The Look of Saltillo Tile + The Versatility of Rustic Cement Tile Pavers
What is Saltillo Tile?
Hand-crafted from natural clay deposits, authentic Saltillo tile can only come from one place in the world: Saltillo, in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. The process of turning this special Mexican clay into tiles has remained unchanged since 1577.
Saltillo floor tiles vary in color and shape, but the majority range from varying hues of reds, oranges and yellows. Tiles are shaped either by pressing quarried clay with a wooden frame, or by carving out the desired shape.
After they spend some time in the sun drying, the tiles are moved to the kiln. Depending on where the raw tile is positioned within the beehive-like kiln, the tile can take on hues ranging from yellow to a rich orange to dark terracotta. Coupled with hand-painted decorative ceramic tiles, such as our Barcelona, Malibu, or Spanish collections, a walkway, stairs, steps or risers could easily be transformed into a Mediterranean landscape, Spanish Villa or Mexican Hacienda.
Decorative Talavera tiles on the risers pair well with Saltillo tiles
Traditionally, Saltillo tiles are left unglazed, although some manufacturers sell them pre-treated or pre-sealed in order to increase their durability. According to the John Bridge Forum:
"Saltillo tile floors must be sealed with a penetrating tile sealer, and usually a top finish is applied to act as a sort of glaze. The tiles must dry a minimum of three weeks after installation before the sealer is applied. It usually takes at least two applications to completely saturate the tiles. The sealer is applied with a paint roller. A brush is used at the edges.
The final finish coat will probably be an acrylic, obtainable from either tile or paint stores. This also is applied with paint rollers and brushes and may require two coats to do the job.
Eventually, this finish will wear off in areas of traffic and will have to be replaced. The floor will be chemically stripped of the old finish before the new coating is applied. It is best to have this done by professionals."
Moreover, it should be noted that unglazed Saltillo tile is highly porous; it soaks in liquid easily. Because of this, it's difficult to install as it will absorb water from the thin-set mortar, grout, grease pencils, etc. Once it is placed, it will stain and scuff easily if not properly sealed and maintained with a quality sealant. Handle Saltillo tiles carefully because even body oils from the installer's hands can stain these tiles.
Lastly, Saltillo is not recommended for outdoor installation in freeze-thaw climates, although it is a popular choice in warmer climates, such as the American Southwest and Mediterranean countries.
A Better Saltillo Tile: Rustic Cement Tile
While it's not strictly Saltillo Tile, our handmade Rustic Cement Tile offer the same look that you love in Saltillo tile with the added benefits of:
- A similar handmade look of Saltillo tile
- Color variations from tile to tile
- Large variety of formats and textures
- Made in the USA
- True "through body" color
- You can't scratch, cut or remove the surface color layer
- Rated for freeze/thaw cycles
- Stronger body, less maintenance than Saltillo
Find the Saltillo Look that works for YouThese Rustic Paver colors have the rich look of classic Saltillo tiles that have been used and made in Mexico for centuries. These concrete tile or pavers colors have a Saltillo look; but, you get the benefit of cement. Cement provides durability and strength, a broader color palette, and sizes and shapes that can be adapted to any décor and environment. These Saltillo colors allow you to get creative with paver tiles in a whole new way. And, just because we call them pavers doesn't mean they can't be used on the wall, too. Find the Saltillo look that's right for you.
Our Rustic Cement Tile differ from traditional Saltillo tile. Remember, both tiles are handmade and expect some variation in both size, shape, and color. With so many sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from, this is one tile you can't get enough of! Our rustic cement tiles can be used on floors, walls and both interior and exterior locations - even those subjected to freeze/thaw cycles.
How to Buy Saltillo-Looking Rustic Cement Tiles: 1 - 2 - 3Buying Rustic Pavers is as easy as one, two, three. Choosing a color is the most important point. It's a good idea to get several color chips or each color to help get a good idea of the variation and texture that you'll see. Great news! If you want the look of Saltillo, then we've made your job easy. Select from the four paver colors that resemble this great terracotta from Mexico.
Follow these three easy steps to make sure you find the right tile for you!
Pick a color. With more than 50 different colors and blends, it's easy to find a color that works with your design. Pick any color from the Paver Color Palette, or choose from the colors that most closely lend to the Saltillo tile look below.
Add texture, if you want. Tiles come with a standard smooth finish; but, additional textures are available to create a weathered, antiqued patina. There are four Rustic Paver Textures. Textured finishes do alter the color of the tile. Typically a textured finish will be lighter in color and exhibit a a wider range of color variation than it's smooth version. Always get a few samples to make sure you like the look prior to placing your full order.
- Find a format, size and shape. With more than 20 format and size options, you'll find exactly what you need for your project.
Tips for Online Ordering and CustomizationBecause there are so many ways to customize your tile, you'll only find the basic 12"x12" format shown for online shopping. We provide pricing for all square, rectangular, polygon and arabesque formats plus any paver color and texture. Can't find what you are looking for? Need help with a textured sample? Not sure on pricing for a hexagonal format? Just let us know and we can guide you to find the tile you are dreaming of.
|Ready to Select Your Saltillo Tile Look? Pick Your Color!