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Terracotta

A very traditional material

Terracotta, from the Latin terra cocta (literally "cooked earth") has provided builders with a durable structural and decorative material for thousands of years, indeed historians tell us that it was being produced for use in construction by the Mesopotamia and Indus Valley civilisations as early as 1400BC. The Ancient Greeks used terracotta decoratively, to make antefixes, cornices and other ornamental features for their temples, and they in turn influenced the Estruscans who, we believe, were the first to make use of it as a wall facing material.

Durable protection

Although it fell out of favour after the Renaissance, architectural terracotta - made from a fine blend of clays and furnace-fired until vitrified – was used extensively in external wall facing applications from the 19th century onwards. Glazed and unglazed terracotta panels provided an attractive, durable and inexpensive protective skin to cover or complement brickwork, and evidence of their remarkable durability can be clearly seen on the exteriors of many Victorian buildings.

Architectural terracotta today

Terracotta gives a building real warmth and character with its beautifully rich, earth-tone colours. Its inherent plasticity means that it can be easily extruded or pressed into large format panels, usually hollow inside to reduce weight and cost. Although made of clay (which is porous) it becomes almost impermeable after being subjected to exceptionally high temperatures. These attributes all combine to make terracotta an excellent external cladding option, ideally suited for use in modern ventilated façade systems.

Terracotta façades from Shackerley

At Shackerley we are able to supply terracotta cladding in a number of formats. Flat sheet glazed unglazed terracotta can be fully prefabricated at our ISO9001 quality accredited manufacturing facilities and supplied as part of a or Façade fixings are all secured to the rear of large format panels using undercut anchors for a safe, stress-free mechanical fix.

Shackerley also supplies traditional terracotta cladding systems that do not require this level of prefabrication. Single- skin or double-skin unglazed terracotta façade panels are extruded to form a shape that allows them to be either hooked onto a system of backing rails or fixed back to a support framework with stainless steel clips. There are five standard unglazed colours available and panels can be supplied up to 250mm in height and 1200mm in length.

Please contact Shackerley for further information on the full range of terracotta cladding options available.