Saltillo tile is a favorite option of Clay Imports. A unique, old-world feel that can redefine any space immediately. While tiles can change a space, many people overlook the impact your grout choice can have in both installation and the aesthetic of the space.
Saltillo tile is a very unique type of tile that has specific considerations. Here’s our Saltillo tile grout recommendation guide.
Cover Photo Design and Installation by Jon Nuckels | Photo by Nick Simonite
Design and Photo by NJW Real Estate Adventures
WHAT TYPE OF GROUT SHOULD I USE?
First, figure out what style you’re trying to bring to the room. A more “traditional” installation will have larger grout joints and is typical in original Mexican design and architecture. We recommend a Saltillo-specific gray-colored grout. This grout will be sanded - which resists cracking and shrinking better and has a high slip resistance (great for wet areas!). This grout will give you the hacienda look and is more affordable but requires more upkeep.
For a more modern, sleeker look:
Go with a different colored grout, that allows for smaller grout joints - for example Ultracolor Plus FA by Mapei
. The installation with this grout is less labor-intensive, and you can use this versatile grout to create smaller grout joints, up to half of an inch.
There is also an upkeep benefit: this grout is stain resistant and does not need to be sealed after installation. The installation will be less labor-intensive, but this grout is slightly higher priced.
Design by Bandd Design. Photography by Molly Culver.
WHAT SIZE ARE GROUT JOINTS FOR SALTILLO TILE?
You can space out Saltillo tile as wide as 3/4” and go as small as 1/4.” Generally, smaller joints are used with smaller tiles (6” and under) and tend to create a more modern look. Larger joints are used with larger tiles and maintain the traditional look.
WHAT COLOR GROUT SHOULD I CHOOSE?
If you’re using the Saltillo-specific grout, you’ll have one color to choose from - natural gray. If you’re using conventional grout, there are three options for your grout color:
Match your grout color to your tile: A matching grout puts the tile itself in the focus. This way you avoid “breaking up” the pattern, or have distracting lines, that can change the tile design.
Design by Moontower Austin. Installation by The Tile Press
Use a contrasting grout color: A contrasting grout can be impactful if you want to enhance the shape or pattern of your tile. Here, a light grout really shows the hexagonal shape, highlighting each tile as part of a big picture.
Use a neutral grout color: Neutral grout colors, like off-whites or light grays, are a great “in-between” option. They neither create high contrast nor do they blend in too much with your tile. As a final note, we highly advise against using black grout, as it can irreversibly stain your tile!
HOW MANY BAGS OF GROUT DO I NEED?
Saltillo grout comes in 50lbs bags, and conventional grout usually in 25 lbs bags.
For a rule of thumb: each pound of Saltillo or conventional grout covers approximately 1.5 square feet of terracotta Saltillo tile, depending on your tile and grout joint size. So, measure your area, confirm your square footage and divide that by 1.5.
Saltillo grout comes in 50lbs bags, and conventional grout typically in 25 lbs bags.
WHERE CAN I BUY GROUT FOR MY SALTILLO TILE?
You can include your grout choice in your Clay Imports order! Keep in mind that Saltillo tiles are handmade tiles that exhibit natural variations, which are inherent traits of natural materials like Terracotta. These variations in color, texture and sheen are not defects but rather a natural part of the product. We highly recommend ordering samples before making a final purchase to confirm and appreciate these natural variations in each tile.
HOW DO I GROUT SALTILLO TILE?
We've built an expert guide on how to install Saltillo tile for you to use or share with your contractors. We also recommend taking a look at our Clay Care products, so you can take care of your installation. These maintenance items have been carefully tested with our products, and they are designed to preserve your tiles' beauty, ensuring their longevity and durability. From sealers to cleaners, purchasing these maintenance items together with your tiles not only simplifies your order but also prepares you to enjoy your tiles for a long time.
And remember, if you have any questions or require more information, don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com
Disclaimer: since the installation of tile greatly determines the integrity of the project and the tile itself, Clay imports does not warranty this product and is not responsible for dissatisfaction of material following installation. Please inspect all tile upon receipt and notify us immediately if you have any quality concerns. This guide is meant to serve as a general resource. Because each project is unique, consult your tile installer before installing your tile.