How do I install my Mexican tile? This is one of the most common questions that we receive at Rustico Tile and Stone. Fortunately, the answer is not as complicated as most people might expect. First and foremost, we advise finding an affordable installer who has some experience, even if just minimal, with installing Mexican tile. This removes most of the guess-work. When people purchase their Mexican tile from Rustico Tile and Stone, we’re always happy to assist an installer every step of the way. If you purchased elsewhere, we’re still happy to help by providing some general tips for the process of installing Saltillo Mexican tile.
It is most important to know that the general process for installing a Saltillo Mexican tile is not entirely different than installing any other type of tile or stone floor tile. The primary differences have to do with the fact that an authentic Saltillo tile is handmade which means it will come with natural variations in size and thickness. This means that an installer should not use spacers as he or she would normally use while installing most other types of tiles. Unlike Mexican tile, a basic ceramic or porcelain tile is machine made and is precisely cut for size and thickness. Thus, spacers can be used and the tile is installed with very little attention to craftsmanship.
Mexican tile just requires a bit more tender loving care and attention to detail. Since the Saltillo tiles have variations, it is important to set a few rows of tile and take a step back to evaluate spacing and leveling. This is not difficult and requires no expertise but it does require an installer just “pay attention” to what he or she is doing. Installers who want to set tile and get the job done quickly with very little effort will not like installing authentic Mexican tile. Again, it’s not hard…. Just takes a little extra care.
Lastly, due to the size and thickness variations, Mexican tile can be bowed in shape. These variations are not defects; they are characteristics that should be expected and lend to the nature of rustic tiles. To successfully install a bowed Mexican tile, the installer simply needs to “butter” the back of the Mexican tile in its concave area. This will assure that a hollow spot will not exist and keeps the structure of the Mexican tile installed very strong.