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Saltillo tile is a type of terracotta tile that originates in SaltilloCoahuilaMexico. Saltillo-type tiles are now manufactured at many places in Mexico, and high-fire "Saltillo look" tiles, many from Italy, compete with the terracotta originals. Saltillo tiles vary in color and shape, but the majority of Traditional Saltillo tiles range in varying hues of reds, oranges, and yellows.


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Working directly with tile makers, we import handmade Saltillo floor tiles. They are available in three sizes: 22 x 22cm, 30 x 30cm and 40 x 40cm square format.

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Saltillo tile is one of our specialties at Mexican Tile and Stone Company. We strive for QUALITY material at all times and have always manufactured from only two families who have always produced beautiful tile and are prompt with deliveries.

Over the years, we have stressed the importance of quality material to our customers. Saltillo sizes range from 4" to 20" in shapes and sizes. Saltillo tile is an unglazed clay floor tile made in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The tile is made from natural clay deposits from that region which is one of the finest natural clay deposits in the world.

Briefly, this is the manufacturing process:. Many other suppliers buy their tile from little independent tile makers who dig their clay out of riverbeds and do not sift it…so you can imagine what else might be mixed in with the clay! This is a lower quality Saltillo tile!

Each piece of standard Saltillo tile is made individually by hand with Saltillo tile flooring modern machinery involved. For that reason each piece Saltillo tile flooring have its own character. The tile is primitive.

Saltillo tile

There are irregularities. You will find small chips, cracks, and bumps. These imperfections merely add character and rustic quality to the floor. If you are lucky, you might even find a few animal footprints in your tile!

The tiles are stacked in the caves kilns on end, slightly overlapping so that they will not fall over.

Before firing, the opening to the kiln is sealed with clay to prevent heat from escaping. The fire is started at the bottom of the cave and fuel is added to increase the heat until the proper temperature is reached. As you know, fire Saltillo tile flooring not burn without oxygen, and at sometime during the firing process all of the available oxygen in the atmosphere in the cave is used up. The flame then seeks the next available source of oxygen which it finds in the form of iron oxide in the clay tile and burns it, flashing the exposed surfaces of the tile.

The light buff color in the tile is the area that was flashed; the peach color in the tile is the area, which is shielded from the flame by other tiles. You may hear many different stories about different types of fuel used in the firing of Saltillo tile.

The original source of heat used for firing Saltillo tile was burning rubber tires. Wood is now used to start the process. In the past few Saltillo tile flooring, a variety of fuels have also been used, such as propane, diesel, crude petroleum, etc.

The type of fuel used for firing does not directly affect the color of the tile. Heat is heat, much like a gas or electric stove. The Saltillo tile flooring of the tile is controlled somewhat by:. Whether or not a color additive is added to the clay during the manufacturing process see the section on Moreno Saltillo tile.

There is a lot of inferior quality hand-made Saltillo tile out there, so be very careful. Wooden frames are placed on the ground and the very wet clay is patted into them by hand. The frame is then lifted up and a wet tile remains on the ground.

Saltillo tile

When this method is used, part of the ground sticks to the cracks of the tiles and the tiles should be thoroughly brushed before installation to prevent bond failure. Also, when this method is used, the outside edges of the tiles tend to turn up because of the action of lifting up the frame, making them easier to tip over. In order to eliminate the loose clay on the ground from clinging to the back of the tiles, newspaper sometimes is placed on the ground under the wet tiles.

This paper burns off when the tiles are fired. Paper back saltillo has a smooth, non-dusty, back surface. This tool is utilized while the new tiles are wet and because of the Saltillo tile flooring of the cutting edge, the edges are forced to slightly turn down. After the edges are trimmed, the tops of the tiles are smoothed with wet hands to leave them nicely finished. While drying on the ground, before firing, the tiles are constantly watched and edges that might warp upward are tamped down with a heavy rubber instrument. This method also makes the tile slightly denser.

