Saltillo Tile Sealer

INSIDE : Learn the best Saltillo Tile Sealer for your home, as well as how to seal Saltillo tile. Make sure your tiles are shiny and protected!

Saltillo Tile Sealer

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Since living in New Mexico in a home with Saltillo tile in all rooms of our house, but the bedrooms… I feel like I have really gained quite a bit of knowledge about this pretty specific Southwest styled tile.

Looking for other content about Saltillo Tile? Check these out below.

Now let’s get into a bit more of sealing Saltillo tiles and how to best do it yourself because these tiles really can bring such dimension, warmth and interest to your home!

Sealed Saltillo tile stairs

What is Sealed Saltillo Tile?

Sealed Saltillo tile is a type of flooring made from clay, similar to terracotta, that has been treated with a special sealant. A sealant provides a layer of protection for the tile, making it more resistant to stains, moisture absorption and everyday wear and tear. Unsealed Saltillo tiles, on the other hand, are quite porous and susceptible to staining and damage.

The sealant on pre-sealed Saltillo tiles is applied by manufacturers before the tiles even reach stores and enter your home. This offers several perks.

  • Pre-sealed tiles are easier to install, as they don’t require any sealing prep work beforehand.
  • The sealant adds to the durability of the tiles, potentially extending their lifespan.

While pre-sealed Saltillo tiles are convenient, some homeowners prefer to seal their own tiles after installation. This allows them more control over the final look and finish of the tiles. There are different types of sealers available, with some offering a wet look and others a more natural appearance.

Best Sealer for Saltillo Tile

There isn’t one single “best” sealant for Saltillo tile, as the ideal choice depends on the finish you are looking for and the type of application.

However here is the breakdown of two popular types:

  • Penetrating Sealers: These soak into the tile, creating an invisible barrier that protects against stains and moisture without altering the tile’s natural look. They’re a good option for those who prefer a natural appearance and breathability for the tiles.
  • Film Forming Sealers: These create a protective layer on the surface of the tile, offering superior stain and scratch resistance. They come in various finishes, like high-gloss or low-gloss, allowing you to customize the look of your tiles. However, film-forming sealers can sometimes alter the natural breathability of Saltillo tiles. This Glaze ‘N Seal Olé Mexican Tile Sealer gets good reviews on Amazon.
Sealed Saltillo tile entryway

How to seal Saltillo Tile

Sealing your Saltillo tiles is a crucial step to ensure their longevity and beauty.

Here’s a general guide of the steps:

Tile Preparation

  1. Cleaning: Ensure the floor is thoroughly clean and free of dirt, grease, or any existing sealer. Deep clean using a suitable cleaning solution recommended for Saltillo tiles.
  2. Stripping old sealant (if needed): If the tiles are already sealed, you might need to remove the old sealer using a stripper specific to the type (water-based or polyurethane).

Tile Sealing

  1. Choose your sealer: There are two main types of sealers for Saltillo tiles:
    • Penetrating sealer (solvent-based): Enhances color and strengthens the tile.
    • Topcoat sealer (water-based): Provides additional protection against scratches, stains, and moisture.
  2. Apply the penetrating sealer:
    • Work in small sections.
    • Pour a small amount of sealer into a paint tray.
    • Use a roller to apply a thin, even coat.
    • Allow for proper drying time as per the manufacturer’s instructions (usually around 1-3 hours).
    • Apply multiple coats (2-5) until the tile stops darkening with each coat.
  3. Apply the topcoat sealer (optional):
    • Follow similar application techniques as with the penetrating sealer, using a separate roller or applicator.
    • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time and number of coats needed.

After Sealing Tile

  • Allow for sufficient curing time (usually 72 hours) before heavy foot traffic or exposure to moisture.
  • For best results, refer to the specific instructions provided by the chosen sealer brand.
Sealed Saltillo tile family room

What are the benefits of sealing Saltillo tile?

  • Protects the tile from moisture, dirt, and stains
  • Enhances the natural beauty of the tile
  • Makes the tile easier to clean
  • Extends the life of the tile

If you have Saltillo tile in your home, it is important to seal it regularly to protect it and keep it looking its best.

We have Saltillo tile throughout our entire home and I can not tell you how many times my children (or I) have spilled soda or soup or paint and I have been SO thankful our tiles are sealed! You can see our Modern Saltillo tile kitchen here.

Sealed Saltillo tile living room

When choosing a Saltillo tile sealer, it is important to select a product that is specifically designed for Saltillo tile. There are many different brands and types of Saltillo tile sealer available, so be sure to read the product label carefully before making a purchase.

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