tile material for kitchen floors for a variety of reasons. Terracotta is an incredibly hardy and durable material, and can easily stand up against dropped pots and pans, scraping furniture, and more (via Do It Yourself). It is quite absorbent, however, so if you plan on putting terracotta tile in your kitchen, make sure to opt for a glazed or sealed finish.

In terms of aesthetic value, terracotta lends itself to a variety of design approaches. It looks best in a rustic, Mediterranean, or Spanish-style kitchen, ideally with exposed wood elements, lots of natural metals and coppers, and other clay or earthy materials. Terracotta can also be used to achieve a uniquely vintage, eclectic kitchen vision, as well as to brighten up an otherwise dark space (via Domino). It can also be paired with simple white cabinets and walls, left to stand out on its own.

Patio oasis

One of the best aspects of terracotta tiles is their versatility, working great both indoors and outdoors. As Poulin Design Center points out, terracotta tiles are very durable and weather resistant. They're also less likely to develop mold or bacteria, making them great for accommodating rainfall and moisture.

Terracotta's natural rust color makes it adaptable to a wide variety of design styles and aesthetics. You can easily pair it with simple white or beige patio furniture, or have a lot of fun with bright and bold, tropical colors. Green is a particularly stunning color match, the earthy tones both contrasting and complementing one another. Upgraded Home recommends more vibrant shades of blue-toned green, like peacock or teal. If you want to keep your furniture simple but include some vibrant greens, consider adding some potted tropical plants. Bright shades of orange and pink also look lovely, since they share the same warm palette as terracotta.

Clean bathroom flooring

Design a stunning bathroom with terracotta floor tiles. Just like in your kitchen, they're moisture, mold, and water resistant, making it a great option for a room as moist as your bathroom. Since the room is smaller, it's also a great opportunity to play with more expensive tile designs. Some of the more interesting designs include traditional squares and rectangles, hexagon shapes, and even reclaimed and vintage ones with designs and images, per Limestone.

Especially in the bathroom, terracotta tiles lend themselves to a clean-looking and classic Mediterranean style. Some great pairings for terracotta tiles in the bathroom include exposed and rustic wood (stools, towel ladders, etc.), shades of pale greens like avocado, olive, or sage, plants (real or fake), gold or black hardware, and wrought iron elements (via Curated Interior). You can also opt for lots of whites, creams, and beiges for a more modern, streamlined look.

Mosaic backsplash

Whether in addition to or in place of terracotta kitchen floor tiles, why not consider using terracotta for your kitchen backsplash? Terracotta is both fire and heat-resistant – Ellementry states it can withstand temperatures ranging as high as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it ideal for the wall behind your stoves. Since it's so easy to clean, you can also wipe off spilled or splashed food or water without a problem.

One great option for your backsplash is to use the traditional, rust-colored terracotta. This pairs well with most colors and design styles. You can go with simple square tiles, long brick-shaped or even honeycomb tiles. Alternatively, if you like the qualities of terracotta but not the color, consider opting for glazed and painted terracotta tiles. There are a wide variety of patterns that are largely Mediterranean in style, with diamond-shaped patterns and bright colors, suggests Country Floors.

Tiled staircase

If you want to spruce up a staircase — either indoors or out — consider tiling it with terracotta. Again, the durability and resistance to a variety of conditions and environments make it ideal for your staircases. As National Tiles points out, terracotta is also usually quite slip-resistant, making it even more ideal for your stairs.

Ellementry specifically recommends terracotta stairs for a more rustic look, but it's also ideal for Mediterranean and Spanish decor styles. There's also a lot of potential for color matching with terracotta, including the pictured green railing. You could also paint the risers on your stairs, as seen on Tracee Ellis Ross' Instagram. This can be as simple as grabbing a peel and stick or adhesive sheet, or as complicated as hand painting designs. The Zoe Report even suggests spotlighting vintage rugs or runners or using stencils to paint your designs onto the risers of your terracotta stairs.