THE ULTIMATE

TERRACOTTA PAVER GUIDE

TERRACOTTA

PAVERS

The Clay Imports Terracotta Paver collection features durable natural clay bricks in several sizes and thicknesses. Each paver is made of 100% natural clay resulting in varying hues of yellow and red clay. It’s the look and the strength you want! Our authentic terracotta pavers are an affordable and trusted alternative to conventional concrete pavers.


Pavers, sometimes referred to as clay bricks offer a stunning aged 'lived in' appearance that is incredibly comfortable to walk on and just gets better with age.


Clay pavers are comparable to concrete pavers in durability, color selection, and they maintain their natural beauty for decades.


Tile makers handcraft this product exclusively for Clay Imports in Saltillo, Mexico, where Natural Clay is hand-packed into wooden molds of the desired shape and size. The shaped clay is then left in the sun to dry. Lastly, dried tiles are hand-stacked in wood burning-kilns where they are fired for over 24 hours.


Terracotta is intertwined with Mexico's rich history. The indigenous peoples of Mexico, including the Aztecs and Mayans, were skilled in the art of working with terracotta and used it to create a wide range of objects, including figurines, pottery, and architectural elements.


Terracotta is an important building material in Mexico. Many Mexican homes and buildings are constructed using terracotta bricks, tiles, and other building elements.


All of our terracotta tiles and bricks are made by families of tile makers who have passed down traditional terracotta tile and brick production techniques through generations.


PAVER PRODUCTION

characteristics

COLORATION

Terracotta Pavers are known for the natural color variation of light yellow and peach hues. Terracotta Pavers are rated V3 Moderate Variation: While the colors and/or texture present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of the colors and/or texture to be expected on the other tiles, the amount of colors and/or texture on each piece may vary significantly. This variation in color is naturally occuring and not controllable making each batch entirely unique! Darkening the color variation is possible with penetrating sealers.

PATINA

Overtime, Terracotta Pavers will patina. Patina is the "lived-in" look than a wide range of terracotta build materials gain with time and regular usage. The amount of patina can vary based on the type of terracotta, type of installation, exposure to elements and traffic. Patina can look like darkening of coloration, calcium build up and increased color variation. Although patina is not avoidable, it can be slowed with regular maintenance.

SIZE

Terracotta Pavers are handmade by packing wet clay into wooden forms, then air dried before firing. To create clay pavers, we rely on sunshine, luckily Saltillo, MX is one of the sunniest cities in North America making it ideal for air drying. However, with this natural drying technique lead to moisture evaporating from each paver differently. This shrinks the pavers differently and can result in a higher size variation than over paver products This size variation is minimal but easy to manage with thicker mortar joints.

DURABILITY

Regardless of the handmade quality of Terracotta Pavers, they are just as durable as their more conventional cement paver counter parts! Terracotta pavers are frequently used as structural bricks in Mexico and Texas! However, they do require some upkeep and maintenance.

APPLICATIONS

Our pavers are suitable for residential applications as well as industrial and commercial projects. Just keep in mind that clay terracotta pavers are not rated frost resistant and require additional maintenance and sealing.

INTERIOR WALLS

DRIVEWAY

INTERIOR FLOORING

PLANTER

BARFACE

EXTERIOR BUILDING

WALKWAY

POOL DECK

THICKNESS | THICK VS. THIN

2"

THICK PAVER

Clay Imports’ pavers are available in two thicknesses: The 2” thick paver and the 3/4” thin paver.

3/4"

THIN PAVER

Thick pavers do not need to be installed on top of a solid subsurface. Thick Pavers can be installed directly on landscape sand or gravel.

Thin pavers are designed to be installed much like a conventional tile. Thin-set on top of a subsurface either HardiBacker or concrete.

4"X8"

HORIZONTAL

STACK

HORIZONTAL

1/2 OFF SET

HERRINGBONE

VERTICAL

STACK

VERTICAL

1/2 OFFSET

BASKET

WEAVE

Design Patrice Rios

Design Leah Ashley Finn Family Farm | Photo Madeline Harper

6"X12"

HORIZONTAL

STACK

HORIZONTAL

1/2 OFF SET

HERRINGBONE

VERTICAL

STACK

VERTICAL

1/2 OFFSET

BASKET WEAVE

12"X12"

1/2 OFFSET

TRADITIONAL

STACK

1/3 OFFSET

Design Leah Ashley Finn Family Farm

INSTALLATION

GENERAL NOTE

Upon receipt of your pavers, inspect the materials. Please note that this is a handmade product. Edge chips, surface fractures, irregular thickness are all inherent characteristics of Terracotta Pavers.


