Saltillo Mexican tile has been used in homes for hundreds of years. Though not durable enough to withstand harsh winters outside, they are lovely indoors anywhere. The challenges of this type of flooring include installing Saltillo tile, Saltillo tile restoration, and a reliable method to clean Saltillo tile. But the benefits -- rustic beauty, non-toxic materials used in its manufacture, and low cost -- may outweigh the drawbacks.
Bring the beauty and peace of Mexico to your home with Saltillo floor tiles. It can have a bit of an exotic feel when paired with the right decor. And it makes for great solar mass for homes using passive solar energy!
Saltillo tile is a type of terra-cotta tile made only in northern Mexico. Deciding to use Saltillo Mexican tile as a flooring option offers:
* natural beauty
* non-toxic materials
* a natural flooring alternative
* low-cost flooring solutions
But Saltillo tile has its challenges, which include:
* delicate or fragile tiles
* difficulty in cleaning
Saltillo tile is made of natural clay that is first shaped by hand and then dried in the sun. Saltillo tiles are then kiln fired to ensure hardness and durability. The tiles are carefully positioned in the kiln in order to create different colors. Depending on the tile position in the kiln, the resulting tiles can range in hue from pale amber to dark terra-cotta. Traditionally, Saltillo tiles are left unglazed, although some manufacturers sell them pre-treated or pre-sealed in order to increase their durability.
Saltillo tile is not terribly strong or hard. Although it is comparable to other stone tiles (such as slate) it can chip and crack. When used as exterior tiling, it can only be used in very mild climates, as harsh weather can damage the tile. This type of tile typically has a MOH (measure of hardness rating) between 3 and 4.
Saltillo tile was introduced to Mexico by Spaniards hundreds of years ago, and the process of making the tile has remained the same since. The tile is actually named after the Mexican town of Saltillo, which produces the right clay and weather for making this popular tile.
Saltillo tile has a few drawbacks. Unsealed and untreated tile needs to be laboriously cleaned with diluted ammonia and "elbow grease", and lots of rinsing. Existing Saltillo tile floors need stripping and resealing, before and after cleaning to do a proper job. Installing Saltillo tile also has to be done carefully, as the tiles are delicate. Any grout or chemicals spilled on the tiles can damage them, so it is crucial to keep the tiles covered with paper until the installation is complete. It is important to wipe up spills and dirt right away, as the tiles can stain. The floor cannot be flooded because it will weaken the delicate tiles. Only slightly damp mops can be used on the floors, and only the mildest cleansers (no harsh chemicals). A sealant will have to be reapplied to keep the floor in good condition.
Despite these disadvantages, there are many benefits to selecting Saltillo tile for your flooring needs. Satltillo Mexican tile is beautiful and offers design flexibility. Whether you have a modern home, a country French-style residence, or love the Mediterranean style, Saltillo tile can make your home look great. Although the tile is a little more effort, many homeowners and decorators feel that it is well worth it for the beauty it brings to any room. Today's sealants do make cleaning and caring for Saltillo tile easier than ever before. The tile is inexpensive and many homeowners like the all-natural products that go into the tile-making process. At a time when we are surrounded by chemicals, it is nice to bring a natural product into the home.
If you want a naturally beautiful and affordable flooring solution, consider installing Saltillo tile in your home. It has been trusted by savvy homeowners for hundreds of years. Is it time for you to trust it too?