Saltillo tile floors – indoor and outdoor flooring with a character

by Kremy

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What is Saltillo tile and why such flooring is a good choice for both outdoor and indoor use? Like any material Saltillo style tiles have advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the homeowner to decide whether to use them or not. The design works extremely well with Mediterranean style interiors and exteriors, Southwestern or rustic decors.

Table of Contents


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To begin with – what exactly is Saltillo tile and why choose them? These tiles are rough edged terracotta tiles named after the Mexican city of Saltillo where the genuine flooring is handmade from the same regional clay and is usually found in red, yellow and orange colors. They are sun dried and do not have any kind of glaze or finish on them.


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One of the biggest advantages of the tiles and their best feature is that they are all natural and eco-friendly. They feel soft to the touch and are an excellent choice for areas where you walk barefoot.

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The low maintenance is another advantage of Saltillo tiles. The flooring is easily cleaned by sweeping or vacuuming as well as mopping. The earthy colors of the tiles are an advantage, especially for areas with heavy traffic as they hide the dirt more or less. When sealed, the surface looks really beautiful and give the floor a unique, warm look.


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These tile floors are suitable for regions with warm climate. The process of manufacturing makes them unsuitable for freezing temperatures and using them outdoors anywhere with potential frost is not a good idea.

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Saltillo style tiles are porous and absorb moisture and heat. That is why they are not recommended for bathroom flooring unless sealed.

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Such tiles can chip very easily and despite their natural and appealing look, over time, this can become a problem for the homeowner.

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Another disadvantage is that the edges are uneven and if you wanted a smooth and leveled floor, you’d better opt for flooring made by machines.


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Color variations, although hardly noticeable, is another problem for the people who want a uniform look of the floor. The tiles are not exactly the same and although the color of the tile is really close, it may look like every piece has a slightly different tint to it.


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