For best results, blend materials prior to installation.


Check out our Tile 101: Paver Blog

Design Leah Ashley Finn Family Farm

INSTALLATION

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • If you are installing pavers indoors, you need to grout your pavers.
  • Terracotta pavers should be sealed before grouting to keep the grout from staining the surface.
  • Use of a grout release is also beneficial.
  • Make sure to do a grout sample before starting on the full area.
  • Seal your indoor paver installation heavily after installation, and after the grout is dry, to prevent any moisture absorption.

STEP BY STEP


  • Confirm that the surface that you will be installing on has been properly prepared. Make sure that the subsurface is clean of debris. If the concrete has been treated with a finishing product, such as a polish, (which could inhibit bonding), we recommend sanding and/or acid etching the concrete prior to the pavers installation. To avoid cracks, it’s also recommended that subsurface fractures and joints are addressed at this time.


  • Get your installation materials: There are several types of adhesive that can be used for this product, we recommend either Ultraflex (for thin-set installations) or Masonry Mix (for mud-set installation). For thinset installation, use at least a ½″ trowel.


  • Recommended grout joint spacing for this product is between 3/8” and 3/4”. Herringbone installations may require a slightly larger grout joint.


  • Apply the adhesive onto the clean installation surface as per the manufacturer’s instruction.


  • Lay the pavers on top of the adhesive.


  • Allow 24 hours for all tile adhesive to properly dry.


  • Apply 1 to 2 coats of sealer to the installed pavers. This will ensure that the grout will not stain the pavers and does not dry too quickly during application.


  • Grout can now be applied to the installed pavers. Though there are many grout options, we recommend Mapei Ultracolor Plus. To avoid over drying, we recommend grouting your project in small sections.


WARNING


  • DO NOT ALLOW THE GROUT TO DRY COMPLETELY ON THE SURFACE OF THIS PRODUCT.
  • DO NOT “SOAK” YOUR TERRACOTTA PAVERS IN WATER.


FINAL SEAL


  • Once the pavers are installed and grouted, a final seal should be applied to the entire surface. As noted above, the specific sealer used can alter the appearance or color of your pavers. We recommend 511 Impregnator.


  • Prior to the final seal, confirm that the project is completely dry. Dry time is dependent on many variables. Do not apply sealer on pavers/grout that is not dry, this can lead to trapped moisture between the surface and the sealer resulting in moisture clouding.


INSTALLATION

SEALING

Certain sealers will darken the colors of your pavers significantly. Ask your installer to apply sealer options to sample pieces prior to sealing all pavers.


We recommend Miracle Seal 511 Impregnator Sealer for a rich, saturated look.


To maintain the natural look of the pavers, we suggest Miracle Seal 511 Porous Plus.


For a step-by-step sealing guide, check out our How to Seal Terracotta Paver guide.

BEFORE

AFTER

HOW TO

SEAL PAVERS

Play Button

INSTALLATION

OUTDOOR GRAVEL | SAND SET

Outdoors, pavers are often installed with no grout between. If this is the case, sealing is not necessary. Non-grouting and non-sealing creates an “impervious surface.” This means the water can go through the joints and then soak into the ground.


Side note: If you are going for a heavy patina look, you can consider not grouting your pavers (indoors and outdoors.)

Design Leah Ashley Finn Family Farm | Photo Madeline Harper

MAINTENANCE

We recommend treating your Terracotta Pavers much like a natural wood floor. Do not clean with acid based chemicals. We like cleaning with a neutral PH cleaner. If a sheen is desired, we recommend using a moisturizing care product such as Murphy’s or Pledge.

HELPFUL LINKS

Bonnie Harms Designs and Caroline Harms | Construction Michael Harms | Orange Made Architecture | Photo Omar Landeros