Saltillo Clay Floor Pavers Sealer Specialist | California Tile Restoration

Quick Mexican Saltillo Paver Creation Introduction

Saltillo Mexico is where it all begins for the life of a saltillo paver. A Saltillo tile is a unglazed tile used for flooring and made in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The color variation of these pavers (the reddish outside and peachy inside)  comes from the way they are stacked in kilns. They are overlapped and the heat flashes the outsides of the tiles causing the reddish color. While the Peachy color comes form the covered sections of the tiles.

How To seal Mexican Saltillo Pavers Properly and impress your guest


Now you have learned a little bit about where and how saltillo pavers are made. Now lets talk about how to seal them correctly. First you need to decide what types of sealer you want to use, A high shine sealer, low lustre sealer, a penetrating natural look sealer, and a color enhancing sealer. I recommend doing a few samples on a couple of pavers so that you can make the decision for you. A few things to think about when deciding on a sealer to use.

Mexican Saltillo Floor Tile Sealing & finishing options for interior and exterior

before Saltillo Pavers LaJolla, CA

Exterior saltillos, in my opinion, should be sealed with either a penetrating sealer, or a color enhancing sealer.the reason we recommend these sealers instead of the topical high gloss clear coat sealer, is that the topical sealers, no matter which type you use, eventually will fail outside. Due to water damage from sprinklers, water puddling, under flower pots, improper drainage, and when it rains, the glazed pavers begin to peel and blister turning white and cloudy looking. THey always look good at first but how long they stay that way is a mystery.

the penetrating sealer is exactly that, a penetrating sealer. I penetrates the clay and fills and seals from the inside out, creating a water tight barrier. The color enhancer gives the saltillos some depth. It darkens them down just a little and highlights all the natural colors and characteristics. It also sets up inside the clay saltillo, sealing it from the inside out, while deepening it down creating a water tight seal. Mexican pavers, Tecate pavers, Super Saltillos, Terra Cotta Pavers, Manganese pavers, Lincoln Pavers, Italian and french pavers, spanish tiile, saltillo clay floor tiles, fleur de lis manganese tiles, all these types of clay based tiles are approached the same way.

The Saltillo tiles on the interior of the house is approached in a different manner but with the same goal in mind. That goal is to create a water tight barrier that repels oils and grease. They are also easier to maintain than an improperly sealed paver floor tile. You can actually see dramatic differences between high gloss, low lustre, penetrating, and color enhancing sealers.

You build up the sealer applying three applications evenly throughout the paver, making sure not to leave air bubbles and puddles on the paver, or in the grout. Now this is how they should be sealed right out of the box before they are installed. The reason for this is that pre-sealing your pavers makes it a thousand times easier to grout. The technical term being a grout release in the industry. Grouting them without sealer SUCKS… It sucks the water out to fast and makes it really difficult to wipe it and get nice clean even grout joints. Not to mention it stains the inside of the raw paver and the color of the grout leaves them dirty looking. Yes, you can try acid washing the grout smears off, but thats not a guarantee to get it all off. Plus the acid messes with the integrity of the paver surface. Regardless, indoors or outdoors, you should seal all of your pavers before they are newly installed.

Once your Saltillo tiles are sealed and grouted, you let them dry for 48 hours to fully dry out. What you would do at this point, is to clean all of your saltillo paver tiles by hand, getting off all of the grout dust and any other loose dirt. Now you saturate the grout with sealer letting it soak in real good for a few minutes. Then you wipe the puddle out of the grout and across the tile in a figure eight motion applying each layer evenly through out your saltillos and grout.

At this point you have four coats on your pavers and one nice thick one in the grout. Let the saltillo clay tiles dry out completely. You can help the drying process with a few fans if you want. This layer will dry fast because the fourth layer sets up on the previous three pre sealed layers that have had time to dry out and harden. Once dry repeat how you applied coat four, and at this point the floors are getting a real shiny high-gloss look, almost wet looking. once you get that fifth coat on, the floors should stop darkening, and the sealer will start to repel itself. That’s how you know that your saltillos are sealed and have a nice even consistent shine throughout the tile and grout. We do job after job where home owners or other companies apply 2 – 3 layers of the clear coat shiny gloss sealer and its not enough. If they use an inferior brand sealer that’s not so good, not only is it not enough layers of sealer, its a crappy product. Therefore it will look shiny but will not repel water or oils and it will have highs and lows (saltillo pavers each have their own porosity, the yellow ones seal faster than the darker ones). Some pavers seal in 2 coats and some are darker like the terra cotta color pavers which usually take all five layers. That’s the reason we apply five layers of sealer to not only prevent staining, but, to give that high glaze finish that most people like.

Mexican Saltillo Pavers high gloss sealer

Now the Saltillos and the grout are sealed, we now apply our final layers of protection. Two layers of a liquid floor polish, which used to be known as waxing your floor or paste wax clear coat. Technology changes with time as so has the floor polish, the one we use says right on the bottle ” prolongs the life of the sealer”. The Saltillo must be sealed correctly, in order for the polish to be effective and do what it is designed to do, which is get hard and hold up to high foot traffic areas, harsh chemicals, kids, pets, and anything else that may effect the finish. The sealer protects the tile and grout, while the floor polish protects the sealer. And this is why we are the best when it comes to Saltillo tile refinishing and installation.

Low Lustre Sealed Saltillo Clay Pavers

Contact California Tile Restoration today.

Email or Call Fritz Wittman

(707) 384-1172

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California Tile Restoration has sealed and polished hundreds of paver tile jobs through San Francisco, Los Altos, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda Alamo Berkeley, Moraga, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Bodega Bay, Napa Valley Wineries, Saratoga, Yountville. And also Refinished pavers in San Jose, Petaluma, Lake Tahoe, Gold Country, Novato, Kentfield, Greenbrae, San Anselmo, Fairfax, San Rafael, Lucas Valley, Sausalito, Mill Valley. We refinish Saltillo tiles in Tiburon, Belvedere, Stitson Beach, Point Reyes, Sea Cliff, Corte Madera, Auburn, Grass Valley, Natomas, Carmichael, Sacramento, Modesto, San Joaquin Valley, Palo Alto, Nor- Cal and So-Cal. We have done projects in San Diego, Palm Springs, Stanford, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Encinitas, Orange County, La Mesa, Carlsbad, Long Beach, San Clemente, Escondido, Oceanside, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Sante Fe, La Joya, Pacific Beach, Contra Costa County, Alameda, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Aptos, Atherton, Woodside, Burlingam, San Mateo, Livermore, Pleasanton, Milpitas.

We usually show people a sample of their floor after we strip, clean, and seal a few tiles and watch them fall in love with how amazing the transformation is starting to look. We thrive on seeing the satisfaction and glee on home and business owner faces. If you desire beautiful flooring restoration, remodeling or commercial refinishing, specialty paver installation, bringing back the natural qualities of the tile & stones. California Tile Restoration delivers only the highest quality service, we use no machines,  we are detailed, we’re meticulous, All Workmanship guaranteed.