Saltillo tiles are tiles made out of natural clay in northern Mexico. Though it is very beautiful, and low costing it is also very fragile and hard to clean. These tiles are created by hand and left in the sun to dry, then placed in a kiln to harden. Generally they are left unglazed, but some can be found pre-treated or pre-sealed to add to their durability.
As Saltillo is a more delicate stone, it can crack or chip very easily and can only be placed usually indoors in climates that do not have drastic changes in weather. This is one of the draw backs of choosing this stone for flooring, though there are a few others such as if left untreated or unsealed, it can be very difficult and hard to clean while using diluted ammonia and tons of rinsing. Before cleaning, it needs to be stripped and resealed and after cleaning as well. It can be easily affected, even if sealed, by chemicals and other liquids spilled on it. This can cause severe damage and/or staining, so it is very important to clean up any spills or debris immediately.
Thankfully, in today’s time, it has become easier to clean and care for Saltillo stone. Today’s sealants make that more realistic and for an affordable price to match the low price of the stone.
The polishing process for Saltillo is using a very fine grade diamond sander that will help improve its shine and remove any minor scratches or stains with the gentle touch that is needed. This can be part of the restoration process for this stone. If there are deeper scratches or stains in the stone, then the next step would be honing. This step will remove them from the stone, restoring it to its natural beauty. After these steps are taken and there seems to be some that are slightly higher or lower than the other tiles, or if all the issue was uneven tiles, grinding helps level all the tiles to the same height as one another. This gives a smoother look to the tile.
Once these steps, plus the cleaning are completed, the next and one of the most important steps to do would be to seal the entire flooring. Resealing the Saltillo acts as a buffer between the floor and any future spills or scratches. Over time, this will not completely protect the flooring completely, but it helps delay any deterioration that can happen from everyday life such as scratches or stains.
Like most different stone floorings, it is best to stay on top of regular maintenance and care for them, but also make sure to bring in professional care to help prolong the lifespan of your stone flooring. Any neglect can not only cause damage and deterioration of the flooring, but can end up costing you to replace it.
Please contact us today to schedule your appointment or if you have any further questions.
Floor ReNew Houston
Natural Stone Restoration
4530 W. 34th Street Suite C
Houston, TX 77092