Tile manufacturer and distributor Walker Zanger has introduced a new line of tiles that adds an age-old Italian tradition to their catalog of tiles—terra cotta.
Handmade at one of the last terra cotta workshops in the Chianti Region of Tuscany, Italy, the new Cotto Toscano collection is a line of terra cotta tiles that is handmade and inspired by the company’s adoration of espresso, “the rare, rich color gives the collection a rustic, sophisticated allure,” the company says. “Like the terra cotta facades seen across the Mediterranean, Cotto Toscano can be used for both interior and exterior walls and floors.”
The most distinctive characteristic of Cotto Toscano is its deep, chocolate-like color, the brand says. Offering deep, dark saturated colors (akin to a cup of espresso), the products present a striking yet versatile design aesthetic for both contemporary and traditional projects inside or out. Walker Zanger says the family-run workshop has a long and distinguished legacy of sought-after terra cotta products that have even been used in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo.
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“Cotto Toscano perfectly encapsulates Walker Zanger’s enduring passion for all things handmade,” says Erika Egede-Nissen, marketing director for the brand. “It’s our pursuit to find unique products that empower designers to create their boldest design visions and consider materials, like this richly colored, one-of-a-kind terra cotta collection that has a beautiful story of origin through its materials and craftsmanship.”
True terra cotta—which in Italian means “baked earth”—are tiles that are made from a type of porous clay that is typically a reddish brown color and is also high in iron. Once the clay is mixed with other ingredients and formed into tiles, it place in a kiln where it’s fired at a low temperature.
Dating back to the 1700s, Cotto Toscano tiles have been handmade by the same family for more than eight generations, Walker Zanger explains. Using a rare centuries-old production technique, skilled artisans hand-mold the clay into individual pieces and then dry them for 10 days. The tiles then spend five days in steady fire kilns before they are high fired to achieve their final form and structure.
These terra cotta tiles, the company goes on, are dense and durable, so they can be used in many areas of the house inside as well as outside, including walls and floors, pools and spas, and bathrooms and showers.
“Each tile is a handmade work of art by master craftsman in Tuscany,” the company says. “The rare, rich color gives the collection a rustic, sophisticated allure. It’s dense and durable, ideal for even the most high-traffic applications. This collection is a favorable building material as interior and exterior walls and floors, pools and spas, and bathrooms and showers. Enrich residences and commercial interiors with heritage and authenticity.
Cotto Toscano is available in a variety of sizes and formats in a dark espresso color: 8-inch-by-8-inch square; 2.75-inch-by-11.25-inch brick; 10.5-inch-by ¾-inch hexagon; and 11.37-inch-33.68-inch pickets. All tiles measure ¾ inch thick. Products range from $25 per square foot to $38 per square foot.