IS IT POSSIBLE TO VISIT FURNACE ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY FOR INFORMATION OR FOR ORDERS?

Yes, it’s possible to visit Furnace and our showroom on Saturday and Sunday also. Please contact us before at +39 0763361016

WHERE IS CASTEL VISCARDO?

Castel Viscardo is a small town located at 15 km from Orvieto (A1 Highway exit)

CAN YOU DELIVER FREE SAMPLES?

Yes. We can deliver free samples to customers with express couriers. Once decided color and finish (through the web site), we will deliver the requested sample. In 24 hours you will receive your terracotta brick and evaluate if it actually matches your requirements.

DOES CLAY CONTAIN ANY DANGER INERT MATERIALS OR IS PURIFIED?

Clay used to produce our bricks comes from the argil draw from our quarry. Clay is got and set aside in a particular storage where it will dry and settle for about 10 months. Existing clay deposits are “purified”, they contain very few inert materials and/or calcareous efflorescence. Actually we are equipped with a purification implant (laminating) making sure that clay, before coming brick, passes between two rolls at 1 mm distance. In this way any inert/calcinello will be crushed, to avoid any problems to the brick because of the different coefficient of thermal expansion.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUSTOMIZE THICKNESS AND SIZE OF TERRACOTTA BRICKS?

Yes. Handcraft production is on demand and permit to customize shapes, thicknesses, colors and finishes almost without cost increases due to the production of wooden mold directly executed by Luigi Bernasconi. We will provide an evaluation before on technical feasibility.

WHAT DOES BRICKS COLOR DEPEND ON?

Our quarry (close to production area) originates greyish clay. Only adding rain water dough is created, source of bricks. After baking, color range starts from a pale yellow to a very light pink. This color gap (selectable) depends on the brick position into the wooden oven or rather from firing temperature / hours. If brick will be submitted on high temperatures for many hours, coloration will be more extended to yellow and vice versa. Beyond this chromia we are able to produce bricks (as usual handmade and wooden baked) with a coloration extended to red, but in this case we will put in the dough some Tuscan clay (natural as well).

WHAT DOES FINISH MEAN AND WHEN IS IT DONE?

Finish is the surface appearance of the exposed brick. Fornace Bernasconi offers for their terracotta five different finishes: RAW, SANDED and SMOOTH. These finishes are carried out before cooking. ARS VETUS and POLISHED take place after brick is cooked and removed form wooden oven.

IS HANDMADE TERRACOTTA CARRIEGABLE?

It depends on the substrate on witch it’s placed. In general we can say that to be carriegable must have a minimum thickness of 3/4 mm.

IS OUTDOOR HANDMADE TERRACOTTA DIFFERENT FROM INDOOR ONE?

No. Our terracotta is completely handmade and wooden cooked with national chestnut trims (scraps of adjacent sawmills) for about 30 hours at 1000°C. It could be placed both outdoor and indoor.

IS HANDMADE TERRACOTTA APPROPRIATE TO FLOOR POOL EDGES? IS IT SLIP RESISTANT?

Yes. Handmade terracotta bricks are recommended for paving swimming pools, because they have a double advantage:

  1. They are naturally slip resistant (as certified)
  2. The typical brick light color makes sure it does not overhead too much under sun rays allowing to walk barefoot.

CAN YOUR HANDMADE TERRACOTTA BE PLACED OUTDOOR? IS THAT FROST RESISTANT?

Temperature and baking time make our bricks very low temperatures resistant. Frost resistance certificate is present in test reports carried out by CERTIMAC (certification organization for building materials in partnership with ENEA and CNR) and can be downloaded from the website.

IS IT RECOMMENDED TO FLOOR WITH HANDMADE TERRACOTTA TILES IN CASE OF UNDERFLOOR HEATING?

Yes. Terracotta has by nature a high thermal transmittance and it is really appropriate in case of underfloor heating.

HOW HEAVY IS YOUR TERRACOTTA HANDMADE BRICK?

Our handmade terracotta brick weight about 1,615kg per square meter per mm of  heigh. It means that a floor thick 2,5cm weights 40,37kg/sq.m.

HOW HEAVY IS A TERRACOTTA PALLET OF ABOUT 1MC (100X105 H1)?

