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How to Grout Saltillo Tile

Paul Massey

Saltillo tile is a type of traditional Mexican tile that enjoys wide popularity in the Southwest and Western United States. It derives its name from the town in Mexico where it is still made. Saltillo is a terracotta-based tile made by pressing quarried clay into wooden molds, allowing it to dry in the sun and then firing it in ovens, creating its unique color range and texture. The procedure for grouting completes this unique tile finish and ensures years of lasting beauty and durability.

The unique beauty and charm of saltillo tile.
  1. Clean all of the grout joints between the saltillo tiles using a small broom or vacuum to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. Mix a quantity of grout mix following the manufacturer’s specifications for the area to be covered.

  3. Place approximately three to four cups of the grout mixture on the tile’s surface along the grout joint, then press the grout into the gaps between the tiles by pushing the mixture back and forth across the grout joints at about a 45-degree angle with a sponge grout trowel. Fill the joints to where the grout mixture is packed solid and even with the top edges of the saltillo tiles.

  4. Continue the grout application method in Step 3 to fill all of the grout joints.

  5. Use a soft sponge, rinsed frequently with warm water, to smooth the grout and clean the cement haze from the saltillo tile’s surfaces. Allow the grouted joints to cure for a minimum of 48 hours before applying grout sealer.