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How Much Does Saltillo Tile Cost?

Tile is often a popular choice when it comes to flooring. Homeowners love it for its design and low maintenance. However, choosing a style of tile can be difficult as there are so many choices, including Saltillo tiles. Saltillo is a traditional Mexican tile that ranges in color from yellow to red and even orange. Authentic Saltillo tiles do not come with any kind of glaze or finish on them. However, there are a number of manufacturers that still distribute Saltillo tiles with some kind of finish on them so that they are ready to install.

The Costs

  • Minimum: $1.50 per square foot

  • Maximum: $8.50 per square foot

The cost of authentic Saltillo tiles vary greatly depending on the size, design and if the tiles were made by hand. True Saltillo tiles are hand crafted in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. They have to be crafted there because this style of Mexican clay does not exist anywhere else in the world. Because of this fact, many companies try to sell knock-off Saltillo tiles.

The main factor that affects the price of Saltillo tiles is the size. The larger the tile, the more the tile costs. Most tiles range in size from 4 to 20 inches. Another factor that is taken into account is the weight. The more the tile weighs, the more clay it took to make it. This increases the cost. Also, special ordering Saltillo tiles can be expensive because they have to be shipped from Mexico. Thankfully, having Saltillo tiles professionally installed does not cost any more than having traditional tiles installed. Thus, this helps to offset the high price of the tiles themselves.


The materials needed to properly install Saltillo tiles do not differ that much from the materials need for traditional tiles. However, there are a few added materials that may be needed.

  • Saltillo tiles: The style and color of the tile will need to be picked out by the homeowner.

  • Saltillo tile sealer: Due to the fact that authentic Saltillo tiles are not already sealed, a special sealer is needed. Although it is not required, companies do make sealer specifically designed for Saltillo tiles.

  • Paintbrush/roller: These will be used to apply the sealer to the tile.

  • Grout: This is used to help hold the tiles in place. Grout is a common material needed when installing any kind of tile.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Saltillo Tile

There are a number of great advantages and disadvantages to using Saltillo tiles. It is up to the homeowner to decide if the pros outweigh the cons. Although the drawbacks for using Saltillo tiles are noticeable, they are not as cumbersome as tiles that are made out of other materials.


One of the best features about Saltillo tiles is that they are all natural. They are not only made from clay that is only found in Northern Mexico, but the tiles are also baked in the sun. The position of the clay when it is drying in the sun helps it change color. This clay also feels soft to the touch, making it a great tile to walk on barefooted. This style of clay tile is also very easy to care for. They not only hide dirt very well, because of their earthy colors, but they can also be cleaned by just vacuuming or sweeping. When they get really dirty, the tiles are safe to mop as well. If the tiles are going to be placed in an area that gets a lot of traffic, they can be given a layer of sealer. This not only protects the tiles, but it also gives them a nice shine.


One of the biggest problems with Saltillo tiles is that they are made by hand. Since this process cannot be the exact same every time, each tile comes out slightly different. This means that they are not always going to be perfectly level when using them as a floor. Homeowners who want pieces of tile that are uniformed should go with tiles that are crafted by machines. It is hard to find Saltillo tiles that match in color as well. Most of them are close, but it seems like every piece has a slightly different tint to it. It may not always be noticeable, but it could be a deal breaker for some people. It should also be pointed out that Saltillo tiles can chip very easily. It is not uncommon for tiles to chip, but Saltillo tiles are a bit more brittle than others. Over time, this can cause some major problems for the homeowner.


As talked about above, Saltillo tiles are not all the exact same size and shape. As a result, the installation of these types of tiles can be tricky. That is why it is generally recommended that the homeowner hire a professional contractor who has worked with Saltillo tiles before. It takes a lot of careful planning to get a Saltillo tile floor as even as possible. The contractor will know all of the tricks of the trade to get Saltillo tiles nearly completely flat. For example, Saltillo tiles need to be rocked as they are placed on the ground. This rocking motion helps remove all of the air pockets that get trapped underneath them. Failure to do this can result in air pockets that cause excess pressure on the tiles and lead to cracking over time. The air pockets also make it near impossible to get the Saltillo tiles even.

Last updated on Apr 1, 2015

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