While travelling to the old cities, the awe of classic vintage brick buildings with rustic looks providing royal looks becomes part of visitors’ memories. Many people love to improve their space and provide an aesthetic view to their homes or buildings, interior designers suggest these clients terracotta bricks for this purpose. Terracotta brick is a buzzword in the masonry industry and is also known as new-age bricks.
What is Terracotta?
The terracotta term originated from the Italian word that refers to “fired Earth” or “fired clay”. This is made from fairly porous and coarse clay and has shades ranging from reach red to orange hues. Clay is an earthy material with fine particles of aluminium silicate and other minerals.
Terracotta is a refractory clay product. Terracotta is used not only for bricks but for many other things like pottery, statuettes and other architectural purposes.
What is Terracotta Brick?
Terracotta bricks are made from natural clay also known as facing brick / exposed wire cut bricks. This brick varies in shape and colour and colours range from dull ochre to red.
These bricks are thinner than usual bricks and are used by sticking them on normal walls. Terracotta bricks can be painted to achieve shades of the customer’s choice. Special features of terracotta bricks which make them preferable are:
- Terracotta bricks are good insulators, hence absorbing and losing heat slowly. This nature of bricks provides the experience of warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
- These earthy materials are waterproof. This feature solves the problem of water seepage and water retention making it perfect for outdoor purposes and interior use.
- Unlike normal bricks with paints that need to be painted every second year compulsorily. These exposed bricks (terracotta bricks) need no fussing over.
- These bricks are termite and pest-resistant. Adding to this feature, the exposed bricks and brick cladding gets more robust and more beautiful over time.
- Terracotta bricks need low maintenance. A regular pH-neutral cleaner is enough. Regular cleaning can prolong the longevity of the structure.
With all these advantages, the other advantage is that this terracotta brick is that they are highly durable.
What is Terracotta Tile?
Terracotta used for making tiles consist of dry clay, clean white sand, ground glass and crushed pottery. The colour of tiles can be changed by varying the content of iron oxide in clay. Terracotta tiles are inexpensive and impervious. Terracotta tiles are available in two types:
A. Porous Terracotta tiles
Porous terracotta tiles are made by mixing clay with fragmented rocks. These are soundproof and resistant to weathering action hence having a long life. Such tiles are light in weight.
B. Polished Terracotta tiles
Polished terracotta tiles are made by mixing play with chalk and quartz sand. This type of tile involves two stages of burning:
- First stage: this is called biscuiting, which happens at 600 degree Celsius
- Second stage: after polishing the bricks when they are dry, they are heated again at 1200 degree Celsius.
This process makes tiles strong and hard. Colour of choice can be provided to them.
Also Read: Red Oxide Flooring
Cladding made with aged and natural raw clay without any chemicals provides a certain degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance. This feature helps in the reduction of energy consumption.
Terracotta cladding is just the use of Terracotta bricks or facing bricks on the wall that gives a new dimension to the building. This cladding can happen in the following five ways:
- Shaped profile
Terracotta cladding provides more lifespan than clads of concrete or aluminium facades. If colour is applied to this cladding, the colour also lasts without fading for a long time. Terracotta objects are good materials to reduce noise transmission hence providing a peaceful and quiet building.
Terracotta claddings are fire-proof and provide an edge over other materials for safety purposes. This cladding is environmentally friendly as it can be reused and recycled easily.
Application of cladding is easy and takes very little time if work is done by skilled labour. Sometimes it is hard to find skilled labours who can do terracotta works for architectural purposes. In such situations, it is best to ask suppliers for labour.
Terracotta suppliers know the importance of the right kind of labour for these jobs. Many suppliers prefer to labour with them to avoid any kind of problem for their customers, as customer satisfaction matters a lot.
Many people prefer to have ventilated spaces with natural yet little lights, this need is satisfyingly satisfied by Terracotta Jali. This helps in the creation of beautiful partitions, aesthetic boundaries and a royal look to a home, building or any kind of structure.
Terracotta jalis are available in many designs making them significant to serve different demands. Here different demands refer to the level of light and air one wants in their space. pictures:
Terracotta jalis are a good option when a structure requires natural light and natural air and personal space hand in hand. Jalis of Terraoctta being an insulator are a good choice which artistically reduces energy consumption.
Terracotta Hollow Bricks
Terracotta hollow bricks are made up of natural clay with natural additives such as rice husk ash, fly ash, sawdust and coal ash. The use of fly ash in these bricks makes them stronger and environmentally friendly and adds life to structures made with this material.
These hollow bricks provide great strength to walls than usual bricks. The use of terracotta Hollow bricks reduces cement consumption in construction. Such walls don’t require plastering either way internal or external. Clean varnish can be used on walls instead of costly paints.
When the cement industry is responsible for 80% of carbon dioxide emissions on earth, such material proves to be a very healthy alternative.
Terracotta Materials Price
When it comes to understanding the cost involved in using terracotta materials for the construction process becomes difficult. This is so because terracotta materials (hollow bricks and jalis) are available in different designs, and thicknesses to serve different purposes and needs of customers.
However basic terracotta brick / exposed or facing bricks costs Rs.30 to Rs.50 per square foot. This ranges as per the thickness of the brick. Terracotta tiles are available at a cost of Rs.60 to Rs.150 per square foot. It would be unfair to label terracotta materials as expensive or inexpensive. The cost depends upon the choices and needs.
Terracotta materials are made from natural materials and are chemical free is good for health and makes it environment friendly. The noise-resistant feature provides peace and isolation from outdoor noise pollution and adds to the mental peace of people if used as cladding material.
Terracotta bricks and clads being fireproof material make it a good alternative for the safety purposes of life and property. Terracotta materials being easy to maintain and reducing energy consumption being an insulator makes it a healthy option in construction material.