Terra Cotta Wall Coping
Terra cotta wall coping can add a special
touch to almost any wall. Found on the exterior of most buildings and walls in
the western world we are used to seeing it, however, many people are unaware of
its function and versatility. Thought to be the most economical and durable
type of coping, terra cotta wall coping will work to protect the wall its
featured on, while adding a touch of style, giving an elegantly finished look.
What is terra cotta?
Terra cotta is an Italian word that means
‘Baked earth,' and it is a form of earthenware that can be used to create
sculptures, bricks, tiles, flower pots, and even waste water pipes.
Traditionally a brown/orange color, terra cotta is very versatile, and its
usage dates back to approximately 5,000 years ago.
Terra cotta has been used in the world of
architecture for many years, but the style used thousands of years ago was not
always as plain and simple as it is today. For example, the imperial roof
decoration that is found on some ancient Chinese buildings is quite elaborate
and includes figurines depicting dragons, a phoenix, and a wide range of
While the terra cotta wall coping that is
today may not be quite as elaborate as it once was, it still stands out as a
building material that adds style and elegance to almost any wall.
A clay-like form of earthenware that is
glazed or unglazed, terra cotta is shaped and heated to 1,000 – 2,000 degrees
Fahrenheit, so that it becomes hard and stable, making it ideal for use on
walls of almost any shape or size.
A range of shapes and sizes
Terra cotta wall coping is available in
many different sizes and shapes, some of these include:
Custom size double slant
Please note that the availability of the
above shapes and sizes may differ between manufacturers and sellers.
Each of these styles can add a little
extra to the wall, making it stand out, or keeping it in line with wall coping
that is already present on nearby walls.
A wide range of colors
Terra cotta wall coping can be purchased
in a range of colors to suit different styles. However, due to the variable
nature of the glazing process, there may be a slight difference in the color of
the final product. Sample wall coping may, therefore, be slightly different to
the finished product. While the differences may not be great, buyers may need
to be flexible in their choice of color, and understand that some differences
Please note that glazes do not act as an
additional layer of protection or durability, but they can add a pleasant
How to install terra cotta wall coping
Wall coping is typically manufactured and
delivered as a block spanning 2 foot in length, and 4 foot in width. To split
the block in the kerf, use a mason's hammer and chisel to separate them. The
kerf is the area that has been marked with a saw, or another tool, showing you
where the coping should be separated. Tap the kerf once or twice, then tap the
coping in the middle, at the bottom, and at the very top of each side. The
block will separate during the tapping process.
Place the coping in a thick layer of
mortar that has been laid on the top of the wall, and fill all exposed joints.
If you are placing the coping on a sloping wall, lay the sockets in a downwards
slope so that water does not run into the joints.
When wall coping has been correctly
installed it should not allow moisture to run onto the wall. In this respect,
terra cotta wall coping acts as a form of sealant, preventing the wall from
becoming damaged by moisture, while adding a decorative touch.
Although terra cotta wall coping has been
used in architecture and building for many years, there has been a recent resurgence
in its popularity, due to terra cotta’s versatility, traditional finish, and
flexibility regarding style and color.
Used for centuries in architecture and
sculpture, terra cotta still plays an integral part in the building industry.
This type of wall coping is versatile, and available to buy in many different
shapes, sizes, and colors. Adding a finishing touch that can help to protect a
wall from moisture damage, terra cotta wall coping is a simple but effective
way add a touch of style and elegance to any wall.