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WHY IS THERE VARIATION IN THE FINISH?
Solo Saltillo sources its tiles directly from one region in Mexico’s Valle De Guadalupe region. Our tiles are handmade, and burned in a wood fired adobe kiln in the traditional fashion, as they have been for hundreds of years. As a result of this process, the finished color these artisanal, handmade Saltillo tiles take on is a reflection of the adobe soil they are made from and its reaction to the heat of the wood fire kiln. There may be a contrast of colors on any given tile, and while we try to make as uniform a product as possible, variation is a part of Saltillo’s character. This is not a defect; in fact it is a part of the personality and essence of Saltillo tile. While this is a part of handmade Saltillo, we also love to stain Saltillo tiles to add a richness and depth that enhances the final finish. What you choose to install is up to your personal preference.
WHY ARE THERE CHIPS IN THE TILES?
Rustic tile has chips. These chips can occur on the surface, along the edges and even on the back of the tile. Most of the smaller chips blend in perfectly to the floor or get covered when the tile is grouted. This is a primary characteristic that makes hand made Mexican Saltillo tile highly sought after by homeowners, designers and world-class architects. Saltillo tiles with larger chips can be installed or they can be used for an installation cut.
IS IT NORMAL FOR THERE TO BE BUMPS ON THE TILE?
Rustic flooring isn’t perfectly even and flat. Many tiles will have bumps where the clay was hand smoothed. These tiles are also slightly concave on the backside. Because this is hand made many texture variations exist. This adds to the winsomeness of Saltillo flooring.
ARE THERE COLOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TILES?
Because of the firing process mentioned above, any assortment of these tiles will have color variations, random markings and speckles from tile to tile. We strongly recommend you or your installer mix tiles from different parts of the crate or mix tiles from multiple crates if you have a large supply of tile. By mixing, you avoid color runs where you may have more of one color then another.
WHAT DO I DO IF THERE ARE LIME POPS?
Not all tiles have lime pops but some do. Some of those bumps mentioned above can settle into and expose lime pops over time. It’s not a defect- these pops are natural mineral deposits in the clay. If you have a lime pop, just seal or grout it and move on. The exposed pop will blend in as a normal chip in your floor over time. If you have a lime pop that gets under your skin, just pop out the tile and replace it!
WHY DO MY TILES VARY IN APPEARANCE?
Every handmade Mexican Saltillo is unique; no two tiles are the same. There are size and thickness variations from tile to tile. If you’ve ordered Saltillo at different times, they likely come from different production lots. This means you will experience more of these size and thickness variations. We recommended you order all the tile for your flooring project from one production lot to minimize variations. As a result, Saltillo tile is traditionally installed with wide grout lines to accommodate the size fluctuations.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY SALTILLO TILE?
Many people have heard that Saltillo tile requires quite a bit of maintenance and frequently needs to be resealed. While this used to be true, today's Saltillo floor sealers have vastly improved which make properly sealed Saltillo floor maintenance comparable to other tile floors.
We recommend a very simple 2 step process:
Not unlike real wood floors, Saltillo floors will need to be refinished or resealed over time. How often you need to do so is contingent almost entirely upon use and maintenance.
Factors that can lead to you needing to refinish your floors more frequently include:
If properly sealed, floors in residential settings can easily last 10 years without needing to be resealed.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
With proper sealing and maintenance your Saltillo floors can live for generations.
The term "Saltillo" is of Spanish-Moorish origin, and the production of Saltillo tile in Mexico dates back to the 1500's. Many of Mexico's historic buildings feature Saltillo tiles that have outlived their makers, as well as several generations beyond them. All of our Saltillo tiles are handmade by artisans who produce the tiles in the same fashion that they have been crafted for hundreds of years.
CAN SALTILLO TILE BE INSTALLED OUTDOORS?
Saltillo can be used both indoors or outdoors, and is a beautiful accompaniment to Mediterranean or Spanish style architecture.
CAN THIS TILE BE INSTALLED IN COLD CLIMATES?
If properly sealed and maintained, Saltillo can be used in cold climates, including those where temperatures reach freezing.
Saltillo tiles are made from adobe soil, which is a very porous material until properly sealed. Unsealed tiles exposed to moisture allow water to penetrate the Saltillo, leading to cracking when the water freezes and expands. By sealing your tile and keeping it properly maintained, you can avoid damaging your floors.