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Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Posted by handel27 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 22, 08 at 5:37

Hi folk,

anyone have experience with genuine saltillos in the kitchen (not ceramic look-alikes)? We know they look great, but can you clean them? Do they stain easily? Need to be resealed often?

Anyone have pictures they want to share?

Much obliged.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

We have them in our kitchen. They came with the house. At first, I liked them. They lent themselves to the rustic-refined French Country thing that is my style.

But I hate these floors. They're uneven, whoever did them used waaaaay thick grout lines. The grout lines are what show the staining.

They also scratch and chip easily. They're no where near as durable as other flooring. Plus to maintain them, they have to be sealed. We desperately need to do this, but just don't want to disrupt our lives to have it done.

If I had it to do over again, I would have replaced this floor before we moved in.
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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

We have them in our kitchen. They'll be the first thing to go as soon as we start tearing the kitchen up--I hate them. The grout lines are huge and show lots of dirt and are hard to clean. The tiles scratch very easily and stain. It's like having a dirt floor in the kitchen. I can't wait to get rid of them.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

My heart goes pitter-patter when I see real Saltillo tile floors. But the dirty thick grout would bug the heck out of me. I also didn't want to deal with the unevenness when placing furniture. We ended up with a porcelain which we love.

I plan to use the real thing on my courtyard and possibly my back patio, but I wouldn't use it in the house.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I had them in an earlier home also, and like Reno, at first I loved the warm, earthy look. But I found them incredibly hard on my feet! Even though I'm 20 years older now, I do not find our ceramic tile floors or former brick tile floors hard on my feet -- so it's not ALL hard floors, it was just those. Why? I think it was the uneven surface - rounded in the middle, low on the edges. I'm not a neatnick and I appreciate patina, so the grout and occasional chips did not bother me.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

i love the look of them but had read a lot of comments similar to the ones above, so we opted to use ceramic tiles that mimic the look of saltillo.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I had them in our last home, throughout the entire front of the house. Like everyone else here, I loved them at first but I ended up hating them after the first three months. The grout lines are impossible to keep clean and they stained so quickly. My housekeepers hated them. I went through 11 housekeepers in nine years and when each and every one of them quit, they said it was because our floors were a nightmare. They scratched easily; showed everything; chipped easily; looked lousy the day after they were mopped. They're slippery when wet. They also didn't seem to hold their sealer very well and peeled here and there when water sat on them too long. One housekeeper told me they looked like skin that was peeling from a bad sunburn. Yes, they sure did! I would never put them anywhere again. If I was looking for a home, that alone would be enough to make me not even bother looking at the place. Gosh, I sound a bit negative about them, don't I? ;^P


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

We had them in the house where I grew up. The tiles are uneven, slippery when sealed, need to be resealed every 6 months or every little thing will stain them, they have to be laid with thick grout lines because of the unevenness of the tile, they are uncomfortable to stand on, make furniture tippy, and can develop air bubbles that will "pop," causing craters in the tiles. When you try to fill the craters, the repair is obvious. There are some very nice italian porcelein tiles that look like saltillos without the upkeep. I love those.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I love the look but opted for a good ceramic look a like. I was told that the real tile would be laid in mud which would make my kitchen floor higher and people would be tripping in and out. To compliment the look, I picked wide grout lines in a light sand. STUPID MOVE!! The installer didn't mention sealing the grout either. Mopping just put the dirty water in the grout so I bought the Hoover floormate which does a better job. It looks good walking into the room but I tend to stare at the grout. ugh!


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Thanks, all.

any other pictures?

Any pictures of porcelain look-alikes?


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

My heart goes pitter-patter when I see real Saltillo tile floors. But the dirty thick grout would bug the heck out of me. I also didn't want to deal with the unevenness when placing furniture.

Unfortunately I don't have pics, but if finished properly, not only will nothing stain them, but nothing will stick to the grout, either. The finished product should look like there's a solid sheet of glass over the floor, and the use of a good terra cotta sealer will insure that you can go much longer than 6 months between sealing coats.

Unevenness is a different story. I've got nuttin fer that!! :-)


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Here's a website with some porcelain options.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oregon Tile and Marble porcelain tile


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I fell in love with the saltillo tiles on the floor of our local tile shop. I really wanted them in my kitchen but DH talked me out of it for some of the reasons listed above. After reading these posts - I'm glad he did. I did not know about GW at that point in our planning. WHEW, another bullet dodged!!


