Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there such big differences in tile prices?
  • The price difference between the 20×20 cm tiles and the 30×15 cm tiles is due to the fact that the production cost of the 20×20 cm tiles is about 60% above the cost of production of the 30×15 cm tiles. This is mainly due to the following:
  • The 30×15 cm tiles are shaped manually in pairs in double molds while the 20×20 cm tiles are molded individually, one by one. This work is done by teams of two people, who at the end of the day can produce twice the amount of 30×15 cm tiles as the 20×20 cm tiles.
  • During the drying stage, the square 20×20 cm tiles tend to crack rather than rectangular 30×15 cm, which causes more losses.
  • When the tiles are baked, more squares 20×20 cm tiles are lost than the others because they get more likely deformed.

For these reasons, the price of the 20×20 cm tile is always higher than the price of the 30×15 cm, although the profit margin is the same or even lower. Likewise, tiles with other measures have different production costs, with the 30×15 cm tile having the lowest production costs.

In the case of 30×30 cm, 40×40 cm and 50×50 cm tiles, the price increases depending on the size, the larger the tile, the more likely it is to warp and crack both in the drying phase and during cooking.

How are Tiles packed?

The tiles are selected and placed on pallets so that they do not break during transport. The pallet is then wrapped in stretch film for added protection.

When destined for other countries, the tiles are placed in wooden boxes of approximately 30 m2 each. They are arranged in layers with thick cardboard between each layer in order to protect the tiles during the trip. Currently, the boxes have been replaced by angle brackets placed on all sides of the pallets. In the several times we have sold outside Portugal, there has never been any problem.

What is the difference between the tiles demoulded with sand and demoulded with water?

Both are produced with the same raw material (clay), cooked in the same oven and have approximately the same hue and strength. The main difference between water-demoulded tiles and sand-demoulded tiles is that the first has slightly rounded edges while the second has sharp edges. In addition, the water-deformed tiles (also called “round edge”) undergo a more rigorous selection process and because they have rounded / rounded edges, they allow a better finish. This type of tile is exclusive to Terracota do Algarve.

Why are there colour differences between the tiles?

Due to our artisanal manufacturing process and firing in a wood oven, there are always some color differences between the various pieces, and it is not possible to obtain a homogeneous color. So, although we can produce floors with a lighter color in general, there will always be more pink / reddish pieces. It is precisely these nuances of colors that distinguish us from the large factories of mass industrial production.

It should be noted that the various photos of our products in manual terracotta found on the website have been taken for a long time and with different equipment, which is why they hardly translate the true color of the product.

How do tiles react to negative temperatures?

In colder countries, manual terracotta tiles are used mainly in the interior. All of our tiles are made by the same process, so they all have the same behavior in relation to ice. To withstand freezing temperatures with ice below -5 °, it is necessary to seal the tiles after laying. If the tiles are not sealed, they will absorb water, the water may freeze and cause damage.

Does the tile/brick support the passage/weight of vehicles?

All our handmade terracotta floors can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are strong enough to support a car, and for that it is important that the tiles are applied on a good laying base. It is recommended that this base be a screed properly leveled and consolidated, which must be very dry, and where the tile should be applied with cement-glue.

What is the minimum recommended joint between tiles?

We recommend a minimum joint of at least 3 or 4 mm. This is because our floors and coverings are manufactured by hand and therefore there are small differences in size between the various pieces (up to 2 or 3 mm). The joint serves precisely to bridge these differences and get a good finish. There are, however, customers who have already applied our tiles with almost closed joints (leaning against each other), but for this it is necessary that the work is done by a good foreman. In any case, we recommend that before starting to put / glue the tiles, a test of at least one square meter should be made with the minimum joint required to find out if it is possible to carry out the work in this way.

Does the durability of the tiles depend on the treatment?

The durability of Manual Terracotta Tiles does not depend on its treatment. What is essential for them to last a good hundreds of years or more is the quality of the raw material used (the clay) and a good cooking that guarantees the resistance of the terracotta. It is also essential that daily cleaning is done with suitable detergents, preferably with neutral PH. The use of abrasive or acid-based products that can damage the tile should always be avoided.

Do tiles always have to be treated?

Tiles do not necessarily have to be treated, with the treatment both inside and outside being done only to protect the tiles from the appearance of any stains (grease, oil, wine, etc.). However, treatment is recommended in kitchens, dining rooms, near barbecues, etc.

