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Spanish Mission Red Terracotta Floor Tile - Stair Tread

Mexican Floor Tile - Unsealed

Item Number:
Ships from San Diego, CA within 2 business days.
12 x 12 in. Mission Red - Stair Tread
Minimum Qty. of 50 on this size. Will ship by freight truck.
Please call for 1 free sample. Sample is provided for product evaluation only. Most of the time samples are not full pieces and may display color variation from the actual product.
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As one of man’s earliest discoveries, terra cotta tile embodies timelessness. Perhaps its classic appeal stems from the richness of the earth baked into it or how it glows at the mere hint of sunlight. Spanish Mission Red Terra Cotta floor tiles combine color and texture to create the rare beauty of centuries-old tradition.

  • Tile has a thickness of 1/2"
  • Have chipped edges and small craters.
  • There is variations in thickness, flatness, size, squareness.
  • May contain small hairline cracks and scratches on the surface.
  • There is variety of color between tiles and within individual tiles.

The properties of earthtone color, and texture of our Spanish Mission Red Tile are derived from its clay. The tiles are composed of clay deposits from California and totally handcrafted using old-world methods introduced to this region by the first Spanish explorers and missionaries. Using local natural resources the early Spanish settlers made the first Missions with adobe clay tiles, which were only sun-air dry. And covered floors, walls, and roofs with terra cotta tiles (baked earth). Clay tiles were essential for the foundations of the first California Missions, and continue today to be an important element in the building of Spanish Revival Architecture homes in California, and in other states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida to name a few.

All Spanish Mission Tiles must be sealed in order to preserve their beauty. We recommend to use a high quality penetrating sealer such as 511 Impregnator or 511 Porous Plus from Miracle Sealants Company

511 Porous Plus is a penetrating sealer designed for the protection of the most porous surfaces. 511 Porous Plus forms an invisible barrier that is resistant to moisture and stains while allowing vapor to escape. 511 Porous Plus is not a surface coating and will not alter the natural look. All surfaces are harder and less slippery. Therefore, 511 Porous Plus is highly recommended for all our Mexican terra-cotta floor tiles.

The Spanish Mission Red Terracotta floor tiles are made with clay deposits from California, and handcrafted in Mexico. The tiles are made from California clay, dug out of the ground and fired to a temperature at which the clay undergoes chemical changes and becomes permanently hard. They are shaped by hand pressing quarried clay on a wooden frame. The Spanish Mission tile collection is entirely hand made and fired at low temperatures embodying a timeless and authentic California Mission Style Tiles.

Characteristics of Hand-made Spanish Mission Red Terracotta Floor Tile

  • Differences in product thickness and overall dimensions will vary from piece to piece. Surface imperfections are characteristic of Spanish Mission red tile.

  • All Spanish Mission Red tiles will vary in colour and shape, ranging from natural earth tones of reds, and oranges. This color variation is dependent on the clay and the placement in the kiln at time of firing. It is the combination of this two factors: clay and fire, that is at the heart of authentic terra cotta Mission Style tiles.

  • Spanish Mission Red tiles are concave, or cupped (not perfectly flat) and soft. Keep in mind these tiles are fired at low temperatures using wood as combustible. Therefore, scratches and imperfections are intrinsic of these terra-cotta tiles.

  • Some Mission Floor tiles may display fissures, and scratches on the surface, adding character to their rustic charm.

  • Mission Red tiles are not perfectly square and may present chipped edges, nicks and variations in texture.
  • Mission Red Terra cotta tiles are highly porous, and easily absorbs liquids.
  • Tile must be sealed with a penetrating sealer and or a topical/surface sealer.
  • Industry standard recommends to add on 10-15% additional to the tile needed to account for waste, special cuts, or other unforeseen problems. This is particularly important in complex installations.
  • Lot variation in size and color may be present from shipment to shipment. There is no guarantee that tiles ordered as add-ons will match those from the original orders. This is an inherent characteristic in all natural terracotta tiles, and particularly in all handcrafted tiles.
  • Sample must be purchased and shipping charges apply. We ship out samples within 2 business days from the day the order is placed. When ordering samples please keep in mind there is no guarantee tile samples will match future orders do to the handmade process.
  • Spanish Mission Red tiles are NOT frost proof.

Suitable Usage for Spanish Mission Red Terra Cotta Floor Tile:

  • All residential floor and wall, and light commercial floor and wall applications.

  • Suitable for interior and exterior floors and walls when proper installation methods are followed.

