How to Stain Saltillo Floor Tile

  • 2-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Saltillo tile stain
Shallow plate
Dowel rod (wood)

The Saltillo floor tile is imported from Mexico and it is made from mud that is then kiln dried for color. The finished product is beautiful and can add luxury to any home. However, Saltillo tiles are not known for being durable. They require particular care and maintenance and are not ideal for use in high traffic areas. A lot of moisture or extreme temperatures can cause breaks in the tiles or make their appearance dull. This is the reason why such tiles are usually sold pre-sealed. If you have such tiles at home, you can create a different color in the tiles by staining them. This will allow you to update the look of your interior.

Step 1 – Preparing the Stain

Before starting the project, prepare the staining product by first shaking it for around a couple of minutes. You can do this by holding the container from its top and bottom and then shaking vigorously up and down. You should then open the can and stir the content vigorously with the use of the wooden towel rod. The stain could then be transferred to a shallow plate. Take care to leave around an inch of space around the plate so that you can dip on the stain without spilling it.

Step 2 – Dividing the Floor Area

To keep your work manageable, divide the floor area into squares of around 4 feet on all sides and start applying the staining product from a particular square. Move on to other squares as you finish staining each one. Be sure that you have your gloves on to protect your hands from the staining material. You should also open every doors or windows around the area to allow good ventilation.

Step 3 – Applying the Stain

To apply the stain on the Saltillo tiles, dip your sponge into the shallow plate containing the stain and apply it in small circles. Do a tile at a time and be careful to avoid areas that are grouted. If the sponge is rather large, you can cut it down to the size of your palm using a pair of scissors. This can help you avoid grouted areas better. Once you are done with one tile, move on to the others using the same circular motion.

Step 4 – Applying a Second Coating

Apply a second coating of stain on the tiles but before you do this, allow the first coating to dry for around a couple of hours. Do the second application in the same manner as you did with the first, until you have the entire floor covered.

Remember, it is better to apply two coatings of stain than to apply the same amount in one application. You are going to need more time through a two-coat application but you can achieve the look that you want better. If there is leftover stain, it can pose a danger if you are going to store it without proper ventilation. To be safe, carefully read the instruction on its label for proper storage.