The wooden frame Saltillo tile flooring a wooden bottom in it, so it is more of a mold than a frame. The clay is pounded by hand into the mold. The excessive clay in the mold is scraped off with a board. This scraped side becomes the bottom of the tile.

While the tile is still in the mold, a little loose clay is sprinkled on the scraped side to prevent the tile from sticking to the ground while it dries. This type of tile does not need to be brushed before installation, as very little loose clay will cling to the bottom. The mold is turned upside down and the tile drops to the ground where it dries in the sun before firing. Many people have reported being told that this type of tile is Saltillo tile flooring in quality to the hand-made tile. Because of the rounded edges, the grout ts will always be wider at the surface of the tile than the grout ts of the square edged tile.

To make Saltillo tile more of a Saltillo tile flooring or brown color, a powder is added to the clay when it is mixed with water before the tile is made. This is a natural element; manganese dioxide, not an artificial colorant, which permanently alters the color of the tiles. The range of color is light to dark brown. Sometimes you may see some black swirls from the added powder.

It has a gently brushed finish, giving it an antique, classic European appearance. The rustic elegance is versatile for all interiors and also provides a nice slip resistant surface for exterior applications. Old colonial Saltillo is a perfect compromise between smooth Saltillo and the upside-down rough Saltillo. Absolutely not!

Although the tile requires sealing as part of the installation, if the sealing is done properly the first time and with the correct products, the process should only require routine maintenance. From time to time, the topcoat of sealer will wear and require replenishing, but that only occurs in traffic areas.

Reapplications will dry in 60 minutes. The topcoat should only wear off the floor, and as sealer goes into the tile and as the floor ages, the less top coating it will require.

Saltillo tile is a hand-made, rustic, unglazed floor tile that is made in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. It is not made anywhere in Europe either. It has been in great demand for over 50 years in the Arizona market and the Saltillo tile flooring grows! Saltillo Tile never goes out of style! Saltillo clay is one of the finest natural clays in the world.

It is fired to a very high temperature, which in a very hard, durable tile. In comparison to other natural hand-made clay tiles from Mexico, it is much harder. You can drive your car on it when properly installed.

Hand made floor tiles

Saltillo tile is usually slightly higher in the center than around the edges. During installation, care should be taken to make sure that no space is left between the tile and the sub-floor. When no space remains, the tile will not break.

When a concrete slab cracks, cracks will extend up through any tile, including granite! Dropping a heavy object on the floor might chip Saltillo tile or any other tile. Because of the rustic nature of Saltillo tile flooring tile, a little sealer over the chip will blend that area successfully with the rest of the floor. Yes, and only indoors should get a shineand as mentioned above, periodically maintained. Indoors, the tile should be sealed for ease of cleaning.

Sealing exterior installations is recommended for the following reasons:. The tile is like a brick and deterioration will not be an issue. However, preservation should be considered. Cleaning up an occasional spill is easy, and exterior sealers do help ease maintenance, even if the exterior installation is under a cover. Unsealed Saltillo tile is porous Saltillo tile flooring will absorb water. Its character will also change over time. The color of sealed Saltillo tile blends wonderfully with the color of earthtones and landscape.

The theory behind this is that grouting will be easier and drying time reduced. There is a lot of moisture involved in installing and grouting a Saltillo tile floor:. Much of this water is absorbed into the porous sides and bottoms of the tile and must be allowed to dry through the surface of the tile. When moisture is trapped in the tile, it creates problems such as surface discoloration.

Also, one of the purposes of sealing a floor is to seal the grout, which does not happen when the tile has been pre- finished. Pre- finished Saltillo tile is a gamble at best Saltillo tile flooring Mexican Tile and Stone Company recommends installing pre-sealed tile. Once the proper cure has occurred, Mexican Tile and Stone Company recommends the final finish be applied 1 week after grouting the presealed installed tile.

The difference is the pre-sealed tile does not have the finish product applied to Saltillo tile flooring.