  • Exterior applications with moderate climate.

  • Spanish Mission Red Terra cotta tiles are ideal for Mexican, Spanish, Southwestern, or Mediterranean architecture

  • Outdoor use is subject to climate change. Mission Red tiles are NOT frost proof.

  • strongly recommends consulting a experienced licensed contractor for the installation of your terracotta tiles. There are many variables that can go wrong when installing terracotta tiles that an experienced tile installer can better deal with any issues, and should provide advice for the proper care and maintenance of your terra cotta tile.

Installing Spanish Mission Red Terra Cotta Floor Tile

  • Terra-cotta tile is a hard-baked tile of variable color and with a high water absorption rate. Usually unglazed, this product requires a sealer to prevent staining. Handmade terra-cotta tile, similar to Saltillo tile, is usually restricted to indoor use in regions where temperatures are not moderate all year round. Terra-cotta offers a handcrafted look with a lot of character.

  • Before you begin any prep work, take a few minutes to inspect your Spanish red terra-cotta tile flooring. Open boxes and check for damage. If any damage is noticed please contact immediately.
  • A wet saw tile cutter is required for cutting terra cotta tiles.
  • Keep in mind these tiles are very porous. It is good practice to pre seal the tiles with a penetrating sealer before you begin the installation. This will prevent staining and reduce the probability of effloresce.
  • Floor Preparation: Concrete surfaces to be tiled must be flat, structurally sound, dry and free from oil, grease, dust, loose paint, sealers or curing compounds. Remove baseboards, doors and or any contaminants in the area to be tiled with soap and water, or by sanding, scraping or chipping. Any imperfections the floor should be patched with a waterproof patching compound. If cracks are present on the concrete, an anti-fracture membrane for floors is recommended.
  • Install an isolation membrane (also called an anti-fracture membrane) that will span random cracks in the floor. It will isolate the tile from the concrete with a cushion of plastic encased fiberglass fibers. The membrane absorbs the stress-not the tile and its thin-set adhesive. First, carefully examine the entire concrete surface to find and mark all the cracks, then follow these steps specified by membrane manufacture.
  • The area to be tiled must be completely dry before installing Mexican terra cotta tiles, otherwise if there is any humidity in the concrete it will evaporate through the tiles, which may result in efflorescence, it is a white crystalline or powdery, often fluffy/fuzzy deposit on the surface of masonry materials like concrete, brick, clay tile, etc. It's caused by water seeping through the wall/floor/object. The water dissolves salts inside the object while moving through it, then evaporates leaving the salt on the surface.
  • Measure and find the center of two opposite walls. Use these points to snap a chalk line across the length of the room in the center of the floor, dividing the room in half. Then snap another chalk line perpendicular to the first so the two lines cross in the center of the room. Check where the lines cross with a carpenter's square to make absolutely sure the center point is square.
  • At this time it is recommend to pool tiles out from different boxes and laid them out before they are installed. Shuffle the tiles to acquire the desired effect. Decide on the layout of the tiles, and put them in position to ensure the result before installing them. Begin laying the tile from the center of the floor where your two final reference lines cross. Start by laying a tile at the intersection of the lines, then use the lines as a guide as you work your way outward toward the walls in each quadrant.

  • Spread the adhesive with the trowel's notched edge, combing it out in beaded ridges. Spaces between ridges of adhesive should be almost bare.

  • Before the installation process begins. It is recommended to pre-seal only the surface of terracotta tiles with a penetrating sealer, be careful not to saturate the tiles with sealer. Do not seal the sides, because the grout may be repealed, not making a proper seal. The pre-sealing process will help to maintain the tiles clean and prevent staining, it may also prevent efflorescence. We recommend using the 511 Impregnator from Miracle Sealants Company. For best results follow the sealer manufactures instructions.

