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Saltillo Tile

A Guide to Saltillo Tile

Saltillo tile is named after the city of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. This terracotta tile has been very popular in Mexico and the southwest region of the United States for many years. Its growing popularity is spreading to other regions in the US.

How Genuine Saltillo Tile is Made

Saltillo tile is made from clay taken from the large clay deposits in the area. The making of the tiles is so common that many people make the tiles in their back yards. It is a very popular cottage industry in the area.

Since the tile is made of clay it comes in an array of reds, oranges, and yellows. There are two ways to form the tiles. Tiles can be shaped with a wooden frame pressed into the clay or by carving the shape into the clay. The tiles are not baked at high temperatures like most tiles as they are air and sun-dried. This makes the unsealed Saltillo Tiles extremely porous and soft, so we suggest you purchase the sealed version. Saltillo tiles are commonly found in homes, restaurants and on patio areas in Mexico and Texas because they work best in areas that never freeze. They give a rustic feel to patios and walkways.

Cleaning and Maintaining Saltillo Tile

1. Do a thorough sweeping of your tiles to remove debris and most of the surface dirt.
2. Do a light wet mopping with just plain water to remove any missed dirt or pet hair.
3. Make a mixture of ½ cup of vinegar added to 1 gallon of warm water. The pungent smell of the vinegar will vanish when the floor is dry. The vinegar/water mixture is gentle and will not remove the sealant.
4. Use another bucket of clear water to rinse your mop between passes over the floor.
5. After cleaning the floor with the mixture clean the floor again with clear water.
6. If you want to remove the sealant mix ¼ cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of water. Scrub pads will remove stuck food or debris. Saltillo tiles should be resealed whenever the sealer has been worn away in high traffic areas.

Imitation Saltillo tiles are ceramic tiles that are made to look like real Saltillo tiles. These can be found at home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. These are installed like any other ceramic tile. You can tell they are not real Saltillo tiles because they are shiny and glazed. Some stores that sell Saltillo tiles online or locally sell the tiles sealed or raw. There are molds available to make your own tiles.

You now know all you need to know about Saltillo tiles. If you want authentic Saltillo tiles you can’t be fooled by imitations.