saltillo tiles and grout cleaning

Saltillo Mexican Pavers are by far the most popular type of Mexican Paver. Seal Systems cleans and seals or strips and seals Saltillo Pavers far more than any other type of Mexican Paver. It is crucial that the Saltillo Tiles be properly sealed to protect the integrity of the soft Saltillo Paver. Sealing the Saltillo Tiles will help to prevent staining of the tile. Proper sealing of the Saltillo will greatly ease the future clean up and maintenance of your Saltillos. A clear shine on your Saltillo Tiles will allow the true beauty of the Saltillo to show. Saltillos also lend themselves to staining with any number of colors.

Stripping and Resealing Saltillo Pavers

Saltillo pavers can be successfully stripped and resealed only if all of the old sealer is removed completely from both the tile and the grout joints. Stripping is a chemical process done on hands and knees with absolutely no sanding or abrasion involved. The process is dust free and there is no damage to surrounding surfaces except for some possible need for touch up to painted baseboards. Seal Systems has developed the strongest, most effective stripper in the industry and we have it commercially manufactured to our precise specifications. This product is not available through any store, contractors supply, janitorial supply or any other supplier and is not simply a private label product which is mass produced for various companies to use under their own name. While the stripper must be handled carefully by our fully trained staff, it is nonflammable and will leave behind no toxic residue. The stripper is a nonflammable solvent and will not harm tile or grout in any way. The stripping process is always done on hands and knees with hand held brushes and the resulting sealer residue is picked up with clean wiping cloths. All stripping is done with a soft bristle brush, this insures that the soft Saltillo Paver will not be damaged.

After the initial stripping process is completed Seal Systems then strips the Saltillo Tiles and grout a second time with a different stripper which is highly evaporative. This insures that there is no residue of old sealer in the pores of the tile. It is imperative that all traces of old sealer be removed so that a proper bond can be achieved with the new sealer. Seal Systems guarantees that the new sealer will bond and will not blister or peel.

Seal Systems then will apply any one of several types of sealers, depending on what is appropriate for the situation. See Sealer Choices below. We can produce a seal on Saltillo Paver tiles that will resist both liquids and oils. The sealer can leave the tile with a completely natural flat look, or we can give it a low, medium, or high shine. Color staining is done by hand tile by tile prior to sealing.

Most floors can be done completely in the same day, start to finish. That means not spending the night away from home. We ask only that you walk on the floor that night in stocking feet. The next morning the floor is ready for furniture replacement and full traffic.

Best of all Seal Systems floors are user friendly and can be maintained by the homeowner with products available at most tile stores. We do offer ongoing maintenance, however if you follow our easy care instructions you can maintain the floor yourself and will not need to have the Saltillos stripped and resealed again in the future!

Call (949) 8585211, (714) 6499841, (760) 4316848, (858) 2747700,(310) 5331100, or (626) 7975211for a free estimate and demonstration of what can be done with that unsightly Saltillo Paver floor. Most floors can be brought back to a level that will make you proud of your Saltillos once again.

Clean and resurface Saltillo Pavers

Many Saltillo floors are in basically good condition and only require a heavy duty cleaning to remove surface soils, and an application of more sealer to bring back the shine. This is a quick and economical way to restore the beauty of a Saltillo Paver floor. Cleaning and resurfacing should be performed periodically on any Paver installation to prolong the life of the tile. Steam cleaning will damage Saltillo Pavers. The best that can be hoped for when cleaning Saltillo Pavers with a steam cleaner is that it will simply not get them clean. More often however is the situation where steam cleaning will actually ruin the soft Saltillo Paver or at the very least will damage a still viable sealer causing it to need to be stripped and resealed when it originally needed just cleaning. Scrub machines will damage Saltillo Pavers with their abrasive scrubbing and of course will make a mess of all surrounding surfaces. Hand cleaning and proper rinsing is even more important on Saltillo Pavers than on ceramic or porcelain tile.

