We are here to provide answers to your questions regarding Saltillo tile, Cantera tiles, Copper sinks, and Talavera tile.  Whether they are about purchasing, installing, or maintaining the tile, we will try to help!

Cantera stone columns

Saltillo tile and our other Mexican products come in many different shapes and sizes and knowing what to order for your particular project can be tricky. That is why we are here to help you through the process.  We have abundant Saltillo,  Cantera, Copper, and Talavera tile information below but if you do not find what you are looking for, please feel free to contact us directly and we would be happy to answer your question(s).

Who is South Texas Saltillo Connection? For several years, our company (Rustico Tile and Stone) was known as South Texas Saltillo Connection, LLC.  We moved from South Texas to Central Texas in 2008.  3 years later, we decided we should change our name since our home was no longer South Texas!  We are the same company, same ownership, same materials and same great rates and service!

How much is shipping? Shipping rates will vary based on the size of your order and where it is shipped. To request a shipping rate, we need to know the quantity or square footage that you need and your zip code. You can save money by having your product delivered to a business. We will give you business and residential rates. Most copper sinks and smaller orders can ship via Fedex Ground.  An $8/crate fee will apply on all shipped orders.  This is refunded if crates are returned in good condition.

Is Saltillo Tile sealed or unsealed? At Rustico Tile and Stone, we can offer you sealed or unsealed tile. Unsealed is referred to as “Raw” or Terra Cotta and may contain alkali on the surface. This is an element that has an appearance of white residue and may only come on some tiles. It is not harmful to the tile and can be washed off with a brush or sponge.  The grout must be sealed.

For this reason, most of our customers purchase this terra cotta flooring PreSealed.  Our Sealed Saltillo tiles have 5 coats of penetrating sealer already applied to the clay.  It’s sealed well and does not need to be soaked prior to installation.  This saves on labor cost.  We still recommend that you apply a final topcoat sealer after your installation is complete, clean, and dry.  This last step also seals the grout, provides scratch resistance, UV protection, and rules out any irregularities in the presealer finish on the clay tiles.

Is Saltillo Tile durable for kids, pets, etc? Saltillo terra cotta tile is made of  very durable clay. It makes a perfect floor for an environment with kids and pets. As long as your tile is sealed appropriately, it will not stain. Cleaning Saltillo tile is simple. Sealed surfaces can be slippery when wet.


Copper Hood with Cantera Base

How can I order a sample?

      We ship samples of Saltillo and Cantera tiles sizes 12 inches and smaller. Call or email us to order your samples. Shipping for samples must be prepaid. A sample box is a flat rate of $30-$35 and includes up to 2-3 tiles showing color variations. Boxes ship Fedex Ground unless expedited shipping is requested. Rates will vary.  The samples cost is credited to orders placed for over 500 sf.  Talavera samples are available by the piece are are prepaid per tile with Fedex Ground or  USPS shipping.  Expedited shipping is available for an extra fee. We advise anyone purchasing tile from Rustico to order samples.

Can I choose the color I want? Terracotta Mexican Tile has the characteristic of an imperfect tile. It has many color variations ranging from dark orange, red, yellow, and light pinks.  Manganese Saltillo will vary from light gray, brown, and darker brown.  Manganese will also have random black swirling from the manganese dioxide AND it will have shades of terra cotta colors that bleed through the clay.  These color variations are completely normal and to be expected.  Once it is installed, you will acquire the unique blend of colors that achieves the authentic rustic look that makes Saltillo tile so popular. You can emphasize many colors of the tile based on surrounding décor. It is impossible for us to send only red, orange, or yellow tiles.  It is also impossible for us to send single shades of color with Manganese Saltillo. We can burn a custom batch of tile for your taste to narrow the scope of color variation (with enough lead time allowed).  However, because this is natural clay, there will ALWAYS be variation in traditional Saltillo and Manganese saltillo. No two tiles will be the same.

Cantera Stones are also natural products.  Color variations will exist within 1 color scheme of stone.   Cantera stone will have speckles of color variation deposited into the stone.  This is not a defect, it is part of the natural stone.

Copper products and Talavera painted tiles have specific color choices from which can select.

