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Unread 12-28-2001, 05:52 PM   #1
AmyVC
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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John was so kind as to reply to an email and suggest that I ask the forum: I have a small house and would like to have Saltillo or similar Southwestern-type tile installed in kitchen (currently vinyl) and living area (currently carpet). I would guess approx. 500 sq. ft (I'm female and blonde, so it's anyone's guess). Anyway, I am looking for a professional to install -- someone who is good AND honest. John suggested I might do it myself, but I have one of those pesky 50-hour a week jobs and am one of those people who gets all gung-ho about a project until it is 50% done and then run out of steam. I have visions of living for years with a half-tile, half-raw floor!

Second question has to do with Saltillo vs any other option. My folks had our basement tiled with Saltillo many years ago and I remember moving to temporary housing followed by weeks upon weeks of hideous chemical odor. I can't do that again and further have two animals whose health is important to me. Have installation options for Saltillo improved? Is it the way to go, or are there other options that will give me a similiar effect without so much expense and/or hassle?

Forgot to mention re: question #1: I live in Fort Worth and am looking for someone in the area to install and take out old flooring. Told you I'm blonde!

Sorry to have rambled, hope you guys can help.

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Unread 12-28-2001, 06:11 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi again, Amy.

You sure did open yourself up with the blond female business. As you probably know we have some low-grades around here who might jump on top of a remark like that and take it to its stereotypical extreme. I won't mention any names. You'll meet them soon enough.

I do hope that somehow you find someone reliable to do your work. Saltillo may not be the best thing for you. The chemicals nowadays are mostly water-base, but there still may be unpleasantness.

Try shopping for a terracotta look-alike, maybe. Check out Master Tile (Don't know about Fort Worth itself, but they have a large store on LBJ Fwy about 4 mi. beyond DFW airport.) Ceramic Tile International (another large one) has showrooms throughout the Metroplex area.
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Unread 12-28-2001, 06:30 PM   #3
AmyVC
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John,

Thanks again for the sage advice. Regarding installers, does it matter if I use someone through the retailer where I buy the tile or should I try to find someone who works independently? Not only concern about the quality of work, but also this person will be in my home for a few days (?) perhaps without my presence so the whole bonded/insured thing might be a factor.
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Unread 12-28-2001, 11:20 PM   #4
Bud Cline
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Amy there should be plenty of verifiable professionals in your area. You could have a tile store (not a Home Depot type) give you several names. Check them out.

I think the terracotta look alike is a good idea. Why not look into that?

The odor of years past must have been the sealers. Years ago the sealers were solvent or petroleum based products. Those products are almost non-existant now days but you still may get into a smelly sealer.

If you do the terracotta look alike "ceramic tile" that won't be necessary.
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Unread 12-29-2001, 09:28 PM   #5
Ron
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Hi Amy,

You probably will not find anything that looks exactly like a Saltillo tile in a ceramic or porcelain.But what about a presealed Mexican Saltillo?

I have seen many good presealed Saltillos here and the finish seems to be consistent and fairly durable.The presealed ones are sealed at the "factory" or at warehouses in Texas.I think it's a urethane finish.

I've installed mostly the presealed Saltillo and find the finish to be as good as "aftermarket" finishes.I don't enjoy the sealing process that is necessary with the raw clay Saltillos,especially since I've always used solvent based sealers.Terrible odor.

They are more expensive than the raw product but less labour,and no smell,is involved.Keep in mind that Saltillo tiles will scratch more easily than ceramic tiles.Very easily but the wear adds to the unique,antiqued look of Saltillo.Guess you knew that already from experience.
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Unread 12-30-2001, 12:33 PM   #6
AmyVC
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Ron,

Thanks for the idea. Any idea where one might find pre-sealed Saltillo? Is it the kind of thing a tile installation professional will know how to find?

Amy
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Unread 12-30-2001, 03:26 PM   #7
John Bridge
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Amy,

There are a lot of places, including Home Depot. There is an outfit in San Antonio that makes a pretty good one. Can't recall the name, though. Maybe you can find them in Google.
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