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How To Seal and Maintain Mexican Saltillo Tile

September 20, 2011

ceramic tile job finishing

How To Seal & Maintain Mexican Saltillo Tile

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The following information is based on product application reports and manufactures information and is provided in good faith to assist the consumer. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND PRODUCT LABELS COMPLETELY BEFORE USING. PRE-TEST IN AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA PRIOR TO APPLICATION TO DETERMINE IF THE DESIRED RESULTS ARE ACHIEVED.

Saltillo tiles are handmade tiles made of clay. True Saltillos tiles are rustic, very porous sun dried tiles. New, unsealed, Saltillo tiles are very porous and subject to surface wear and staining if not properly sealed and maintained. With proper sealing and ongoing maintenance, the Saltillo tile will be more likely to enjoy a long lasting, beautiful and durable appearance.

After the Saltillo tiles have been installed on a good setting bed, and the tiles are thoroughly clean, free of efflorescence and dry, follow these steps for a traditional medium to high gloss look with excellent stain resistance. To ensure that end results and appearance are satisfactory, it is recommended that the sealer be tested in a small area prior to total application.

Recommended Product Stain Resistance Finished Look Comment
Ole Mexican Tile Sealer Excellent Med-High Gloss Water-based – Film-forming


1. Apply 1-2 coats of Glaze `N Seal Ole’ Sealer (a water-based acrylic sealer) as a pre-seal/grout-release. Allow to dry 24 hours or more before grouting. DO NOT SHAKE. Grout

2. Grout according to grout manufacturer directions. Clean as you grout to minimize water contact on tile. Be sure tile is clean and dry before sealing- Wait at least 24 hours, or more. Seal

  • 3. Apply two (2), or more coats of Glaze `N Seal Ole’ Sealer to tile and grout.
  • Use thin, even coats. Minimize foaming.
  • If streaking occurs with first coat of Ole, dilute slightly with water.
  • Allow sealer to dry approximately (1-3) hours between coats.
  • Tile is fully sealed when last coat does not darken tile.
  • Apply additional coat in areas where staining is a concern.

4. After final coat has been applied, allow sealer to dry overnight. Limit traffic on newly sealed surface. Allow 72 hours cure time before exposed to moisture, contaminants and vehicular traffic, as the sealer will continue to cure and harden for 10-14 days.

5. To test stain resistance, sprinkle water or cooking oil drops on an inconspicuous area. If tile darkens, additional sealer is needed.


6. INDOORS ONLY – Apply two (2) or more coats of Glaze ‘N Seal Floor Polish 48 hours after sealing. Allow 60 minutes between coats. Use “glossy finish” or “matte finish” polish, depending upon desired look. Reapply polish as needed to extend the life of the sealer.

Routine Cleaning

7. Maintain you floor with daily sweeping or vacuuming of dirt and loose soil. Regularly damp-mop floor with water and Glaze `N Seal Neutral Cleaner. Use a minimum amount of water on floor and dry promptly.

  • Promptly wipe up any spills to minimize staining risk.
  • As necessary, re-apply floor polish to prevent “wear-thru” of polish.
  • If polish is properly maintained, the Saltillo tile should not require re-sealing.

8. For more intensive heavy duty cleaning or removal of topical wax and polish use Glaze ‘N Seal Heavy Duty Cleaner.

See Other Sealer Options For Mexican Saltillo Tile From Chart Below

Finished Look Stain Resistance Recommended Product Comment
Wet Look Excellent – S,O,W Wet Look Lacquer Solvent-based – Film-forming
Natural Look Excellent- W Natural Look Penetrating Sealer* Water-based – Penetrating
Natural Look Excellent – S,O,W Stone Sealant Impregnator Water-based – Penetrating
Natural Look Excellent – S,O,W Stain Defense Sealer Solvent-based – Penetrating

Stain Resistance: Stain (S) Oil (O) Water (W)

A darker, “wet look” appearance may be achieved by using Glaze `N Seal “Wet Look” Lacquer, a solvent-based acrylic, instead of the Ole’ Sealer. Read package directions carefully.

A no-shine, “natural look” appearance may be achieved by using Glaze `N Seal Natural Look Penetrating Sealer. (NOTE: *This is economical water repellant and is recommended when oil and grease staining is not a major concern. If a natural look with oil resistance is needed, use Stone Sealant Impregnator).

A “natural look” appearance, plus exceptional stain-resistance, may be achieved by using either Glaze `N Seal Stone Sealant Impregnator (water base) or Stain Defense Sealer (solvent base). These unique, state of the art premium penetrating formulas, penetrate below the surface to block contaminants from getting into the tile. These products work without changing the appearance of the tile.

CAUTION! SAN GENIS Tile is a popular machine made tile often mistakenly referred to a Saltillo because of its similar appearance. These machine extruded tiles although porous are not the same. Glaze ‘N Seal Wet Look” Lacquer is NOT recommended on these tiles. Glaze ‘N Seal OLE ‘ Sealer may be used but it is recommended the first coat of sealer be diluted with water to improve the bonding (one part water one part sealer).

Note: Always test a small area of surface to be sealed to verify penetration and satisfaction of sealed appearance.

The post How To Seal and Maintain Mexican Saltillo Tile first appeared on Flooring Supply Shop Blog.

One thought on “How To Seal and Maintain Mexican Saltillo Tile

  1. We have an older external patio with saltillo tile that has lost its gloss. We applied a coating to return the gloss to the tile but those areas exposed to sun and water have lost their gloss. Is there any coating that can be applied to saltillo tile that will maintain a gloss in AZ weather?

  2. Thanks for the info, I have a client that had used linseed oil along with DuraSeal paste wax and wants to redo that same process. I am trying to change his mind and offer him a better solution.
    Will this provide him better looking floor and longer lasting shine?

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