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The Pros & Cons Of Installing Saltillo Tile In Your Home

Saltillo Tile In Your Southern California Abode

At Westside Tile, we heartily believe that tile can transform your living space into an interior that’s extraordinary and breathtaking. For many Southwestern desert dwellers and Southern California homeowners, saltillo tile is a popular choice when it comes to flooring, patios, walls, and more. Not only does saltillo tile provide warm tones in hues of red, orange, or yellow, these clay tiles are also softer and smoother–making them ideal for bare feet inside your home or around your yard or pool area.

If you’re looking for a quality tile store and contractor to install saltillo tile into your home, don’t hesitate to contact Westside Tile today at 310.276.9222.

In the meantime, here is some useful information about saltillo tile in the form of pros, cons, and FAQ if you’re on the search for the perfect type of tile for your Los Angeles area home or building!

Everything You Need To Know About Saltillo Tile

What we know as Saltillo tile today is a rough-edged terracotta tile that is baked in the sun and kiln-fired. Originally from the Northern Mexico city Saltillo, this type of tile is still popular among homeowners for its eco-friendly production and versatility as an indoor or outdoor flooring solution. Read on to learn more about saltillo tile, so you can decide if it’s the right tile for your interior landscape.

Saltillo Tile FAQ

At Westside Tile, we highly recommend that all saltillo tile flooring is installed by a certified and insured contractor. Because saltillo is an unglazed variety of clay that is very porous and stain prone, it is very important that it is installed and sealed properly in order to prevent any build-up of grout, mortar, or other debris.

We understand that before fully committing to a saltillo tile installation, homeowners and property owners might have questions about the process and outcome when choosing to remodel your home or building. Here, our team of tile professionals has answered the most common questions we receive about saltillo tile!

How much does saltillo tile cost?

Depending on the tile contractor you partner up with, saltillo tile can cost anywhere from $4 to $6 per square foot. Compared to other tile flooring options, saltillo is one of the most cost-effective. However, keep in mind that the saltillo tile will require more resealing than other materials.

What is the best upkeep and maintenance for my saltillo tile flooring?

We recommend either a thorough sweeping or mopping your Saltillo tile with white vinegar diluted in warm water. Although saltillo tile is subject to more wear and tear, it’s day-to-day maintenance and upkeep is fairly simple.

Which cleaner is the best for my saltillo tile?

When it comes to floor care for your Saltillo tile, it’s important to dilute any off-the-shelf cleaning products you plan on using. Using a simple solution of white vinegar and water will remove any grease, dirt, or debris without stripping away any of the sealant, which you will want to keep intact for as long as possible.

Should saltillo tile be pressure washed?

Saltillo and Mexican tile tend to be softer clay varieties, so it is highly recommended to never pressure wash them. If you plan on spraying your outdoor saltillo tiles, make sure that the grout is in good condition beforehand and that the water pressure does not exceed 800 psi.

Where should I install my saltillo tile?

Saltillo tile is perfect for homes or buildings that reside in warmer climates. Because saltillo tile is typically sun-dried and then baked in the kiln at low temperatures, it is prone to freezing and cracking in colder climates that experience frost. Otherwise, saltillo is the ideal tile material for Southern Californian dwellers. It is a great indoor tile, and when unsealed can be installed in your yard or around a swimming pool since it absorbs heat and moisture well.

Read this related article to know more: Saltillo Tile for any Homescape

Saltillo Tile Pros

As mentioned earlier, saltillo is a beautiful, down-to-earth tile material for residences or commercial buildings as well as indoor and outdoor spaces–especially in sunny Southern California! Here are some additional benefits for choosing saltillo for your tile flooring, walls, etc.

Environmentally Friendly:

Aside from saltillo clay coming straight from the earth, the way it is made into tile is a very eco-friendly process that leaves little to zero negative environmental impact by the team it reaches your home or building.

  • Sustainable + All-Natural: When you opt for saltillo clay tiles, you are choosing a sustainable material that has no chemicals or agents added to it. Additionally, saltillo also provides warm, earthy tones to your interior space–hues straight from Mother Nature!
  • Handmade: Also, saltillo tile is not produced in a factory. These clay tiles are made from hand, making each and every square unique and personal to your home or building.
  • Natural Wear-And-Tear: Saltillo is a softer clay, and these types of tiles will need to be sealed after they are installed to preserve the overall quality of your floor. Some people choose to seal saltillo tile twice to increase its sheen and shine, but these tiles also create a more nostalgic, rustic feel if they are allowed to wear naturally. Throughout Mexico and the American Southwest, there are many public spaces with saltillo tile that has become weathered throughout the years. The floor then holds a new depth and charm–holding the history, past footsteps, and memories for all newcomers.


In addition to being a low-cost tile flooring solution, saltillo is also low maintenance for material for outdoor spaces and busy families, making it attractive for both commercial and residential property owners.

  • Disguises Dirt: Due to its naturally warm brown coloring, saltillo tile is able to hide dirt, so you can’t even tell if the floor is dirty. This is a nice perk whether you have children or maintain a space that experiences high foot traffic.
  • Sweep, Mop, Or Vacuum: Most of the time, saltillo tile flooring only requires a good vacuum or sweeping. If the floor is sticky or dirt has become visible through the brown clay, a thorough mop with white vinegar will do the trick.
  • Reseal As Needed: If you want shinier looking floors, you can reseal your saltillo floors once every 1 to 2 years. However, this is not required in the least bit. Although we do recommend resealing high foot traffic areas for safety, saltillo stands the test of time.

Saltillo Tile Cons

As with any decision, there are tradeoffs–even when building or replacing your tile flooring. Although saltillo tile has many attributes and benefits for property owners, there are some drawbacks to making a less expensive investment in your tile floors.

Creates Uneven Floor Surface:

Because saltillo is handmade, each tile is unique, which can cause discrepancies in your flooring. Plus, saltillo tile flooring requires larger grout lines, creating a surface that is not 100% smooth. Although saltillo is not unsafe, it is a more rustic option for your home or building.

Discoloration & Chipping:

Because saltillo is even softer than ceramic, it is more prone to experiencing chips and nicks from natural wear and tear. If you are somebody who needs perfect, blemish-free floors, saltillo tile is not for you.

Requires Resealing:

If you want your Saltillo tile to show less wear and weathering through the years, then you will need to reseal it to preserve the outer coating that protects it.

Difficult To Install:

Installing Saltillo tile is not a DIY project for new builders or homeowners. Because they are thicker and handmade, saltillo tiles need to be laid down and spaced more carefully. Also, the installer will need to ensure that the right amount of adhesive is added to each tile. They will also need to rock the saltillo tiles to prevent any air pockets from forming underneath the tile. When looking to add saltillo tile to your floor and home, be sure to entrust the job to an experienced, licensed professional.

Your Go-To Saltillo Tile Experts

Do you have any additional questions about saltillo tile flooring or other tile options for your residential or commercial space? Don’t hesitate to call Westside Tile & Stone, your nearest Saltillo Tile contractor with any general questions or to schedule a consultation with one of our tile specialists at 310.276.9222 (Beverly Hills) or 818.704.9222 (Canoga Park).

Saltillo Tile More Resources

Saltillo Tile Cleaning & Maintenance
Saltillo Floor Tile FAQs
Canoga Park
Beverly Hills