What is Terracotta?

What is Terracotta?
September 10, 2019 Tiled roofing

Terracotta Tile Roofs at a Glance

Many Australian homeowners still prefer the rustic and traditional look of terracotta for their roofing and building construction. This type of earthenware has been used for millennia and has withstood the test of time. Now, it comes in many shapes, sizes, and colours that genuinely add to the quality of any home.

Terracotta as an earthen material

Terracotta takes the name from the Latin terra cocta, which means ‘baked earth’. It is traditionally made from clay which has traces of iron that give it its natural brownish orange tinge. However, natural terracotta can be various shades of yellow, orange, buff, red, pink, grey, and brown. This material has been used not only as a material for building construction but also for pottery and art.

The process of making terracotta is pretty straightforward. Refined clay is formed to the desired shape and then dried. Afterward, it is placed in a kiln and is baked until the iron in the clay reacts with oxygen. The fired terracotta is naturally porous. To make it waterproof, it is either burnished before firing or glazed after firing. If you wish to paint terracotta, it must be first covered with a thin coat of gesso that will bind the paint onto the earthen material.

Terracotta as roof tiles

Terracotta tiles have been used throughout history, as early as 3,000 BC they were being used for roofing in Greece. They are specifically designed to keep out the rain but keep the interior of a building cool. These roof tiles are suspended from the roof and nailed in parallel rows. Terracotta roof tiles are available in various styles, giving you with many options you can choose that best suits your home. Here are a few shapes, or profiles, of terracotta roof tiles.

·       Flat or plain tiles

With the simplest appearance, flat or plain tiles often come in a square or rectangular shape. They are arranged in regular overlapping rows of tiles. They were common in ancient houses, and you can still find them on some older homes todays. Because of their shape, they are not particularly good at managing the rain flow.

·       Imbrex and tegula

Imbrex and tegula tiles are similar to plain tiles with both flat and curved edges and are arranged in a similar overlapping pattern. These curved edges allow a better and more directed flow of rainwater.

·       Roman tiles

Roman tiles have a flat middle with two curves on either end: one convex and one concave. These curves permit interlocking of tiles on top of each other, making them easier to fit and more likely to stay in place.

·       Pantiles

Pantiles are an S-shaped tile with interlocking edges. They are similar to Roman tiles but do not have a flat middle. Just like other curved tiles, they are particularly good at holding together and in managing the flow of rainwater.

The benefits of terracotta tiles

While there are other modern materials for roofing, such as concrete and plastic, there are still advantages to choosing terracotta tiles over others. Here are a few reasons why you should choose terracotta roof tiles:

·       Style

Terracotta is one of the most aesthetically enduring and timeless materials. It adds value to the home just by being there. You can use this to create a good impression on your neighbourhood, and even to increase the market value of your home.

·       Soundproof

Terracotta is good at blocking excess noise from the outside thanks to its earthen qualities and density. If you want a cosier and quieter home where you can relax, terracotta is a good option.

·       Safety

Unlike other materials, terracotta is non-combustible and is recommended in fire-prone areas. Terracotta is also durable and does not rust, making it ideal for typhoon-prone locations.

Amazing Roof Restorations for your Terracotta roof tile installation and repairs

If you ever consider installing or restoring your terracotta roof tiles, do not hesitate to call the expert roofers. At Amazing Roof Restorations, we offer all kinds of roofing services you need in Newcastle. Send your request today and let’s reinforce the strength of your roofs!

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