Tap factory is now closed down, for clay tiles please check ‘Classic Tiles’ in E
Terracotta tiles are a porous material. The traditional impregnating fluid is boiled linseed oil. This soaks into the product, hardens, reduces porosity and generally enhances the colour and appearance of the tile. Linseed oil can be initially diluted with white spirits or used neat. You normally need to apply more than one coat. The number of coats can vary from tile to tile, so do not allow any excess to dry on the surface. If it looks like it is not soaking in do not assume that it will.Remove, disperse or thin with a cloth and/or white spirits.Dispose of oily rags carefully, they can combust.
Linseed oil on its own is not enough if you want a shiny look. In this case and often used indoors you will need several coats of wax as part of the installation process. Reapplications of this wax will depend on levels of traffic but the process can be simplified by using a liquid wax such as Terracotta Sealer.
Terracotta tiles & pavers are often soaked after production. This is to remove small pieces of mineral salt that otherwise might create ‘lime-pops’ on the surface.Tiles & Abel pavers are made this way and it may be necessary to clean off any salt residue from the surface first. So it is recommended to first lay the tiles untreated and wash of with water until all salt has come out! After this period you can now use a mixture of three (3) parts kerosene to one (1) part boiled linseed oil. Make sure you do not leave any linseed oil overnight or too long on top. It needs to be in the tile and not on top. So leave no oil left to dry ‘on’ the surface, a couple of coats of finishing wax are often applied to the surface and buffed to the desired shine.