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Believe it or not, I witnessed a woman who'd contracted my boss at the time, order him to take 17 THOUSAND square feet of saltillo, 16,000 feet of which was still in the crate (the rest had to be jacked up off the floor, which she also paid for), and throw it into a dumpster!! She'd seen 4 perfect pieces on a showroom sample board, and when she saw what it was REALLY about, she didn't want anyone else getting stuck with that "CRAP"!!


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

wow. lots of strong feelings. Here's a picture of the board we had chosen, matched up to a possible soapstone for the counters. You can see it has a lovely feel. the tile is very flat and regular, but we took our board that had two quick coats of sealer on it (for color) and splattered some mayo, oil, and catsup. the stains were terrible (not included in this pic).

Can you be more detailed about how you succeeded Bill?

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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

here is a ceramic look-alike:
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With kitty:
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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

My home is mostly saltilo tile. When we first looked at the house, the tile was a strong sellling point. It is beautiful. The pantina of the tile, and the iregularness of it, I thought looked very rustic.
Yes it needs sealing, and a good oil based sealer is necessary to do the job right, the water based ones don't hold up.But the smell of the sealer is pretty bad. Yes the grout lines are large. Not a problem to me.
To me any hard flooring is hard on my feet. we use area rugs in the kitchen next to stove, sink and prep area to help.
Would I use saltillo tile if starting over again ?
No.
In a year or two, we plan on a complete kitchen redo, and they will probably go, but the thought of ripping that all up... ouch.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

kristi - Those are gorgeous (kitty is cute, too). Can you tell me what they are and where you got them? Thanks.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Wow, you are all really scaring the crap out of me. I am putting real Saltillo tiles in my new kitchen, and they are already bought and sealed. I had faux terra cotta tiles in my old kitchen, and I really wanted the real thing. They are supposed to develop a patina, and to look imperfect. The unnevenness is how you know they are real. I live in a really old (100+ year) house. Everything is imperfect, uneven and has a patina of age.

I had my KD get way more extra tile than he usually does so I can replace them if needed.

Oh, well, I'd rather have to replace the floor in a few years than to have to replace the cabinets.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Kristi-- I love your "saltillos." Can you provide any details?


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I have saltillo in my kitchen. Originally, I wanted to remove it, but over the years I've come to love it. I like the unevenness, the smoothness, and the warmth in winter and coolness in summer. Bill, I'd love to know how you'd prep and seal it. 4 years ago I went to a tile place and asked how much it would cost for them to reseal our floor - he quoted me $18 a square foot. I figured it would be cheaper to replace it - or do it myself.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Thanks Sally and Sarchlos,

They are Ceramiche Provenza Cotti D'Eremo Energia (16" x 16")

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceramiche Provenza web site


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

This might be a silly question...how do you seal grout....after tiling or do you do something before grouting...say to the grout mixture?


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Kristi: did you get them in the US? The website was a little overwhelming. Beautiful though.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

They do make authentic saltillo in larger tiles (18",20", not sure). That would minimize the grout lines.

Jeannie, your kitchen is going to be beautiful. I hope you will post pics.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Kulagal: Yes, the web site is a little over the top. I got these in the U.S. A couple tile stores in town carried them.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

the tide is changing. any more saltillo lovers out there? pics?


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

You can also do a search on "terra cotta", both here and in your favorite internet search engine (google, yahoo, etc)


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

Hello, I am a brand new member and saw the photos of the Cotti Deremo Energia tile that Kristi posted. This is the exact tile we are about to purchase for our kitchen, which will have white cabinets and brushed Costa Esmerelda granite countertops. Kristi, if you are still out there I would love to know how long you have had these tiles in your kitchen, your thoughts on their pros and cons, and what your 2nd choice was (if you had an alternate choice). I'm pretty nervous about the decision. One member of my family feels that they look too rustic and dirty. I'm also wondering if it is better to put the 16" size or the 12" size, our kitchen is quite large, 18 feet by 16 feet. Thanks for any input from anyone.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I love my saltillos- they are real and beautiful! I don't find the synthetic ones real looking at all (the one the kitty is on) the real ones are not brown around the edges. My kitchen has them and we are now putting them in the master bath. You will not regret the real ones, and the grout, the fact that they are not perfectly flat is not a big deal at all. If you want it to look real, it should be real. I can't imagine ever ripping them out; we have had them for 8 years and still love them!


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

this is porcelain tile terra cotta colors.

there is recent discussion of terra cotta tiles on the home decorator forum.


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RE: Saltillo Kitchen Floors

I live in Palm Springs where Saltillo's are a way of life (along with terrazzo floors!). Mine are old, authentic and with plenty of patina. They have so much character! That said, I can understand someone wanting the "new and improved" replicas that don't develop any patina but that seems to defeat the purpose of having Saltillo's in the first place.


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