A terracotta pallet sized of 100×105 (our platform basis) high 100 (i.e. 36mq mizzen15x30 H2,5) will weight about 14,4Q.

CAN YOU PROVIDE SHIPPING SERVICE?

Yes. We can provide shipping service discharging throughout Italy. Depending on the amount of the order (and therefor on weight, area, etc..) we will send the material with carriers that are used to provide the discharge by crane or specialized courier services that will position the material on the ground by an tail lift

IS A CRANE OR A FORKLIFT NEEDED TO DISCHARGE?

Yes. Because of the specific gravity of terracotta, a crane or a forklift or a tail lift is needed to place terracotta pallet on the ground (less than very small quantities).

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUSTOMIZE ENAMELED COLOR?

Yes. Handcraft production is on demand, and permit to customize, as well as size, even color depending on your needs. Starting from a color or a RAL code, we will produce some samples mixing enamels and crystalline to obtain the expected result. Free sample.

CAN EVERY ENAMELED COLOR BE BOTH GLOSSY AND MATT?

No. Enameled terracotta can be glossy or matt depending on whether we use crystalline or enamel. Our technical department is available to answer to any issue about it. If it won’t be possible, we will suggest the closest color to the chosen one to get the expected effect.

DO TERRACOTTA TILES NEED TO BE TREATED WITH A WATER-REPELLENT SUBSTANCE?

From our point of view, terracotta tiles used for garret should not be treated with water-repellent anti-saltpeter. We recommend to make sure they don’t take water/damp: it will be our care to cover meticulously the pallets. Once arrived to destination they should be placed among the “morali”. At this point we recommended to position above the same a transpiring fabric able to drain the damp outside but not to make it transpire toward the inside and then make the flush of sand and cement or insert the insulating panel. In this way the bricks do not get wet, it will not leak saltpeter and will not treated with water-repellent. After work we recommend to go with a brush to remove all dust and then pass an adhesion promoter (very diluted with water) clutched to spray pump (it is water-based primers that do not alter the color, which can be used also for wood).

DOES FORNACE BERNASCONI PROVIDE, OVER SUPPLY, TO EXECUTE LAYING AND TREAT EVEN OUTSIDE THE REGION?

Fornace Bernasconi produces handmade wooden baked terracotta. As part of business growth, Fornace Bernasconi offers a complete service that include, beside the supply, installation and handmade terracotta treatment. We can provide this service throughout Italy and abroad. In this way you will have a single partner with many years of experience. Moreover you will have the possibility to use a facilitated 10%VAT (4% for first home or enlargement of rural building for residential purposes).

IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE SPACERS FOR LAYING ENAMELED (AS FOR FLOOR)?

No. handmade terracotta is not completely regular and is not possible to use spacers (as for a rectified gres), but it must be placed at sight using wires or squaring the floor before laying.

CAN FORNACE BERNASCONI PROVIDE PRODUCTS FOR TREATMENT AND MANTEINANCE, INCLUDED OF USE CARD?

Yes. Furnace Bernasconi can provide all the products needed to treat and preserve your handmade terracotta floor, beyond a detailed use card for each.

IS PARTICULAR PUTTY NEEDED TO JOINT GROUTING?

No. You can use any premixed available in the color you prefer. Another way to grout the joints is using sand and cement (grey color) or fine sand, white cement, colored oxide or brick dust. Every method is correct. In any case we recommend to use a colored putty (as close as the brick color) which has a granulometry that perfectly match with handmade brick. Of course color choice is purely esthetic and depends on customer needs.

WHAT SIZE SHOULD HAVE THE JOINTS BETWEEN A BRICK AND ANOTHER IN A HANDMADE TERRACOTTA FLOOR?

Years ago bricks were laid with quite wide joints (approx. 1 cm). Today the trend is changed and a minimal leakage is preferred (considering the irregular nature of the material), about 3 mm.

HOW CAN YOU PUTTY A HANDMADE TERRACOTTA FLOOR?

Grouting is one of the most important steps and maybe the most difficult in a handmade terracotta floor. At this stage we must prevent the grout sticks or seriously dirties the brick. We recommend, before grouting, to use water-repellent impregnation for not filming and if possible water-based, to make sure that grout doesn’t get dirty brick, to have time to remove it with a damp sponge. Another tip is to not fill with ” boiacca”, that is making a slurry of plaster and water which is then passed over the floor, but quickly fill each escapes with the “Americana ” taking care to remove the grout in excess.

