Here's Why Clay Tiles Are A Smart Choice For Your Bathroom

When it comes to bathroom renovations, choosing the right tile for the walls and floor is no small decision. Not only do you want something that looks beautiful, but you also want it to last — all while still being affordable. While tile materials such as ceramic and porcelain tend to be the most widely used, terracotta clay tiles can provide your bathroom with a more unique look and feel while also offering unmatched durability and being one of the least expensive natural stone tile options.

Terracotta has been used in various aspects of architecture throughout history. Ancient European and Asian civilizations commonly used terracotta tiles for their roofs, not only because of their durability but also because of their ability to regulate temperature. The natural thermal properties of clay help it to stay comfortably cool in the summer while retaining heat in the cooler months, making it both a stylish and energy-efficient choice. Therefore, it's no surprise people gradually began using them indoors in other aspects of design. As it turns out, the properties that make terracotta clay an excellent roofing material also make it an excellent choice for tiling in your bathroom.

What are terracotta tiles?

Loosely translated from Italian, terracotta means baked earth, and given the color and finish of terracotta tiles, in addition to how they are made, it's hard to think of a more fitting name. Terracotta tiles are made from clay, which has been fired and baked in a kiln. Because natural clay tends to be found in shades varying from brown to black to red, the resulting tiles have the same warm, natural, earthy tones, providing an authentic, old-world feel that simply cannot be achieved through the use of other types of tile.

Terracotta tiles can be glazed or unglazed. While unglazed tiles provide the most natural, unfinished look, they also aren't recommended in the bathroom without being treated with some kind of sealant to keep out water. Because untreated terracotta is naturally rather porous, the sealant provides a protective layer that helps it withstand moisture, just like glazed tile, making them both great options for your bathroom floor or walls.

Benefits of using clay tiles in your bathroom

In addition to providing your bathroom with a sense of natural luxury, terracotta also comes with the benefit of being one of the most durable and long-lasting tile materials. While many types of tile are susceptible to chipping and wear and tear over the years, clay tiles can withstand the test of time. Terracotta is resistant to mold, bacteria, and stains and is also capable of withstanding scratches and gouges far better than other tile materials. This is why they are great to use on the floor or walls in high-traffic areas such as the bathroom. 

While it's true that terracotta clay tiles bring a sense of natural earthiness to your bathroom, they are also better for the earth itself than virtually all other types of tile, as the fired clay used to make terracotta tiles is natural and sustainable. Many tiles also are also made of reclaimed terracotta, which is recycled from the remnants of old, mostly European buildings. Using reclaimed terracotta tiles is an even more environmentally friendly option, as it requires the use of less energy to manufacture the tiles than it would to produce ones made from all-new materials.