Saltillo Tiles

Hi all, we are almost in the process of completing the offer on a house which has considerable number of Saltillo tiles. My wife loves the orangish colored tiles. Are there issues with them? Any inout on cost related to things like sealing, grout (the grout lines seem much wider in these types of floors) etc will ne nice to hear
Thx
-keshav phoenix, AZ
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Phoenix is a good place to have saltillo tiles, and a place where they're more likely to be installed correctly. Uninstalled, saltillo tiles are really quite fragile, are easily broken, and can literally crumble into pieces. Set solidly in a good bed of mud on a concrete slab, they are quite durable. Yes, the grout lines are typically much wider than with ordinary tiles. To prevent staining, sealing is imperative. Under average residential use, sealing should be done annually; twice a year if in a high traffic/heavily scrubbed area. Although this newsgroup is predominantly do-it-yourselfers, I would highly recommend having the floor professionally steam cleaned and sealed before you move into the house. There are numerous companies in Phoenix who specialize in this. You'll be glad you did. Enjoy the floors!
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smurty writes:

They are an utterly primitive building material, literally made in a peasant's backyard. Absolutely inferior to the concrete they rest on as a flooring material. But I have this silly prejudice that, as a general principle, the "finish" on a structure should be of higher quality than the "substrate".
But they are fashionable. For the moment.
Look for the ones that have footprints from stray raccoons in them. This shows the charming authenticity of their rustic manufacture, and is highly valued.
Of course you can imagine some peasant, laughing at the gringos, and printing the wet clay with an amputated, mummified raccoon paw.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Oh, stop it! You made me spit out my beer all over the keyboard! :-)
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I'd say that depends largely on where you live. They have been "fashionable" in the Southwest for longer than anyone remembers.

Now that's a characteristic of being fashionable. It used to be that finding an artifact in your tiles was a happy accident. Now, many people specifically seek out a certain number of such tiles for "added interest".

They may very do something like that now, owing to their popularity. Originally, it was just a natural occurence in the process of sun-curing the tiles.
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