Spanish Mission Red Tile – Mission Red Terracotta Saltillo (Photos)

spanish mission red tile

Spanish Mission Red Tile

terracotta floor tile

Spanish Mission Red tile is a popular flooring choice in our Saltillo tile product line.  It originates from early Spanish explorers and missionaries. Spanish Mission Red tile is commonly seen in old missions and in early settlements.

spanish mission red tilePin
16×16 Spanish Mission Red Saltillo

If you like Saltillo flooring but desire more consistency in the terracotta colors, then our Mission Red Spanish tile may be a perfect choice. While there is still some color variation among tiles (even within an individual tile), there exists minimal light or yellow shades typical of Traditional Saltillo flooring.

→ Myth Buster: Spanish Mission Red tile is not a “red” tile.  This terminology refers to tiles in terracotta shades of color. This is a generations-old industry term.

And just like other Saltillo tile colors, Spanish Mission Red tile is available in all of our Saltillo Tile Patterns.

→ Learn more about Saltillo tile in our Ultimate Guide to Saltillo Tile Flooring.

How Does Spanish Mission Red Tile Get Its Color?

kiln-fired tile

Spanish Mission Red Saltillo tile is produced to reflect more consistency in color compared to other Saltillo tile colors.

Most people don’t realize that the final color of sealed Mission Red Saltillo tiles is directly impacted by the kiln-firing process and stain additive in the penetrating sealer. Heat distribution in the kiln also produces varied colors in the clay tiles.

So, when we produce our Spanish Mission Red tiles, we manipulate the tiles in this firing process to mitigate the number of lighter colors produced.

spanish mission red terracotta tilePin
16×16 with Gloss Topcoat Sealer & Cantera Fireplace

Myth buster → Saltillo tile is not painted.  The color enhancement comes from a stain additive in our penetrating sealer that is applied during manufacturing. These several coats of sealer also fortify the clay.  And, when you see a “stripe” on a single tile, this is an effect of the firing process where tiles are stacked on top of one another. It’s completely normal and should be expected in handmade Saltillo tiles, including Spanish Mission Red tiles.

Finally, though our goal is to produce a more consistently colored Saltillo floor, there will always be some color variations.  Most of the variation is within terracotta shades.  But, there will be minimal amounts of light terracotta colors along with yellow, cream, and golden shades because this is natural clay.

Why is it Considered Rustic?

handmade tile variations

Because our Spanish Mission Red tile is a type of Saltillo tile, it comes with well-known rustic characteristics.

Did you know that Saltillo flooring has been made by hand for many generations? While working conditions, artisan techniques, kiln-firing processes, and quality of sealers have improved over the years, Saltillo tile remains known as the “perfectly imperfect tile.”

Expect to find variations in color, texture, size, shape, and thickness in Spanish Mission Red Saltillo tiles. You’ll even find an occasional paw print which Mexican tradition refers to as good luck! In fact, no two tiles are the same. These characteristics are not defects, rather, they are an effect of a generations-old artisan process.

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Explore Other Saltillo Tile Colors

available in many shapes & sizes

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