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Why BarroNica Building Products?

Six areas of consideration control the final and continuing quality of a handmade terracotta tile installation. They are:

Raw Materials

Four ingredients go into BarroNica handmade terracotta tile products: (1) clay, (2) sand, (3) topsoil, and (4) water.

1. Clay: The clay used in all BarroNicaproducts comes from an extensive deposit of very high quality clay that has been used for over 400 years. roof tile clay mixing pit The small town in which our products are fashioned has, as its prime economic base, terracotta tile manufacturing. Ours is the largest manufacturing facility in this town. This clay, when subjected to various firing conditions, is capable of producing tiles that range in color from light reddish brown through an oxblood color to blue-black.

2. Sand: BarroNica uses a high silica content fresh-water sand from Lake Managua in all its tile products. This sand's high silica content creates a glass-like matrix within the tile when fired at the high temperatures we are able to attain in our special kilns. The fact that our sand is from a fresh-water source guarantees that impurities, such as the chlorides found in sea sand, will not contaminate our tile as it goes through the various stages of production. The hardness and resistance to abrasion exhibited by our tiles is, to a great extent, due to this special sand, fired at very high temperatures.

3. Topsoil: Our manufacturing facility is located in the center of a ring of volcanoes, some of which are still active. Over many centuries, this has produced a thick topsoil that is rich in volcanic minerals such as iron, magnesium, titanium, and manganese. These minerals, when combined with the clay and sand, produce a unique and wide range of finished tile colors. They also offer a significant contribution to our clay's hardness.

4. Water: The water used in the mixing of all clay products is almost pure H2O, having been filtered through many feet of volcanic ash much like a charcoal filter. This pure water keeps undesirable chemicals from the clay prior to firing and, thus, adds one more level of control over the end product.

Craftsmanship

making roof tiles Our facility is the largest handmade terracotta tile manufacturing facility in the world and employs tile craftsmen whose experience goes back more than 20 generations. Because this town's economic existence has been based on tile for over 400 years, a level of craftsmanship exists at our facility that is unsurpassed.

Firing

All tiles are fired under the watchful eye of the firing supervisor whose skill goes back many generations. Special kilns of gargantuan capacity are fueled with six foot lengths of eucalyptus logs, carefully thrown into various parts of the burning pit under the kiln to create even temperatures throughout the kiln. wood kiln firing The eucalyptus comes from a reforestation project just a few kilometers away, thus providing a continually renewable fuel resource. The oils from the eucalyptus wood as well as the high temperatures that can be attained from burning eucalyptus, contribute to our tile's unique color spectrum and unexcelled hardness.

The tile is fired from 24 to 100 hours, depending on the kind of tile being produced, at temperatures ranging from 1800 to well over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. During firing, the firing supervisor carefully controls all aspects of the firing process such as the speed with which the kiln is heated, the amount of air admitted to the kiln at any one time, and when fuel should be added to the firing pit.

After the completion of the firing cycle, the kiln is allowed to slowly cool over a three day period. This slow cooling process allows the tiles to go through thermal changes in a way that minimizes any cracking in the tile. Only when the tiles are completely cooled is the kiln opened and the tiles removed and prepared for shipment.

Color

clay floor tile 12x12 unfinished The combination of the raw ingredients mixture ratios and the firing process described above yield a final terracotta product whose colors span a wide range. Knowing the many color possibilities that are available, the clay mixing supervisor and the firing supervisor are able to combine their skills to create tiles whose colors accurately address customer needs. In addition to this color control during mixing and firing, a special color selection service is available, for an added fee, that can provide the customer with an even tighter range of tile colors for their project.

Packing, Shipping, and Delivery

forklift loading pallets

All orders are palletized and shipped directly from the factory. Many years of experience have gone into the on-site manufacture and loading of pallets. This experience has led to a packaging system designed to be easily handled by fork lifts and other pallet handling equipment in a way that minimizes any breakage during transit to the jobsite.

Installation, Finishing, and Maintenance

BarroNicaworks with an experienced team of installers, finishers, and maintenance personnel who are familiar with our products. The methods and materials step tile installation that have been developed with these craftsmen assure the designer and end user of the very finest installation possible.

The BarroNica team member responsible for tile finishing and long-term maintenance has many years of experience with a variety of the finest sealing and finishing materials available. This experience and knowledge provides assurance that the precise finish required for each project design is properly attained whether it be a soft wax, leather-like finish or high gloss. Ongoing maintenance service is also available from this team member should this task be required.
BarroNica has access to special sealers and finishes that yield both floor and roof tile highly resistant to any water penetration, thus making this tile acceptable for outdoor use where freeze-thaw cycles exist.

Expectations from BarroNica Handmade Terracotta Tile Products

Strength. Because of the quality of the raw materials that go into our tiles as well as unique methods of firing they are subjected to, BarroNica tiles are the hardest, most abrasive resistant, and strongest handmade terracotta tiles available.

Color. These same raw materials and unique firing techniques yield tile colors unmatched anywhere in the world. BarroNica's custom color selection service allows the designer to specify a wide range of color possibilities with the assurance that their particular design requirements will be expertly met.

One-Stop-Shopping: The "Team" Approach. BarroNica's "team" approach to providing handmade terracotta tile products offers "One-Stop-Shopping" to the designer. This team approach equips the designer and end-user with a source for all elements of a successful installation, including the actual installation, finishing, and on-going maintenance should that service be required.

Reliability & Stability. Because BarroNica's tile manufacturing plant has been in existence for over 400 years and because it is the largest facility of its kind in the world, a continuing supply of high quality tile products is assured for many years to come. A reliable, continuing work force of skilled craftsman as well as a supply of both raw materials and fuel source is foreseen far into the future.
Government stability in Nicaragua has been greatly increased with the election of the new president whose term commenced January 2002. BarroNica has a close association with President Bolaños through its contact with the American Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce located in Southern California.

Competitive Pricing. BarroNica tile products price structuring will remain competitive in comparison to other comparable high quality floor and roof materials sought after in projects of a superior character. All our tile products are priced to include shipping to the United States, f.o.b. Long Beach, California. We will coordinate shipping from Long Beach to your jobsite for a fee based on quantity delivered and distance traveled. We also have a storage yard in Riverside, CA where your order can be stored prior to installation, should that be required.

Summary

clay floor tile 12x12 unfinished If your projects calls for the look of authentic, old-world handmade terracotta tiles, BarroNica offers you a product line unsurpassed anywhere else in the world both in terms of strength and color. Our goal at BarroNica Building Products, Inc. is to be the first name you think of when you are considering the use handmade terracotta tiles. To achieve this goal, we are committed to providing you with the finest products while referencing the finest installers, finishers, and maintenance personnel using the finest materials available. We take great personal interest in every installation, offering design and installation suggestions when requested.

While our pricing generally varies based upon quantities ordered, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your project with you, with the desire to tailor our prices to fit a realistic project budget.

"I look forward to hearing from you in the near future"
Edward Paul "Bud" Skibitzke, Architect
President, BarroNica Building Products, Inc.

Contact Us:   (424) 264-5031   bud@barronica.com
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