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Saltillo and the Mexican Tile Dictionary by Rustico

Our phone rings everyday with some very common questions about Mexican Tile terminology.

Listed below are some common phrases you may run across while doing research on these rustic floor tiles. 

SALTILLO:

This is a city in the state of Coahuila Mexico that is known for it’s durable clay found in local riverbeds.  Hence the name, Saltillo Tile.  Pronounced “Sawl-tee-o”

SALTILO:

Common misspelling for Saltillo.

TERRA COTTA or TERRACOTTA:

This basically means “baked earth”.  Terra Cotta used to be an actual brand of tile but today it is a term commonly used to describe many types of clay tiles.  Since authentic Saltillo tile is clay, it is often referred to as Terracota tile.  Saltillo tile is terra cotta BUT not all terra cotta is Saltillo.  If the clay tile is not made specifically of the riverbed Saltillo, Coahuila clay, it cannot be referred to as Saltillo tile.  This is very high quality clay.

MEXICAN TILE:

Any tile that comes from Mexico.  The country of Mexico is known for beautifully producing a plethora of floor and decorative tiles.  This include Saltillo floor tiles, Talavera painted tiles, Cantera stone tile and pavers, terra cotta pavers, travertile tile, and other types of Mexican flooring and accent tiles.

SUPER and REGULAR Saltillo or Terra Cotta:  

Super does not mean “better”.  The term super simply refers to a tile mold that produces rounded corners and edges.  Regular is a term also known as “Paperback”.  This is a mold that produces saltillo tiles with sharp corners and edges.

SEALED or UNSEALED (Raw):  

The Mexican terracotta floor tiles are naturally raw clay.  The clay is porous.  Without the application of a floor sealer, the clay will discolor with dirt, debris, weather elements, and spillage.  Sealed Saltillo means that the tile has already been sealed with penetrating sealer.  It’s beneficial to shop for pre-sealed Saltillo in order to save cost on labor and material of sealing the raw clay at the jobsite.  It’s a messy job and likely for mistakes by inexperienced installers.

MANGANESE SALTILLO:

Authentic saltillo tile that has the added element of Manganese Dioxide.  This turns the clay varying shades of browns, black swirling, and the normal terra cotta shades found in traditional saltillo tile.

ANTIQUE or RUSTIC SALTILLO:

This is a custom tile produced to give the illusion that’s its a very old traditional saltillo tile. The antique finish has more texture and a special darkening rub.  The term RUSTIC is the same as ANTIQUE as used in describing our Saltillo tile varieties.

If you need further explanation on other terms or things found on our website, please contact us by calling 512-260-9111 or email info@rusticots.com . Happy Tiling!

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Posted in Installation Guide and Installation Products and Mexican Tile and Saltillo Tile and Sealers and Terra Cotta Floor tile and Wholesale Distribution.

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Rustico Tile & Stone
21600 Nameless Road, Leander, Texas 78641
512.260.9111 |  info@rusticots.com | www.rusticotileandstone.com
Open Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm. Appointments preferred.