WHAT IS THE WHITE EFFLORESCENCE COMING OUT FROM BRICK ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS WET? HOW TO TAKE OFF?

White efflorescence that sometimes comes out from the brick is potassium nitrate better known as saltpeter. In case of damp or simply wetting the bricks, some white crystal could come out from the brick (as a surface white powder), that can be removed washing those with dabbed acid. At the beginning of each treatment, bricks were washed with dabbed acid to remove saltpeter, and to clean from dust and/or from tracks of grouting. To stop the leak of saltpeter water-repellent products are used, but in case of roofs is recommended to avoid that the bricks get wet or take moisture. The chance that saltpeter could come out from rose bricks is higher than from yellow bricks.

COULD TERRACOTTA TREATMENT MODIFY COLOR?

A full treatment for handmade terracotta floor includes following steps:

1. Washing with buffered acid
2. Wipe with a waterproof product (primer)
3. Wipe with an oil-repellent product (primer)
4. Gripping wax or paste beeswax
5. Finish wax with gloss, matt or satin effect.
Both waterproof and oil-repellent can be water-based or solvent-based. Exist a lot of treatment that can maintain the natural terracotta color, but also modify it, turn it on or color it. It depends on the expected esthetic result. At the moment exists many products for treatment to satisfy the esthetic needs and either to improve treatment efficacy increasing terracotta floor durability.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PASTE BEESWAX TREATMENT AND A LIQUID WAX ONE?

There’s a small difference both esthetic and functional. A beeswax treatment will ensure a greater depth to the floor and greater durability (guaranteed for 20 years), but at the same time at the beginning has a more difficult maintenance as it tends to score (the wax contains paraffin which tends to score more easily). Once “matured” it certainly will have a longer life. The treatment with liquid wax is surely more fast and useful, it is easier to maintain, but the floor has less depth (seems less treated, less oiled).

WHAT IS AN OUTDOOR TREATMENT? IS WAX NEEDED?

The handmade terracotta treatment for outdoor includes following steps:

1. Washing with buffered acid
2. Wipe with water and oil repellent

Both primers, water based and solvent based, create a physical-chemical pattern able to not make pass water and oils in the liquid state, but able to make transpire the damp.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIGHTEN BRICK COLOR DURING TREATMENT?

No. during treatment is possible to score, darken, brighten or dye brick color, but is not possible to lighten it. (i.e. A tending to yellow terracotta could become tending to pink, but not the opposite.)

HOW MUST TERRACOTTA FLOOR BE CLEANED?

Daily cleaning of Terracotta floor has to be done by vacuum cleaner, and at most with clean warm water. We advise against using normal soap: these could alter treatment and damage the floor. For the extra ordinary cleaning you could use an ancient natural method: a glass of vinegar in a bucket of water; or if you prefer using neutral detergent (we recommend the CB90 of the firm GEAL-CHIM diluted in water or absolute in relationship to the dirt to be removed). Take this action only if floor is really dirty: it means the first layer of superficial (some microns) wax is opacified / dirties / deteriorates by the daily use for which must be removed.

HOW OFTEN DOES THE MAINTENANCE OF A TERRACOTTA FLOOR NEED TO BE DONE?

Maintenance means restoring the wax of superficial finish after cleaning as reported above. This operation is really important to maintain terracotta floor, especially during the first year (just after treatment). This happens because at the beginning the brick (produced with natural materials) will seek to absorb wax and to bring it inside. If the floor looks arid and dry, it means that it needs wax. We recommend to take this action every two months for the first year, using the same wax used by the insiders as wax finish (without diluting). Then it will be enough to take it every 6 months or once a year.

HAS HANDMADE TERRACOTTA FLOOR TO BE TREATED IF PLACED OUTSIDE?

Our bricks are frost proof and can be placed outside. These are not treated, and customer can choose if treat them or not. In case of a patio, or a place where you use to have meals, we suggest to treat it with water/oil repellent to make easy to clean it. In case of a sidewalk or an outdoor area, we suggest to not treat it. In any case the most important thing is that outside is recommended a pose with a slope of 1,5/2%.