Why Should You Buy Sealed Saltillo Tile

sealed vs. unsealed Mexican terracotta tile

The reason to purchase sealed Saltillo tile vs unsealed Saltillo tile is summed up in 3 points.

It’s less expensive, requires less maintenance, and is easier to install.

Let’s unpack this more thoroughly.

Save Money with Sealed Saltillo Floor Tile

let's do some math

On average, our sealed Saltillo tile is $0.20-$0.30 per square foot, more expensive than unsealed Saltillo tile.

The quality difference is tremendous, however.

We are known for the quality of our presealed Mexican tiles. Each tile is delivered to you with 5+ coats of penetrating sealer already soaked into the clay.

How does this benefit you? It’s ready to install. And since it’s already fully sealed, your installer can most often skip the expense, time, and labor of applying grout release (except for our Antique (textured) terracotta tile… that still needs grout release for the texture.)

If you intend on purchasing unsealed Saltillo tile with the intent of saving money, please consider this. Even with a very inexpensive, low-quality sealer, you’ll need multiple coats applied BEFORE you can install the tile. That alone costs an average of $1-$2 per square foot.

Then throw in the labor cost to seal those tiles. Most installers charge $1 – $3 per square foot to seal tile floors.

See where we’re going with this? It makes no sense financially when we can supply our fully sealed Mexican tiles for a lower-priced project value.

Our recipe for success is simple.

  1. Buy presealed Saltillo tile.
  2. Install the tile.
  3. Clean the floor and allow it to dry.
  4. Apply the final topcoat sealer for sheen preference, added scratch-resistance, UV protection, and grout sealing.
buy sealed saltillo tilePin

Presealed Saltillo Floors are Easier to Install

set your installer up for success

If your installer starts talking about “soaking” Saltillo tiles, run for the hills!

Avoid this old-school way of thinking. It results in cosmetic issues and costly maintenance issues for the life of your floor.  The advanced technology of sealers replaces any ancient logic of water soaking methods.

Our fully sealed Saltillo tiles are ready to install with no prep work required. This reduces the tremendous risk of installation error for your tile contractor.

In addition to ease of installation, presealed tiles are exceedingly fortified for lifelong durability over unsealed, raw clay.

Installing this type of flooring is very basic. Follow standard tile installation procedures. Avoid using spacers to accommodate for handmade size and thickness variations. Then, complete the process with a high-quality top coat sealer.

→ Here’s a quick visual – watch this short video below to see the cumbersome process for applying a sealer to unsealed Saltillo flooring.

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Why is Topcoat Sealer Important?

low-maintenance flooring solutions

We believe in topcoat sealer when paired with our sealed Saltillo floor tiles.

Additionally, the topcoat sealer must be high-quality for it to matter and be effective.

No one wants to move furniture out of rooms and turn life upside down every 12 months to re-seal a floor. Whether it’s our topcoat Saltillo tile sealer or sealer from another company, invest in quality.

Quality indicators include long lifespans, strong abrasion & UV resistance properties, and easy application methods. We offer sealers for Saltillo tiles that range in lifespan from 5-15 years.

Plus, we only sell sealers that are chemically compatible with our presealed tiles. This is important!  If you’re considering our sealers for your floor (when not purchased with our tile), test it thoroughly before the full application to verify chemical compatibility.

Indicators of incompatibility include (but are not limited to) peeling, flaking, tacky to the touch, bubbling, or beading. Again, if you don’t have a full history for your existing Saltillo floor and you want to apply our topcoat sealers, test a small area first and allow it to cure for several days to evaluate compatibility.

→ Learn more about our Topcoat Sealer options.  Consult with your tile contractor for advice specific to your project space. Rustico Tile & Stone is not liable for sealer adhesion or application errors for spaces not completed by our installation team of tile professionals.

Check out these photos to view unsealed tiles, sealed tiles, and finished tiles with topcoat sealer.

Should Unsealed Saltillo Tile Ever be an Option?

only in rare instances

There are only 2 reasons for which we recommend purchasing unsealed Saltillo tiles.

  1. If you have an older floor that you’re expanding or repairing, you may need to purchase unsealed tiles to match by experimenting with various sealers for color adjustments.
  2. Buy unsealed Saltillo tile if you desire to custom stain your floor for styles specific to your project space.

That’s it. Otherwise, buy presealed Saltillo tile to save time, money, maintenance, and headaches! 

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