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Freedom Sale 2017

rustico tile july 4th sale

We are celebrating our Freedom with discounts across all product lines! Get 10% off installation materials when purchased with your tile or stone. Contact us today for updated pricing.  Call us at (512) 260-9111.

All tile and stone prices are wholesale-direct. We ship worldwide!

Offer is valid through Friday, July 7th.  This offer is not valid for any pre-existing or pending orders.

Cement Tile Floors: The Most Common Mistakes People Make

Some people like to make things more difficult than necessary. I happen to be an expert on this subject. I learn lessons the hard way. Frequently. (Sigh) Installing and maintaining cement tile floors is not something that should cause strife in your life. Avoid these common mistakes that people make with cement tile floors and save your hard lessons for more important things in life!

hexagon cement tile floors

Work with a clean surface. Cement tile that is fresh off the production line has fine pigmented portland cement dust on its surface. Prior to moving full force ahead with installation, your installer needs to wipe the tiles clean with a damp rag to remove this dust.  This prevents any unnecessary pigment stain on the surface of the tile.  I can’t emphasize this point enough if you’re installing cement tile floors with light and dark colors in the design. The dark color dust can bleed into the light colors if it’s not cleaned properly.

Did you skip the grout release step?  Ouch! This is an ingredient in the cement tile floors installation process that you do not want to ignore. Even with good sealer applied, we recommend applying grout release on the surface of the tile before it is grouted. Why? Let’s face it… cement tile floors are not cheap. Why risk staining the surface of your tile with grout when it can be easily avoided with the quick and inexpensive application of grout release?  Talk to your installer.  Make sure he or she doesn’t miss this step.  Tell him or her that we said so!
patchwork cement tile

Did you apply sealer that funk-i-fied your cement tile?  Again, it’s a common mistake. Not all sealers are equal when it comes to smooth, handmade cement tile floors. If you applied sealer that is peeling, flaking, or has discolored your tile, you have some work ahead of you. But not all hope is lost. Most issues are rectified with the proper process and materials.  Talk to your installer about the right way to remove the funky sealer and reapply our TerraNano cement tile sealer. TerraNano is a nanotechnology sealer that is ideal for cement tile floors. It has a long lifespan which adds to its value since little to no maintenance is required over several years.

Lastly, the most colossal mistake that people make regarding cement tile floors is to not sealing the tiles at all.  Cement tile floors from Rustico Tile and Stone are initially unsealed. The tile needs to be sealed upon installation in order to prevent stains in the future. Your first glass of a Bordeaux red spilled on cement tile immediately penetrates into the surface and stains it.  With some elbow grease, you should be able to remove most stains but not without a some expense and time invested. That makes for a bothersome happy hour.

cement tile bathroom
Cement Tile in this bathroom is featured with a Copper bathtub

These common mistakes are easy to avoid. If you’re considering cement tile floors from Rustico Tile and Stone, follow our tips and guidelines for a successful installation. We have proper setting and sealing materials which will leave you with a hassle free experience and years of minimal maintenance.

Happy Flooring!  Make Every Space Count!

5 Things You Should Not To Do With Saltillo Tile Floors

You’ve probably heard the rumors about saltillo floors.  Soak it, Strip it, Spacers, Seal it…  I could go on and on with the old wives tales and myths.  The truth is that all things change with the passing of time.  Though Mexican saltillo tile floors offer a timeless look,  installation techniques have improved over the years.

mexican tile

Here are 5 things you should no longer do with saltillo tile.

1.  Do not buy unsealed tile. If you’re trying to save a buck, then let me enable you for success.  Buying unsealed saltillo tile is problematic for several reasons.  The raw clay is extremely absorbent.  What you’re saving by purchasing unsealed tile will be spent (in excess) by buying enough sealer to protect the clay properly.  Rustico Tile® presealed tiles have 5 coats of penetrating sealer already coated into the tile.  Here’s the math if you are considering unsealed clay tiles.

5 coats of sealer + Labor cost for application of sealer + Time required for the sealer to dry = BIG $$$

To be blatantly honest, most of our customers who attempt to seal their unsealed saltillo tile floors regret it.  Then, they call us to trouble-shoot their messed up floors.  Fixing saltillo floors is not without considerable expense and stress.  Why go through this madness when you can buy a great quality presealed saltillo tile that is ready to install?

unsealed saltillo tile

Our recipe for success is simple.  Buy Presealed Tile, Install it, Apply final topcoat sealer.  Done.  (And our topcoat sealers have lifespans up to 15 years so there’s very little maintenance with this process.  Trust the pros at Rustico Tile®.)

2.  Do not soak saltillo tile. Once upon a time installers would soak saltillo tile in water prior to setting it with thinset.  This was done to serve the purpose of what penetrating sealer accomplishes for the tiles now.  If saltillo tiles are soaked in water, you can expect to deal with efflorescence issues throughout the lifespan of your floor.  This is an imperative point.  Don’t trap excess water in the clay during the installation process.  To reiterate point #1 above, just don’t buy unsealed saltillo tile.  Buy it presealed and install it as-is.

install saltillo tile

3.  Don’t use spacers when you install your saltillo tile. Because saltillo floors are handmade, there are variations in size and thickness from one tile to the next.  This begets the use of spacers as problematic.  Your floor installation may go smoothly at first, but the tiles will start spreading out in a funky way several square feet into the installation space.  Rather than use spacers, a good installer will draw grid lines or snap chalk lines on the subfloor for guidance as the tile is set.  See above.  Any adept tile installer will install saltillo tile flourishingly if our tips are followed.  He or she just needs to apply a craftsmanship approach as the tile is being laid.

Setting Saltillo Tile without Spacers

4.  Do not strip your tile. Really… don’t do it.  We only recommend stripping saltillo clay tile as a last resort to repair or refinish a floor.  In most instances, a floor can be fixed by using other methods that will not damage or discolor the tile.  The risks presented with chemically stripping saltillo floors include:  bleaching/discoloration of the clay, sealer delamination from the clay, and ongoing maintenance issues created from residual stripping chemical trapped in the clay.  Look at other maintenance options before you consider stripping your saltillo floors.


Antique Saltillo Tile riviera pattern

5.  Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your sealed saltillo floor. This is really a common sense approach to tile sealer.  The lifespan of a good quality sealer will last several years.  Preserve the life of your sealer by using diluted cleaning chemicals or no chemicals at all.  I love the disinfecting power of a steam mop on my saltillo floors.  No chemicals are used with steam mops so the life of the sealer is preserved.

I hope you find these tips to be beneficial.  Installing and living on a saltillo floors should something you’re proud to own and love to show off to friends.  After all, you must have exquisite taste if you’ve purchased handmade saltillo flooring.  Follow these tips to avoid headaches and ongoing, unnecessary maintenance for the life of your floor.  And don’t forget… Make Every Space Count!


Rustico Tile and Stone Catalog

For your convenience, you can view or download our Rustico Tile and Stone company catalog.  To learn more about any of our Mexican tile and stone product lines, contact a product specialist today or call us at (512) 260-9111.  We offer wholesale prices, trade discounts, and shipping worldwide!  Click to Download Catalog for printing.

Make Every Space Count by Rustico Tile and Stone