  • Mix the thin set according to Manufacturers instructions and have all your tools at the ready before the tiling process starts. Apply thin set onto the concrete surface using the flat side of the trowel. Follow the “keying in” process by combing out the thin set to a uniform depth using the notched side held at a consistent 45° angle.
  • Start laying the tiles one at a time. Make sure to wet the back of each tile with a wet sponge and back butter each tile with thin set using a notched trowel. This damping will speed the adhesion process to the floor. The typical grout space between terracotta tiles, because they are irregular in size, may range from 1/2' to 1". It is a matter of choice.
  • As the tiles are being installed, put them into place using only hand pressure, ensuring that they are perfectly level with each other. Do not use any tools to put the tiles in place. Immediately clean any excess thin-set or stains during installation.
  • Take care to align the tiles so that a regular pattern is maintained throughout the floor.
  • Once the installation is completed allow 48 to 72 hours for the tiled area to dry, then apply a coat of penetrating sealer before grouting.
  • Grouting: use sanded grout. After the thinset has dried at least 48 to 72 hours, you are ready to grout. There are a variety of grout colors available to enhance the look of your tile floor. When working with grout it is mandatory to keep conditions as consistent as possible throughout the job: moisture, temperature, mixing and application. Use a grout float to work the grout into the tile joints. Skim off the excess grout with the edge of the grout float and wipe the tile immediately with a damp sponge (rinse the grout sponge frequently and change the rinse water regularly). It is better to grout small areas at a time so no grout will dry on the face of the tile.
  • Sealing the Grout. After grout has dried 48 to 72 hours, seal all grout joints with penetrating sealer to reduce maintenance and to retain the grout color.
  • Once installation and grouting is completed and cured. Clean the area with Mira Clean and water.
  • strongly recommends consulting a experienced licensed contractor for the installation of your mosaic mission floor tiles. There are many variables that can go wrong when installing mission tiles that an experienced tile installer can better deal with any issues, and should provide advice for the proper care and maintenance of your tile flooring.
  • These guide is provided as a mere helpful resource. is not responsible for any wrong installation, misuse, or damaged caused by the direct or indirect use of the content in this article.

Further Installation Details:

Spanish Mission Red Tile Installation

The successful installation of terra cotta tiles is highly affected by the installation process. Tierra y Fuego strongly recommends hiring or consulting a skilled professional tile installer, even for small projects. Tierra y Fuego is not liable for tile that has been altered from its original state due to improper handling during the installation process.  Inspect the tile prior to installation as installation signifies acceptance.


For a successful installation of Spanish Mission Red tiles, please take note of the following recommendations:

  • Carefully choose a skilled tile installer.

  • Properly blend all tiles prior to installation.
  • Make sure the installer is informed of all the procedures and products; and carefully follows the manufacturer’s instructions of any solutions such as sealers, grout releases, and cleaners that may be used or come in contact with the tile during the installation process.
  • Seal tiles with a penetrating sealer of your choice prior to grouting. We recommend 511 Porous Plus Sealer from Miracle Sealants Company for the most porous surfaces such as terra cotta tiles. 
  • Apply a grout release (like Aqua Mix’s) before grouting following the manufacturer’s instructions; this process helps to protect textured surfaces, and reduce grout staining.
  • One important consideration as part of the tile selection process is the color of the grout.  Depending on the desired final overall look, there are three basic approaches to selecting the grout color: matching, contrasting, and neutral.  Grout will affect the product’s final appearance. 
  • Use sanded grout. Premixed epoxy grout is NOT recommended due to its viscosity.
  • After the grout has dried completely, if need it, clean tiles with Grout Haze Clean-up from Aqua Mix.
  • Allow the entire tiled area to dry completely. Depending on environmental climate, it will typically take 24 hours to dry.
  • After the installation has been completed, seal the entire area once again with a penetrating sealer.
  • If desired and further protect the tile we recommend the use of High Gloss Finish Sealer from Miracle Sealants Company. This surface sealer enhances color while providing resistance to chemicals, stains and dirt.
  • As part of a normal maintenance procedure, terra cotta floor tile requires re-sealing on a regular basis.
  • Note: Always test a small sample tile with the solutions that might be used during installation before applying to an entire area.

    This guide is intended to provide information on frequently asked questions. Opinions vary in the ceramic tile industry about the proper installation of ceramic and terra cotta tiles. However, since Tierra y Fuego tiles are porous they should be sealed with a penetrating sealer before and after grouting. 

Maintenance of Handcrafted Mission Terra Cotta Floor Tiles:

  • For routine maintenance immediately clean any spills. Damp mop terracotta floor tiles with a neutral PH cleanser, and water, as needed. Never use abrasive cleaners, acids or bleaches.

  • With proper care the floor will acquire a beautiful natural patina.


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We recommend that you add on 10% more than you need to account for waste, special cuts, or other unforeseen problems. Would you like to add 10% extra into the calculation? Yes
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1. Enter the surface length and the surface width of the area into the Tile Calculator
2. Select the size of tiles to be used
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You may order samples online. Sample must be purchased and shipping charges apply.
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