How To Install Saltillo Tile: Step By Step Instructions Of Installing Saltillo Tile

Basic Overview About Saltillo Tile

Saltillo tile, also known by the name of Mexican tile, is typically a rough-edged clay-based tile that is mostly found in Saltillo, Mexico, and is used both indoors as well as outdoors. This type of tile is available in a huge range of shapes and colors, particularly in reds, oranges, and yellows. You need to install Saltillo tiles with the utmost care, due to the reason that these tiles are graceful and stylish, which in turn means to prevent the use of any chemicals or grout, as these can be very harmful to Saltillo tiles. These kinds of tiles are relatively affordable, however, installing the tiles is a tricky job as well as a time-consuming process which makes it very expensive.
Predominantly, Saltillo tiles are given shapes by squeezing the clay using a wooden frame. Placing as well as sealing Saltillo tile floor smoothly is exactly the same as you do with other tiles like slate or ceramic. In addition to the other tiles, there is no overlay or cover with a smooth, shiny coating or finish on the surface of the Saltillo tile. Saltillo tiles are extremely porous in nature, however, it is one of the most long-lasting and attractive tiles you could ever find. The best places to install these tiles in your homes include the bathroom, kitchen, or utility room & are the ideal choice for the warmer climates.

Step By Step Instructions Of Installing Saltillo Tile

If you install the Saltillo tiles on the floor perfectly, make a marked change in the form, nature, or appearance of your floor. To achieve the desired result, you need to install these tiles with utmost care & for that go through the below-mentioned steps carefully:

Step 1: Clean-off The Tile And The Floor

Before starting the installation process of Saltillo tiles, your surface needs to be smooth, dry, and exceptionally well prepared in order to seal and the tiles also need to be completely clean. Repair any patch, and level any damaged or unbalanced surfaces of the floor, if necessary & also free the surface from any kind of wax and grease, etc. If you find any hindrances in the way of your tile installation, like any moldings or appliances, get rid of them immediately. Doorjambs also need to be cleared from any obstacles to the tile installation process. You can also put in a cement board underlayment if needed. Make sure to select the size, pattern, and color that will perfectly match your flooring requirements.

Step 2: Apply Thin Set Mortar

After preparing the surface completely for tile installation, affix the thin-set mortar to the floor by means of an adhesive substance, heat, or pressure. It is important to keep in mind that use only thin-set mortar for installation, instead of using mortar with cement. Thin-set mortar should be attached using a troweled mortar onto an area of the floor, working in one small area at once.

Step 3: Place The First Tile

For placing the first tile on the floor, locate the center point of the room. Now, draw two lines with the help of chalk, one from the middle of two contrasting side walls and another from the middle of the other two walls. Where these two lines lie across each other will be the center point of that room. Take the measurement of all 4 walls of the room. Laying the tile on the floor should start from the center point. If in case the room is not square, you need to make adjustments to the position of the one line and then square the other line with the help of the 3-4-5 method – after examining that chalk lines are square by marking point 3 feet on one chalk line and 4 feet on a perpendicular chalk line. Calculate the diagonal space betwixt each of these points. If the distance betwixt the two is exactly 5 feet then the lines are square. Position a thin layer of the mortar onto the back of the tile and then put it on the area and tap over the tile surface with the help of the wooden handle of a tool. If in case you hear a hollow sound, pick up the tile and put or spread a more thin-set mortar to the areas where required.

Step 4: Continue Placing The Tiles

After locating a center point, start the installation process of the leftover tiles. Put or spread enough amount of mortar so that tiles get attached perfectly. After setting up the tile, apply pressure on it properly. Keep the space betwixt the tiles in order to make grout lines. If in case any tile needs to be trimmed in order to get it fit on the floor, trim it carefully using a wet saw so that the tile doesn’t get damaged.

Step 5: Apply The Sealer

The exact way to apply a sealer is totally dependent upon the sealer that you are going to use on the tile so go through the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Before applying the sealer, the surface must be dry, dirt-free, and free of waxes. As far as applying the sealer on a highly porous or textured surface is concerned, use a sponge, brush, or a pump sprayer. For the smooth or polished floor, use a flat applicator like a microfiber applicator or lamb’s wool rather than a brush or roller. Apply the second coat as soon as the first coat is dry entirely and allow a 24-hour period before grouting.

Step 6: Apply The Grout

Grout is used in order to fill the spaces betwixt each tile. It keeps the tile from shifting from its exact place. Go through the instructions thoroughly written on the packet and follow them. One of the best things about the grout is that it stops the water to get into the tile seam. Smoothly take out the plastic spacers from betwixt the tiles using needle-nose pliers and pull the spacer out and continue this process to all gaps in betwixt the gaps of tiles. After grouting, allow it to stay for nearly 10 to 15 minutes before washing the excess away and prevent the use of acid or any caustic material on tiles. The grouting process must be performed accurately and no stains, cracking, or any damage should be leftover. Wash excess away with the help of a damp sponge and let the grout cure for nearly 72 hours before use.

Step 7: Apply A Final Sealer

Finally, put or spread a fresh sealer on the grout floor area in order to extend the life and shine of Saltillo tile and to offer an extra layer of protection to prevent it from minor scratches. Leave this for some hours in order to make it dry and the floor is ready to use.
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