Tile and Stone Restoration Products  

tile floor problem solving Selecting the sealer FAQ Sealers Samples of all products

Ordering from Aldon

Aldon home page Project worksheet From your perspective Aldon product list

   How to:  Clean  |  Seal  |  Restore

                Mexican Tile - Saltillo Tile

Sealing - Cleaning - Problem Solving - Protection - Care

help with flooring
         Saltillo Mexican tile Saltillo Mexican tile floor

Mexican Tile, Saltillo, Tecate - Cleaning and Sealing           Mexican Tile, Saltillo, Tecate - Cleaning and Sealing

These are not sealed (raw) .

Mexican Tile sealed with Mexiglaze     Mexican Tile, Saltillo - Cleaning and Sealing

These are sealed.

A "Mexican Tile" is a type of terra cotta (terracotta) tile, however, it has its own unique characteristics that requires this special page.  There is another page for Terracotta tile and you might want to review that page also.  That page is specific for the non-Mexico made terracotta tile (from Brazil, France, etc.) and those also have different and specific requirements.

True "Mexican Tile" is hand made and fired at relatively low temperatures.  Therefore, they are not flat or perfectly square.  There might even be animal tracks in the surface.

The colors vary considerably from beiges, yellows, and oranges as you can see in the second tile above.  All these names are treated in the same manner: "Mexican Tile", "Saltillo Tile", "Tecate Tile".  However, if a tile has been sealed by the supplier - it is a different tile.  See the "Factory Sealed Surfaces" page instead.

"Talavera Tile" are a type of Mexican Tile that has a multi-color kiln fired glazed applied in a decorative pattern.  This glaze puts it into a different "care" catagory - that is "Glazed Tile".

"Mission Tile" is a cement product and is discussed on the " Concrete Tile" page.

There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. If you would like to see why this is the case and how to properly identify a surfacing material ..... Click here

If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to your knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important. We estimate that 25% of the usage of Aldon products is by "do it yourself" homeowners and we know they are happy because we hear from them.

MATERIAL DESCRIPTION - With Identifying Characteristics
Typical absorption range = high to very high

Testing your surfacing for absorption rate

Testing for acid sensitivity

Note this on your worksheet for later reference

  • Approximately 3/4 inch high.
  • Colors from brown, to variegated beige/yellow/orange
  • Shapes range from square, rectangle, hexagonal
  • Original rustic look tile
  • Some batches of this surfacing can be very absorbent and will tend to soak up a lot of sealer if you just keep pouring it on. Too decrease the amount of sealer required - click here
Mexican Saltillo tile floor
  • Traditional old world beauty
  • Creates a rich, soft feeling
  • Many choices for finishing gloss - from none to high gloss
CONSIDERATIONS      (All Are Preventable!)

(Click links for Aldon's solutions to these issues!)

  • There are many issues concerning Mexican Tile of which you should be aware before proceeding. Please click here to review those issues.
  • Do not soak the tile before setting. Do not use a sealer as a grout barrier (pre-seal). Prevent grout smears, surface scratching and keep grout residue out of surface texture by coating with Aldon "Grout Easy" before grouting. "Grout Easy" is a water soluble coating that comes off easily while grout is being cleaned up with water and a sponge.
  • Efflorescence (subsurface originating white powdery stains) is common with Mexican Tile. This can occur even before installed. However, this is easily cleaned.
  • Colors can "fade". Actually the iron oxide pigments used in concrete products do not fade. Nor do the colored clays in clay products. The appearance of fading is actually from light efflorescence and can be stopped by sealing with the appropriate Aldon sealer.

Following are recommendations for products you may need (in sequence of use ) for whichever of the categories applies to you. Please review each and mark your printed worksheet accordingly.

Layed, But Not Grouted

  1.  Grout Easy
  2. Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. Grout Residue
    (should not be needed after using Grout Easy)     
Grouted, But Not Sealed
  1. Grout Residue
  2.  Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. .............Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ...........

Sealer Has Been Applied

Important! - First - Click here!

  1. Aldon Products Premium Stripper
  2. ...........Cleaners   ?
  3. ...........Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ..........

Regarding The Sealer Results Shown Below - these examples are a "Saltillo" type Mexican tile.

An Aldon sealer does far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

Your results may vary somewhat from these pictures due to variations in computer display and the surface materials themselves. Nevertheless, you will be able to see the differences well enough to make good choices. Different areas of the same piece are used as much as possible to minimize raw material variations. Of all the sealers Aldon manufactures, the ones shown are recommended as best suited to this surface type. (Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!)

Unsealed Tile

Note immediate water absorption at the arrow
Raw Mexican tile
"Same Day Sealer"
Water Based - Penetrating Type

  • Top Picture:
    • One Application
    • No change to color or gloss
    • Note water drop at arrow
  • Bottom Picture:
    • Plus one application of "Lifeguard" (optional)
    • This low gloss can be increased with more "Lifeguard"

Mexican Tile with 1 application of Same Day Sealer

Mexican Tile with 1 application of Same Day Sealer plus Lifeguard

"Crystal Glaze Sealer"
Water Based - Coating Type

  • Three Applications
  • High Gloss
  • Very slight color enhancement

Mexican Tile with 3 applications of Crystal Glaze


"S-B-S Sealer"

Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

  • Top Picture:
    • Some Color Enhancement - No Gloss
    • Note water drop at "A"
    • Additional applications do not create significant gloss
  • Bottom Picture:
    • Another tile of darker color
    • Sealed with "SBS Sealer" plus one application of "Lifeguard" (optional)
    • This low Gloss can be increased with more "Lifeguard"
Mexican Tile with one application of SBS Sealer

Mexican Tile - SBS Sealer plus Lifeguard

"Porous Stone Sealer"

Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

  • Top Half:
    • One Application
    • Note areas of no gloss. Sealer is filling the porosity in preparation for the next applications to finish.
  • Bottom Half:
    • Three Applications
    • High Gloss
    • Color Enhanced
    • See Mexiglaze to achieve high gloss with fewer applications

Mexican Tile with 1 and 2 applications of Porous Stone Sealer

This is one piece with a line across the middle.


Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

  • Top Half:
    • One Application
    • Note areas of no gloss. Sealer is filling the porosity in preparation for the next applications to finish.
  • Bottom Half:
    • Two Applications
    • High Gloss
    • Color Enhanced
Mexican Tile with 1 and 2 applications of Mexiglaze


Other care products you might need for this surface type



Dust Whiz

* Note:       will add another level of gloss to any of the above sealed surfaces.
It also prevents traffic wear to the sealers finish.

Aldon is a supporter of
Intermountain Childrens Home
Click here to learn about
Intermountain Children's Home





© Aldon Corporation 2007 All Content, Design, Copy, Code, and Graphics copyright 2007 by
Aldon Corporation and are protected under applicable USA and international intellectual property law.