Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sealing Saltillo Tile

** I also have a tutorial on how to strip & seal saltillo tiles here :)

The tile is finished and was cleaned with vinegar to remove some of the hard water stains that the tiles had from being soaked in water to make cutting the tiles easier. Then I sealed with a Behr sealer. I have two coats in the kitchen to protect the floor from all the appliances being moved around and one coat on the rest of the house. It will probably need a total of 4 coats to get a good seal.

saltillo tile

 Some of the lime and hard water that's on the tile after the wet cutting. I just wiped with undiluted vinegar a couple of times and it vanished.

An example of the excellent detail work from Leonardo, the tile installer.

This sealer is water based so it is really easy to work with and clean up.

It's from The Home Depot. I chose high gloss wet look, but they also have a flat matte look too.

For the first coat I use a microfiber cloth on the tile and a brush on the grout lines. The rough grout lines tear up a cloth pretty fast so I found it easier with the brush. Also because the tile is so porous, the first coat uses a lot of product and didn't go on nicely when I used a mop. So the first layer of sealer I applied using a rag and a brush for grout lines, then the tile is sealed enough for the second, third and fourth coats to go on nicely using a mop.

sealing saltillo tile

 Half the room with the sealer. This sealer darkens the tiles as if they were wet.

saltillo tile seal befor and after

 Top tiles have the sealer, bottom tiles are how they look without

The outer ring with sealer

 The milky looking tiles are the tiles without the sealer

saltillo tile

 The look after all the tiles have been sealed.

sealing saltillo tile


  1. Hello! We just purchased 100sq of saltillo, unsealed. It is currently quit light in color. I wanted to pre-seal the tiles before being set to make grout clean up easier and to help resist staining for the grout. I used a water based sealer from HD and have applied only 1 thin coat. NOW I have reconsidered my move and am thinking about using boiled Linseed oil to seal. I definitely want the tiles darker. Do I need to strip off that 1 thin coat of water based sealer before trying the Linseed oil?? Or should I just keep doing what I am doing? I started with a matte sealer...but I love the way your floor looks with the gloss!

  2. When you clean your Tiles by a skilled team it gives your home a new look.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this project! We have tiles that have been poorly sealed by the seller and after 18 months have almost all gotten stripped and now we have ugly looking mexican tile floors. I will use your advice, which is consistent with everything else I've read online, to restore our tiles. Thanks for showcasing how everything looked before and after, it's very helpful! and, thanks for showing the rag and brush you used as well as the wet sealer. Great blog!


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