The treatment can last between 4 and 8 years depending on the product applied, the intensity and the way the floor is used and the frequency of cleaning/washing.

It should be noted that outside on uncovered terraces, the ideal is to leave the tiles to the natural, without treatment. If you choose to do the treatment, it is essential that the floor is completely dry so that no moisture is trapped inside.

Can terracotta be applied over other floors and coverings, namely glazed surfaces?

Normally, when the terracotta is placed on a screed, you use conventional adhesive cement to glue it. If you are going to place the terracotta tiles over a glazed floor/covering, you must use a special glue. This is because the existing tile, especially if it is glazed, does not allow water absorption, which makes bonding more difficult. The glue we recommend for these situations is weber.fix premium, which is a glue with very good performance.

What is the difference between "Ladrilho" and "Tijoleira"?

When it comes to manual terracotta floors and coverings, “Ladrilho” and “Tijoleira” are exactly the same. The most used term varies depending on the region, with areas where the words “Baldosa” or “Mosaico” are also used to designate the clay tiles. In the Algarve, where we are located, the most used word still remains “Ladrilho”.

Are there different tiles for the interior and exterior?

All our handmade terracotta tiles can be used both indoors and outdoors. Only the type of treatment that should be applied later varies depending on where the tiles are placed: there are specific products for treatment inside and others for the outside.

Why do some tiles wear out faster than others?

This situation sometimes occurs on the islands and along the coast when there is not a good insulation of the tile base (screed), allowing the passage of moisture and saltpeter which contribute to the faster deterioration of the floor. White spots may also appear on the tiles, which is a sign of the presence of moisture.

This also happens sometimes with natural stone and other natural materials which, due to their characteristics, end up being more vulnerable.

How is the transport and delivery of orders?

Some of our customers, companies or individuals, transport the material themselves. Whenever the customer needs, the transport and delivery of orders is assured by carriers of our trust. When we make the budget we can also quote for the transportation of the material. The customer then decides whether to accept the quote with delivery included or whether it is transport itself.

Is an advance payment required when the order is placed?

For certain materials we ask for an advance payment before proceeding with production. This is the case with hydraulic mosaics in which an award is always required with order confirmation as it is a product that is produced in colors chosen by the customer and is intended for that customer only. In the case of manual terracotta, we only ask for an advance to produce large quantities or when it comes to a tile with a different size or shape produced specifically for a specific customer.

Why do Hydraulic Cement Tiles prices vary?

The prices of the different models of cement tiles vary depending on the complexity of the model in question, which increases labor costs with production. It is therefore understood that the plain mosaic, with a single color, or a mosaic with a simple pattern with two colors, has a considerably lower price than a mosaic with a more complex pattern and with 4 or 5 different colors.

Regarding the Cement Tiles, is it possible to manufacture models other than those shown on the website?

Yes, it is possible to manufacture new models of hydraulic mosaics. However, for this it is necessary to order a new mold from a craftsman that costs about 400,00 € + VAT or a little more (the price varies depending on the model) and takes about 30 days until it is ready. The delivery time thus increases to approximately 60 to 90 days from the date of order confirmation. In addition, we only proceed with the order after payment of 50% of its value plus the cost of the new mold. If the customer is willing to bear this cost and wait at least 60 days until the mosaics are ready, it is possible to produce almost any mosaic model.

How do you calculate the price of cement tiles when it comes to Patchwork work?

The price of Cement Tiles in patchwork, when ordered from the catalog, is 150 €/m2 + VAT, which corresponds to the price of the most expensive cement tile model that we have increased by 20%. If the patchwork is created from the remains of cement tiles that we have available, the price is 75.00 € / m2 + VAT. This difference in price is due to the logistics involved in producing only a few mosaics of each model, in different colors, until the desired quantity is reached, while the remains of mosaics are already in stock.

Can the clay tile be used with underfloor heating?

As far as we know there is no inconvenience in the application of the handmade terracotta tiles with underfloor heating, it will only take a little longer to feel the heat because it is a floor with a thickness of 2 cm, a little thicker than other floors. The advantage, according to some customers who have already used this solution, is that after the house is heated, the clay floor retains the heat for a longer time, which ends up translating into gains in energy consumption.