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Spanish Mission Red Tile – Authentic Terracotta Saltillo

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. These red terracotta floors are commonly seen in old missions and in early settlements.

Keep scrolling for more pictures and important details.

spanish mission red terracotta tile
12×12 Spanish Mission Red Tile

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, this color choice is available in all of our Saltillo Tile Patterns.

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

What is Spanish Mission Red Tile?

Spanish Mission Red tile refers to a type of terracotta tile commonly used in Spanish colonial architecture. It is characterized by its distinctive brick red color and rustic, handmade appearance. These tiles are often used for roofing or flooring, adding a touch of traditional Spanisy style charm to any space.

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

What are the Benefits of Using Spanish Mission Red Tile?

Spanish Mission Red tile offers several benefits, including durability, natural insulation properties, and a timeless aesthetic. Its Saltillo clay composition allows for excellent heat retention, making it a popular choice for warmer climates. Additionally, the rich red color adds warmth and character to any space. The rustic look is part of the beauty of this natural terra cotta clay tile.

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How Does Spanish Mission Red Flooring Tile Get Its Color?

kiln-fired terracotta tile

These natural clay tiles are produced to reflect more consistency than other Saltillo tile colors.

Most people don’t realize that the kiln-firing process and stain additive in the penetrating sealer directly impact the final color of sealed terracotta tiles. 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. Check out our library of Spanish Mission Red tile pictures online.

Please refere to the sample pictures to have a closer look at the texture of the tile. You may order a sample if needed.

spanish mission red floor tile in woodland hills california
12×12 Mission Red Saltillo Tile

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.

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 clay tile variations

Because our Spanish Mission Red tile is a type of Saltillo tile, it has 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 of the tile, size, shape, and thickness in handmade 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 that uses old-world methods and local natural resources. These include the clay deposits from Mexico introduced to this region by the first Spanish explorers and missionaries who made the first missions with adobe clay tiles, which were only saun-air dried.

Additionally, the floors, walls, adn roofs of these missions were covered with terra cotta tiles, showcasing the rustic charm and traditional craftsmanship of the era.

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Explore Other Saltillo Tile Colors

available in many shapes & sizes

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