How to Refinish a Saltillo Tile Floor

  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Vacuum Cleaner
Floor Stain
Vinegar and Water
Old Towel
Chemical Stripper

A Saltillo tile floor is made of elegant Saltillo tiles that are molded by hand. Saltillo tile is a type of terracotta originating from Mexico and can be bought in various colors ranging from hues of yellow, orange and red. A Saltillo tile is unglazed and is vulnerable to water-staining because of its porous nature. Installing a Saltillo tile floor can be a bit challenging since Saltillo tiles absorb the water from grout, thin-set mortar and grease pencils.

Sealing a Saltillo tile floor is mandatory. Instead of replacing your old Saltillo tile floor with new Saltillo tiles you can refinish the Saltillo tile to bring back its beauty and save money as well. Below are the materials that you need along with the instructions on how to refinish a Saltillo tile.

Step 1-Prepare the Saltillo Flooring

Remove all the furniture located in your working area. Ask somebody to help you lift heavy furniture. Clean the Saltillo flooring of any dirt, dusts and debris by using a vacuum cleaner. Mix a solution of water and vinegar and apply the mixture on your Saltillo floor using a mop. Wipe the excess water using an old towel.

Step 2-Apply Chemical Stripper

The next step is to apply chemical stripper to remove the existing finish of your Saltillo tile floor. Removing the existing finish is necessary to allow the stain you will apply later to sink into the Saltillo tiles. Read the manufacturer’s instruction of your chemical stripper as to how long the chemical stripper should be applied on the Saltillo tile floor. With a damp brush, remove the layer of sealant on the Saltillo tile floor.

Step 3-Mop the Saltillo Floor

After removing the existing finish on your Saltillo tile floor, mop the floor using the same vinegar and water mixture you concocted on step one. Dry the floor with an old towel after.

Step 4-Apply the Stain

Staining your Saltillo flooring is like applying a protective layer on your Saltillo to minimize the effect of water damage, wear and tear and prevent mold and mildew infestation.

Apply the stain using a large sponge. Wipe the Saltillo floor tile with the stain in small circular motion. Cover the entire Saltillo tile floor with the stain and allow the floor to dry. Add 2 or more coatings of stain on your Saltillo floor according to your preference. Always allow each coating to completely dry before adding another coat.

Step 5-Apply Sealant

Purchase a sealant that is specially made for Saltillo tiles. Any neutral penetrating sealant or film forming sealant would do. You can choose between a matte or glossy sealant for your Saltillo tile floor. Apply the sealant on the Saltillo tile floor and allow the sealant to completely dry before allowing foot traffic.

In cleaning your Saltillo tile floor never use harsh chemicals as Saltillo tiles are fragile and prone to staining. A simple mixture of water and vinegar will do the trick. Never flood your Saltillo tile floor when cleaning. Instead, use a mop and immediately wipe the excess water with a clean towel.