Saltillo is a handmade tile from Mexico that is mixed by hand and poured into molds. It then dries in kilns or in the sun until it hardens into an attractive material for flooring. Every tile is slightly different in shading. Some tiles even have small animal footprints from being dried outdoors. Saltillo is also porous, meaning that it can easily stain or get worn when not properly cared for or adequately sealed. Refinish your Saltillo with a few simple steps. You can even opt to change the color with stain.

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Saltillo tile is attractive but porous.

Step 1

Vacuum the floors and remove all dirt and loose particles from the floor.

Step 2

Mix a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. Mop the floors with this solution. Do not allow standing water to sit on the floors. Use a towel to wipe up the water as you work.

Step 3

Spread a chemical stripper across the top of the Saltillo tile with a mop. This will remove any remaining sealant. Sealant will yellow with age. Removing the sealant will bring back the original color of the Saltillo. If you are planning to stain the tiles, removing the sealant will allow the stain to penetrate. Allow the stripper to sit for 20 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the chemicals from the Saltillo with a mop, using the vinegar-and-water solution. Dry the floors with clean, soft towels.

Step 5

Dip a small sponge into tile stain and rub it into the tile in a circular motion. Allow the first coat to dry and evaluate the results. Apply one to two more coats of stain until you get a look you like. Allow the stain to dry completely. Skip this step if you are happy with the original color of your tiles.

Step 6

Spread sealant onto the floors with a soft mop. Use a sealant approved for Saltillo tile. Allow the sealant to dry overnight before walking on the refinished floors.