Traditional Handmade Clay Tiles

Handmade Products, Traditionally Manufactured

Standing the test of time: the magic of clay

From the earliest ancient civilisations to contemporary architecture, clay has stood the test of time as a high performance, beautiful and durable building material.

The handmade clay plain tile evolved following the Ancient Greeks’ discovery that clay was infinitely more durable when fired in kilns. The first examples of fired clay tiles, discovered at an excavation in Lerna, Greece, date back almost 4000 years.

Handmade methods perfected over centuries

By combining advanced drying and kiln firing systems with traditional hand making, Sahtas produces clay tiles of great character and guaranteed durability. Whether they are used on new builds or chosen for restoration work on heritage sites, Sahtas clay plain tiles guarantee compliance with the highest standards, as well as unmatched authenticity.

The raw material

The Sahtas quality process starts at the very beginning of production, when the raw clay is excavated from our own clay pits, mixed with water, sieved to remove coarse particles and – uniquely – is forced under high pressure through filter membranes, extracting the water. This process, known as clay washing, removes deleterious materials such as lime and soluble salts, leaving a very malleable, purer soft clay with a fine-grained texture. The process produces a finished product of extremely high quality and durability.

Sanding the mould and throwing the clay

Each tile mould is lightly sanded with washed and graded sand before the clay is thrown into the mould. This process assists in the eventual removal of the clay from the mould and gives the tile a fine, sanded finish.

The clay is then thrown by hand into the sanded mould…

Cutting the clay

…before a wire is used to remove the excess clay.

Flattening

A steel bar is then used to strike the clay flush with the edges of the mould to ensure a consistent shape and thickness of the tile.

Controlled drying

Before the new tiles can be fired, they are placed on support trays in drying racks and carefully dried in temperature and humidity-controlled chambers for 24 hours. During this time, the moisture content falls from 18% to less than 1%.

The firing process

Finally, the dried tiles are loaded into the kiln and the firing process begins. A traditional kiln cycle fires the tiles at over 1,070o C for a period of seven days, and the process imparts the textured and subtle shade variations which makes the Sahtas clay tile one of the most beautiful and durable roofing materials available. The gas fired tunnel kilns in our new factory burn at 1,080oC and complete the firing cycle in 36 hours.

Sahtas brand promise

The Sahtas brand stamp on the reverse of every tile is your promise and assurance of the highest quality. All Sahtas tiles and fittings are rigorously tested by our Technology Partner – Lucideon – to ensure that they exceed the performance standards required by current UK standards including:

· Flexural strength

· Freeze-thaw resistance

· Impermeability

· Soluble salts

Every Sahtas roof is guaranteed for 30 years for your peace of mind.

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