Saltillo Tile; Traditional Flooring for Mexican & Spanish Homes

Saltillo tile has been used in Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican homes since the 13th century. At Casas del Oso Luxury Homes we use it in almost every home we build.  It has a unique character that only looks better as it ages.  We love the rustic, romantic warmth of this unique tile.  We use it for flooring inside and out, on walls, & stairways.

Authentic Saltillo tile only comes from Saltillo, Mexico.  It is a hand made unglazed terra cotta tile.  It can be used inside or outside.  Tiles are shaped by hand or pressed and come in a variety shapes; color ranges from hues of reds, oranges & yellows.  The tiles are primitive containing bumps & irregularities that add a rustic charm and if you are lucky they will have some animal tracks in them.  The natural clay deposits in the Saltillo region are among the finest in the world.  The quality of the tile depends on how clean the clay is before it is formed into tiles.  The trick is to sift it.  Basically the clay is mixed with water; formed into tiles and allowed to dry in the sun.  The dried tiles are then fired in caves used as kilns.  Some of the color variation in the tiles is the result of the firing process; though the tiles do not appear charred.  This is basically the same process that has been used for centuries; the only thing that is really different is the fuel used for the fires.  Due to the primitive manufacturing procedures obtaining Saltillo tile during Mexico’s rainy season is a challenge.

The original Saltillo tile is called “Regular” and the quality is determined by how clean the tile is as noted.  There are two methods for making it:  The “De Agua” Method using a very wet mixture and wooden frames and the “De Golpe” Method using a denser mixture which is pounded into wooden frames that have a bottom on them.  Pueblo style is often referred to as premium is formed using metal frames; it has rounded edges.  Moreno Style Saltillo is darker in color; generally brown or taupe.  This is due to adding manganese dioxide to the clay when it is mixed.  This permanently alters the color.

Custom Home Builders

Pueblo style stained Saltillo tile in various shapes & Talavera deco tiles.

Scottsdale Custom Homes

Stained Pueblo style Saltillo with Canterra stone & Talavera deco tiles.  Shower is Talavera.

New Home Builders Scottsdale

Saltillo “Picket: shape laid upside down for aged romantic appearance.

Arizona Custom Home Builder

Natural Pueblo Style Saltillo with Canterra stone insets.

Luxury Homes Arizona

Pueblo Style stained Saltillo in various shapes and patterns.

Luxury New Homes Scottsdale

Pueblo style stained Saltillo with Talavera deco’s at entrance to the master bedroom.  Base is 12” Saltillo & Talavera.