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Paul
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a customer that has several hundred feet of some Mexican tile that needs a good cleaning and sealing done and would like us to take care of it while we already have the rest of her house torn apart doing the demo and install of new wood floors. I'd really like to take care of her but I've really no experience with Saltillo tile.

Two of the areas are exterior porches and the interior area is the kitchen. The plan for the porches was a mild pressure wash followed by a penetrating sealer.

Not sure on the kitchen. Can you acid wash this stuff or is that asking for problems? Any particular sealers you guys recommend?
 

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Don't use too much Saltillo tile in Chicago. Years ago helped strip the surface sealer off tile with some smelly striper. Had white scrubbies and scrub brush and lots of buckets of hot water. I hope they have better products today. Good luck.
 

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I thought that crap was all removed, my brother had that in his house in Deerfield beach, then moved back to New York, yeah I'd move as far as possible from it too. Basically it's clay dried under the Mexican sun, will water penetrate or the sealer is preventing? Id use a rotary brush on buffer and wet/dry vac squeegee attached vac to remove loose soil , let dry in this beautiful humid weather and apply a penetrating sealer with a microfiber swiffer dipped in a tray and excess rolled off with barwalt grout cleaner system rollers , makes quick work .
 

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I use Miracle Sealants 511 Porous Plus on saltillos. They will soak up a couple of coats, maybe 3. It doesn't change the appearance that much.

Washing saltillos might or might not work. They're so porous that once they're stained it's tough to get them back to original condition. Some customers like a linseed oil finish for an antiqued look.
 

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I concur on the Miracle Sealant. I don’t have much experience on ongoing maintenance but as far as install I have always used paint thinner and linseed oil mixed 50-50 and sponged on with a grout sponge and let it soak in before grouting. The tile is so porous that, it will stain when you grout. After grouting it would sit for a couple of weeks then sealed. Here is Arizona where the humidity is usually in the single digits, a lot of people don’t seal their outdoor Saltillo tile after installation. You wet it down with the garden hose and the water soaks in and as it evaporates, it cools and slightly humidifies the air around. Prolly not so necessary for Florida though.
Saltillo is really popular here and people are paying big money for “specialty tile”. Because Saltillo is cured in the open air, occasionally coyotes, cats, deer and more often birds will leave a footprint in the tile. In some areas it is believed that if you set a tile with an animal track at the front door, it is good luck for those that enter. There are some here that I hear have bought all of the tile with deer foot prints that they could find and placed them throughout their house to make it look like a deer had been walking through. Crazy expensive I’m told. A lot of people here also don’t want the real clean look as the weathered, aged look is appealing to many. I think I’d be a little careful with the pressure washer thing maybe more of a brush cleaning. All in all saltillo is a real PITA for the flooring guy. Good luck.
 

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These days, saltillo tile companies use stamps to put animal footprints in their tiles, and advertise the presence of footprints on the box. More authentically, you'll find the occasional imprint of the bottom of a beer bottle.
 

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These days, saltillo tile companies use stamps to put animal footprints in their tiles, and advertise the presence of footprints on the box. More authentically, you'll find the occasional imprint of the bottom of a beer bottle.
Say it's not so! I thought I read on the 'internet' that they don't do that!

I can hear it now tiling my own home with saltillo. Wife walks in and says hey dip$%^T you left your beer bottle on the floor and dented my new tile!
 

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Paul
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Appreciate all of the tips and info. I think I'm going to pass on this one. She had an idea that this was going to get done for a couple hundred bucks. Ha. Yeah my day rate is juuuust a bit outside that window not to mention materials lol. Oh well I learned a few things in the research process.
 

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Appreciate all of the tips and info. I think I'm going to pass on this one. She had an idea that this was going to get done for a couple hundred bucks. Ha. Yeah my day rate is juuuust a bit outside that window not to mention materials lol. Oh well I learned a few things in the research process.
You could spend most of that on the sealant. Miracle 511 is expensive stuff, and saltillos soak the stuff right up.
 

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Paul
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You could spend most of that on the sealant. Miracle 511 is expensive stuff, and saltillos soak the stuff right up.
Yeah no kidding. When she mentioned her budget, and the fact that "she knows another tile guy" - I had to politely inform her that we're residing on different planets. My labor alone would easily be over triple her budget...
 
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I gotta be more careful what I say, I haven't seen Saltillo in years, then I quote a removal and get to the house and they have Saltillo down, thankfully in the other room there was ordinary tile and the bath. It's messy as a ripup , charging easily 1$ more a ft.

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