The Treatment of Terracotta
Handmade terracotta is a live and porous material. It has a natural capacity of high absorption (approximately 18% of its weight).
Terracotta treatment is usually carried out after laying and grouting. This waterproofs the floor, meaning that maintenance and cleaning is made easier to maintain the natural beauty of the tile.
A good treatment protects from dirt but does not distort the features of the brick.
For the treatment to give the best technical and aesthetic results, the product should be used in the right way. There is a full course of treatment available for washing, protection and finishing.
The washing is carried out with buffered acid and serves to remove residual cement, arising from the laying and grouting and salt peter from the dust.
It is left to work for a few minutes and then brushed vigorously. The last washing stage is to rinse with clean fresh water.
Protection and finishing
The protection phase is done by applying specific water repellent and oil repellent products to the floor. It’s a question of impregnating the material. Bernasconi Furnace prefers and recommends the use of water based products. They are more natural and chemically less invasive and are therefore in line with organic products.
The finishing completes the protection against wear and dirt. It gives the baked tile the desired final appearance.
Mostly used are natural bees waxes either liquid or paste. There are various sheens, brilliant gives a shiny appearance, matt keeps the look natural or satin gives a coating between the two.
Generally a finishing wax is not applied on external floors as it would not last long when exposed to weathering. In these situations a water repellent or stain (oil repellent) is usually applied. The treatment is a fundamental and essential step for the success of the handmade tiles.
Bernasconi Furnace prefers the more natural treatments which do not alter the appearance and the colour of the tiles but protect against time and give easier maintenance. The decades of experience and passion for baked tiles enable Bernasconi Furnace to help you in choosing the best treatment for your aesthetic and technical requirements.