Seal New Saltillo Pavers


Seal Systems will do an initial sealing process after the Saltillo pavers have been installed. This process, done prior to grouting will prevent grout from adhering to the surface of the Paver. It will also help to prevent the pigment of colored grout from bleeding into the Paver. Done correctly, presealing will not hinder grout from bonding to the grout joint. It must be stressed to the installer to remove any thin set or mortar from the face of the tiles before the thin set sets up. After wiping off a spot of thin set the installer must then wipe the whole tile to prevent a wiping mark on the tile. Anything done to a part of a Saltillo must be done to the entire tile.


The installer’s concept of clean and Seal Systems concept of clean are usually quite different. Any soil left on the surface of the paver will be emulsified and carried down into the paver by a penetrating or subsurface sealer. If a surface or coating type sealer is used it will coat over, or seal in, soil. We are committed to having the Saltillo as clean as it can possibly be before any sealer is applied.

Final Seal

Prior to the final seal we clean the entire installation to ensure maximum cleanliness. If excess grout has been left on the floor or if efflorescence is present the floor will be acid washed. For more information see the section titled acid washing.

Color Staining of Saltillo Pavers

The Saltillo Paver tile can be stained to fit in with nearly any decor. Anything is possible, from a rich leathery old English style, to a high tech industrial look. Whitewashing can be done to lighten up a room. Often a light color wash is applied simply to mute the existing colors down to a soft pastel.

Grout joints can also be colored independently of the tile to change the look of a floor or to ease maintenance.

Sealer choices:

Seal Systems uses only premium quality breathing type sealers that will not trap moisture or efflorescence within the tile. Any efflorescence which may occur over the life of the installation will surface up through the sealer allowing it to be brushed away.

Penetrating Sealer or subsurface; is for protection of the Saltillo while retaining the original natural appearance and color of the tile. Seal Systems exceeds sealer manufacturers specifications for amount of sealer needed to seal a Saltillo floor. If a penetrating or subsurface sealer is to be used we are able to apply more sealer per square foot than is specified by most sealer manufacturers, this results in a better seal. In most cases the manufacturer is making a recommendation for maximum spread rate which may cut costs, but only serves to provide a minimum seal. It is also possible to apply too much of certain types of sealers. Our 30 plus years of specializing in Mexican Pavers ensures that our spread rate parameters will produce maximum protection with no negative ramifications. The natural look sealer protects against deep stains however it does not leave a coating, the actual surface of the tile remains exposed to soils and wear from traffic. The natural look seal is the best choice for outdoor use or in an area where a rustic look is desired. When used outdoors this sealer will require less maintenance than any other outdoor sealer on the market.

Enhancing for highlighting the characteristics and colors of the Saltillo Paver. This is a semi- wet look without a coating. The sealing procedures and properties are the same as the natural sealer. While this sealer does highlight colors, it also highlights the natural flaws in the SaltilloPaver.

Coating or surface sealer is for highlighting the characteristics and color of the Mexican Paver while producing a gloss or semi gloss. Coatings are by far the most popular and most functional sealers for indoor use. The coating or surface sealer used by Seal Systems is the most fully breathing surface sealer available. Moisture will find it’s way into any Saltillo Paver installation. We have all seen how even painted interior doors take on the ambient moisture and swell up during periods of rain. Saltillo pavers will also absorb ambient moisture, add to this, the fact that Saltillo Tiles installations must be washed with soap and water, and it should be obvious that moisture must be allowed to escape as a vapor. If moisture vapor cannot escape, the sealer will become white and cloudy and will eventually peel. A homeowner can easily maintain our system of surface sealing. We provide full maintenance instructions with every job. We do of course also offer professional maintenance. The surface sealer used by Seal Systems is the most durable sealer available when a shine is desired outdoors, however it is best to consult with us on a case by case basis to insure suitability for your particular application.

Before and After

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