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Saltillo Flooring

Everything you need to know for all your flooring needs

Learn About Saltillo 

Saltillo varies in colors of deep reds, oranges and yellows. It’s clay tile brings warmth and character to any space. Saltillo is installed mainly on interior and exterior flooring surfaces. There are several types of clay tiles that are not Saltillo tile but can be restored and maintained the same way.

The clay used to make Saltillo tiles is excavated from the earth. It is cleaned, processed, mixed with water, and formed into tile. The tiles are dried in the sun and then fired in kilns. After installation, it is important to clean the surface before applying multiple coatings of acrylic finish so the clay is sealed for protection.

Our process for cleaning Saltillo tiles consists of using the proper equipment and machinery, as well as hand-washing the corners, edges and hard to reach areas. We use a combination of pads, brushes, neutral pH cleaners and degreasers that are safe for your Saltillo tile, your family and the environment. We ensure you receive the most thorough and detailed cleaning possible. Improper or aggressive cleaning can cause damage by breaking down the acrylic finish that protects the clay. Once the finish is worn, the clay is vulnerable to staining from pet accidents, dirty mop water, spills, and grime/asphalt from shoe traffic. Our 18+ years of experience with Saltillo and knowledge of clay itself will avoid these issues. As with all of our work, our technicians move most furniture excluding breakable and smaller items. We pay close attention to detail and ensure there is no dust and no mess created. We are extremely careful not to cause any damage to adjacent surfaces such as walls, baseboards, cabinets, appliances and carpets.


When it comes to the repair of Saltillo clay tile, note that we offer a variety of services. Whether your tile is flooring or countertops, we repair holes, cracks and other types of damage.

Saltillo Tile


Cracks in tile or grout

Saltillo sometimes cracks with expansion and contraction of the substrate (surface underneath). This is usually caused by temperature change. Depending on the severity of the damage, we can repair with a filler material or arrange to replace the tile or grout.


Holes and chips in tile

Occasionally Saltillo can break down resulting in a hole or chip from lime within the clay. These are known as “lime pops“. Damage can also be caused by furniture, and falling objects. We fill these holes with a clay putty mix colored to blend with the clay tile.

Sealing Saltillo after a cleaning will help prevent staining and make routine cleanings much easier. We begin by applying sealant/finish to the tile and grout with a specialized applicator designed to work the seal into the pores of the clay. We double coat the tile to ensure the best protection. In certain situations, additional coats are required.
Exterior clay tile can not have a topical seal due to heat, UV rays, moisture, etc. The seal can delaminate, discolor and hold in moisture causing maintenance issues and eventually lead to removal of the finish.

If you are not sure what type of sealant is on your Saltillo, call Tucson Sun Valley Floor Specialists at (520) 440-2433 for a free estimate.



Saltillo tile should be maintained through frequent sweeping and mopping, using appropriate cleaners and fresh water. Be sure to change mop bucket water multiple times. This keeps the water clean, ensuring the tile will continue to look great for years to come

Saltillo Tile

Professional Work

On average, professional cleaning and sealing is recommended every 3-5 years, depending on traffic and usage. When properly maintained and cared for, Saltillo tile and its coating will stay looking great for many years.