Myth: Saltillo tile requires a LOT of Maintenance?
Back in the day, saltillo Mexican tile floors required a lot of maintenance and upkeep. This is not true anymore as Mexican tile floor sealers are reducing the labor of love for saltillo floors.
It used to be that most terra cotta tile floor has to be waxed, buffed and stripped… year after year. While the finished product resulted in gorgeous authentic clay tile floors, it created a lot of work for the homeowner. It’s not only back-breaking work to go through this process but over time, the buildup of wax discolored clay to beyond recognition.
Another older method of maintaining the beauty of saltillo tile required the use and application of linseed oil (or other types of oils). The oil would be applied and lived on for awhile; followed then by stripping the clay and reapplication of more linseed oil. Again, the finished product was a nice looking terracotta tile floor but the effort and cost was painstaking!
Today, there is a great solution. Good sealer. Whether it’s our IndustraGloss Green or TerraNano sealers provided by Rustico Tile and Stone, there are excellent quality Mexican tile sealers on the market that reduce maintenance to saltillo floors significantly. A good quality sealer is one that can be applied across tile and grout. Saltillo sealer should provide at least these few attributes: scratch-resistance, water-resistance, seal grout, provide desired level of shine, provide UV protection, and block stain occurrences. Most importantly, a GOOD quality sealer should last at least 3+ years. Our IndustraGloss Green sealer has an average life of 5 years and our TerraNano sealer has a life of 10-15 years.
One last thought about good tile sealers and low maintenance saltillo floors: when cleaning a floor with sealer, dilute any cleaning chemical. This will preserve the life of saltillo tile sealer. A best solution is to clean/mop Mexican tile floors with a steam mop that uses no chemical. Avoid soaking your floor with excess mopping water…. the least amount of water applied to these clay tile floors, then efflorescence issues can be reduced or avoided altogether.