What is Super Saltillo vs. Regular Saltillo ? Super Saltillo has rounded corners and edges and a smoother surface with some irregularities. Regular Saltillo has sharp corners and edges and tends to have slightly more imperfections in size, more irregularities on the surface, and some chips along the edges. Both tiles are considered rustic. Look at our Installation Photos for more specific pictures. Either Super or Regular saltillo may be subject to Alkali or Lime Pops. Alkali can usually be scrubbed away. Lime Pops are part of saltillo riverbed clay. While these powdery deposits may never expose themselves, they can eventually pop. To fix, simply apply a coat of sealer over the chipped area. Many people claim this adds to the rustic charm of authentic Saltillo tile.

How thick is the tile? Saltillo thickness varies because the tiles are hand-made. The most commonly ordered size is 12×12. Typically, the 12” tiles measure approximately 5/8” thick and 8” tiles measure approximately ½” thick.  None of our saltillo tiles are less than 1/2” thick.  Tiles larger than 12″ in size will have increased thickness.  Average weight per tile/sf for a 12″ saltillo is 5.1-5.3 pounds. This is very High Quality, first-run tile. Talavera Superior measures 3/8″ thick.  Cantera thicknesses vary based on the size ordered.

What about size and shape variations? No two tiles are the same in size, shape, thickness, or color.  Tiles are manufactured from an actual size mold (i.e. 12×12 tiles are made from a 12×12 inch mold).  As these tiles are dried in the sun and then further fired in the kiln, water evaporates and the tiles shrink down from their original mold size.  This is normal.  As an example, 12×12 inch size molds generally produce finished tiles that measure 11.25-11.75 inches.  Once these are installed and grout lines added, the installed space once agains 12×12 inches.  Smaller tiles has less size variations and larger tiles has more variations.  The same thing occurs in shape.  Authentic handmade saltillo tiles do not lay flat.  As the water is evaporated in the baking/firing process, the tiles will bow in shape.  Smaller tiles will has less bowing than larger tiles.  To accommodate for the bowed nature, your experienced installer can simply “butter the back” of the concave shave to fill space with thinset and avoid having a hollow spot under the tile.  When done correctly, this does not compromise the integrity of the tile’s strength or durability.

Can I get Large or Custom size tiles? Yes! More overage is required for larger tiles. Contact us to request your custom size Mexican tile.

Looking for specific Tiles Designs, Floor layouts, or Tile Patterns? Check out these FREE pdf downloads for TILE DESIGNS.

Why do I need to order Overage? All tile is fragile and you can expect approximately 10-15% breakage during shipping and installation. You also need extra tiles for cuts around borders or designs. Many of your broken tiles will be able to be used for cuts. We recommend 15% total overage to allow for this breakage, cuts, and to ensure you will have a few spares left for storage. More overage is required for 16″ and larger tiles and for special cuts and patterns. Freight insurance does apply to 15% of quantity in tile orders because this is considered waste.

Is there a minimum quantity order? There is a 200 sf minimum on all Saltillo and Cantera tile orders.  Local pick ups will incur a refundable $35 crate fee if a crate is used for transport.  Talavera is sold in quantities of 50 tiles per box and there are no minimum box quantities required.

How is my tile order shipped? WE OFFER EXCELLENT RATES ON SHIPPING. We use only professional freight companies for your flooring and stone shipments. Because tile is fragile, we take great care with our loads. Your tile comes fully insured at no extra cost to you (less 15% for waste/cuts, etc). Shipping is a significant expense in your tile project and we do our best to find you excellent shipping rates.You can either have your tile shipped to a business that has a forklift or loading dock (least expensive method), pick up at the local freight company terminal nearest to you, or to your residence with a liftgate on the truck (more expensive method). If you want to arrange for shipping on your own, we will send you all of the shipping specs and load your shipment. A $35 fee/crate applies to any pickup of tile at our distribution center. Our crates are wooden, 4-foot crates that come from Mexico. Your tile will not come boxed, rather it is stacked vertically, in rows, packed very tightly in the crate. When the tile arrives at your location, this allows an easy and quick inspection of the condition of your purchase.

Can I install my tile outside? Saltillo and Cantera: You can install Saltillo outdoors. This is a beautiful tile on patios, around pools and outdoors in the sunlight. For climates that have freezing weather, we only recommend installing your Saltillo tile Sealed and applying our finishing coat sealer after your grout has dried. Because this clay is not waterproof, it will crack if the tile is left unsealed and water freezes. If you are in this climate and want to install this outdoors, we recommend you inspect the sealer on your tile before every winter. Talavera: Our Talavera Superior is water-resistant and frost-resistant when the grout is sealed properly.




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