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What are quarry tiles?

Quarry tiles are unglazed, clay floor tiles, frequently used for their durability and aesthetic.

How are quarry tiles made?

A clay based mixture is extruded through a die machine to shape the tiles and to ensure high density.  After the tiles have dried, they are kiln-fired at an extremely high temperature, typically above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a very involved process, especially in comparison to other tile manufacturing methods, but it is worth it to ensure a high quality product.

Do quarry tiles need to be sealed?

Quarry tiles do not need to be sealed!  However, if you are anticipating that your tile will be frequently exposed to messes (food, beverage, dirty shoes, etc.), then sealing could make the constant cleaning easier.  Sealing will also give quarry tile that sleek, glazed look that some people prefer.  We have detailed this more in Should I Seal My Quarry Tile?

Are quarry tiles absorbent?

Quarry tiles have a very low absorption rate!  The absorption rate of quarry tile is important because it is a key component to multiple functional and advantageous aspects of the tile.  Low absorption contributes to the tile’s chemical resistance — after 17 day immersion there were no visible effects — and stain resistance.  These features make quarry tile the ideal flooring choice for areas that are repeatedly subjected to spills.  In fact, the absorption rate is so low that the tile is rated for commercial kitchens.  In regards to exterior use, low absorption is what allows quarry tile to be suitable for all weather conditions.  These tiles can repeatedly freeze and thaw without any negative effects.

Are quarry tiles scratch resistant?

Quarry tiles are impressively scratch resistant!  Friedrich Mohs, a German geologist and mineralogist, invented The Mohs Hardness Scale to rank minerals from a 1 to a 10.  “Hardness” is measured by scratch resistance.  For reference, a diamond, the hardest mineral known, is a 10.  Meanwhile, quarry tiles are categorized as a 6!  This is particularly impressive when considering that objects like tools and utensils will not damage your floor, as they rank much lower on the scale.

Are quarry tiles slip resistant?

Quarry tiles are slip resistant!  Slip resistance is a function of the unglazed surface texture.  Customers using our tile around pools appreciate this, but it actually goes further than that.  The Coefficient of Friction is 0.6, which meets the recommended wet standard and qualifies our tile as functional in commercial kitchens.

Are all quarry tiles red?

Quarry tiles are often associated with red, as it is the most common color, but that doesn’t mean it is the only one.  Terra Tile currently offers Mission Red, Terracotta, Honey, and Chocolate.  Check out our gallery at to see a large collection of pictures that display these colors in a multitude of settings.


Will the color of quarry tile fade?

Quarry tiles are fade proof!  Colors are actually baked into our tiles when they are kiln-fired.  This results in the tile being the same color throughout.  If you were to chip your tile (which would be hard to do) it wouldn’t reveal a different color underneath the surface layer, something that can’t be said for all types of tile.

Are quarry tiles only used for exterior and/or commercial purposes?

Quarry tiles are for exteriors, interiors, commercial places and residential spaces!  There are plenty of safety and stability related reasons to choose our tiles, but there is also the aesthetic!  Quarry tiles can be used to achieve the look of various interior design styles.  The most popular being Spanish, but also other trends such as Mediterranean and Farmhouse.  Customers have even combined our tile colors to create patterns.  For example, Honey and Chocolate tiles can be used to imitate the traditional black and white checkered look.

Are there different sizes of quarry tile?

There are different sizes of quarry tile!  Terra Tile currently offers 12×12, 12×24, 16×16, 20×20 and 24×24 tiles.

Are there different types of quarry tile?

There are different types of quarry tile!  Terra Tile currently offers square, step nose, safety step nose, and bull nose.

Is quarry tile easy to buy?

Yes, you can even place an order today!  To find more information, order samples, and locate dealers, go to or email us at

More questions about quarry tile, or Terra Tile in general?

Let us know by emailing or calling 925-286-5252. We are always happy to help!


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