How to Stain Saltillo Tile

Viktoria Carrella

Saltillo tiles are made in Mexico from mud and are dried in a kiln for color. These tiles are not very durable but are beautiful and add luxury to your home. Saltillo tiles require particular upkeep and care and are not recommended for use in high traffic areas or outside due to their ease of staining and breaking.

Extreme temperatures or too much moisture can cause these tiles to break and become dull, so they are normally sold pre-sealed to help with this problem. By staining installed Saltillo tile floors, you can customize the color of your floors and give them an updated look to match your decor.

  1. Shake the stain can for two minutes by grabbing the can at the top and the bottom and shaking up and down quickly. Open the stain and use the wooden dowel rod to stir the liquid vigorously. Pour the Charlotte's Saltillo Tile Stain into the shallow dish or plate leaving at least 1 inch from the top to allow for dipping without spilling.

  2. Choose an area about 4 feet in width and length to start applying the stain to keep the area manageable.

  3. Put on the gloves to protect your hands. Open any windows or doors to allow proper ventilation of the fumes.

  4. Dip the sponge down into the stain on the dish or plate and apply in small circles to one tile at a time, avoiding the grouted areas. The sponge can be cut down to palm size with scissors if this will help you to stay off the grout. Move on to finish all the tiles in the 4-foot area using the same small circular motion.

  5. Allow the stain to dry for two hours. Reapply a second coat in the same manner as above. Continue this over another 4-foot section until the entire floor is completed.

  6. Tip

    It is better to apply two coats of stain to get your desired look than to cram two coats worth in with one coat. More time is used with this method, but you have a better chance of achieving the desired look.


    Storing leftover stain can be dangerous if proper ventilation is not used, so always read the instructions on the back of the can to properly store the product.

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