Any saltillo experts out there?

Hiya, I'm in the process of stripping my first saltillo floor. Needless to say, it isn't going all that well. I've been using a stripper by Sparks that supposedly is pretty good. I've also tried a product from Jasco whose main ingredient is methylene chloride. Anyway, I put the stripper down, leave for 10-15 minutes and then hit it with a scotchbrite pad. I add a bit of water to keep a slurry and continue scrubbing. Then I'm wiping off with some paper towels and giving the whole thing a wash with water. Needless to say, there are spots of dark red that don't appear to have sealer on them but just won't dry. I've tried doing a lacquer thinner wash thinking maybe the tile soaked up a bunch of the stripper in places and that doesn't seem to help either. I've tried sanding with 220 grit on the dark spots and nothing. I've also tried restripping the tile again (as many as 5x) and yet the spots remain. The spots weren't there before I started this fiasco.Just how do I do this? Has anyone else experienced this frustration and what was the solution? Thanks for any advice, cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

When I've done this I used the Glaze'N Seal or Aqua Mixproducts. I can't speak for your stuff, but you may want to call a pro, or at least consult a tile store. Sounds like you may be missing a 'neutralizer' application in your process.
There may be help on the net as well. http://tinyurl.com/6byaj
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I have to admit, I'm pretty impatient with the drying. I was only giving it a couple of hours. Trouble is, part of the tile was dry pretty quickly and the rest of it (spotty areas) wouldn't dry. I headed out for a couple of hours and when I came back they had dried. I'm in NM where water doesn't stand a chance just sitting around :)

Saltillo stripping is pretty common here given the sheer amount of the stuff. I suspect you're right that you'll never get all the sealer off but now that I've got a system down, you really wouldn't know the stripped tiles ever had a sealer on them. They suck up water just like raw ones.

I'm using the HD off the shelf stuff, Miracle Sealants Penetrating finish followed by their High Gloss Sealer. I just finished laying 150 sf of the stuff and finished this way. Trouble is, their new stuff contains a color enhancer. I put down 400 sf of the stuff last summer and it didn't contain this. So now I have a serious mismatch going on so hence all the stripping (not to mention, a lot of sf worth of 12 year old stuff that was never maintained). So my work is cut out for me for the next several weekends! I intend to then go back and put on a few coats of MexSeal which seems to be the best stuff around these parts anyway.
Cheers and thanks for the inputs! cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Won't dry in how long? Gotta remember that Saltillo is very porous...one tile can suck up a pint of liquid.
I grouted some last Thursday or Friday, had a fan on it 24 hours a day and it is just now (Monday evening) almost dry. I won't reseal and finish it for another couple of days. Took extra long because the tile was sealed after laying but before grouting and the only way for moisture to escape was through the grout lines. However, I lay it unsealed and that also takes days to dry from the moisture in the thinset.
I've never tried stripping any of the Saltillo I laid in my house, never would, no idea what would happen with the residual stripper soaked into it. Not to mention the original sealer and topcoat which I kinda doubt can ever be totally removed.
After laying, I seal it with a locally made acrylic sealer (SealCrete) then topcoat (3-4 coats) with oil poly. I use the sealer because it is only $12/gallon, the tile dries with nearly the natural color and the oil poly doesn't darken it as it would if the tile weren't already sealed (one could get the same color results using just water poly but the tile would suck up a lot if not already sealed). When it wears, I do the same thing in the worn areas. Works well for me, been doing it for ten years.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Years ago when I lived in Arizona I had Saltillo tile installed. The installer used boiled linseed oil followed by applications of "Tree" wax. First coats of the colored "Tree" was followed by a clear coat. Seemed to hold up quitye well.
Dave

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