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Unread 05-29-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
drewsg
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Help with Saltillo tile restoration..

Good afternoon. I'm helping my parents fix up their house in order to prepare it for sale. As far as I know, in 30 years they've lived in the house, the tile has never been stripped and resealed. I believe they've just gone as for as to mop and polish and that is it.


My questions are

1) Are the tiles too far gone? I'm going to look for prices, but is it possible to still salvage the tiles that are scratched and make them look new?

2) How much should I look to pay for a restoration at this scale? I want to say that's about 2,000 sqft worth of tile. I live in South Florida if it helps

any help/input is appreciated
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Unread 05-29-2020, 03:02 PM   #2
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Welcome, Andrew.

You can attach photos from storage on your computer using the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box.

What you tried to do in your first post won't work and we'll need to see the photos (maybe not all of'em) to give you any reasonable response.

It's also helpful to add a geographic location to your User Profile.
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Unread 05-29-2020, 03:36 PM   #3
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edit..

Got it.. thank you
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Unread 05-29-2020, 06:22 PM   #4
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It's hard to tell if it's only the sealer that's chipped away or if the tiles are chipped and how deep. If the tiles are chipped and worn then I'd think new sealer would turn out darker in those areas. The tiles look to have a stain applied on them too.

I have no idea what it would cost to have it stripped and resealed.
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Unread 06-02-2020, 08:29 AM   #5
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Hi Andrew,


I'm not sure those are Saltillo; they look more like cement (glazed concrete tiles). It might be the pictures. Tell us whether the chipped areas are red like bricks or gray like cement. If cement, I don't know of a good way to restore them.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 12:21 PM   #6
drewsg
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Saltillo tile restoration

Looking for some tips in helping restore some awfully neglected Saltillo tiles.

Already got some ZEP Heavy Duty Stripper that seems to at least get off the top layers, I had to use a scraper to get off some of the more resistant sealer, but I think this is a bad idea as it left some scratches.. gonna stick with the brushes and elbow grease.

Any tips, pointers, prayers? Specifically getting the imperfections out.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 01:10 PM   #7
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I've combined your new thread with your original on this cleaning project, Andrew. Please keep all your questions here.

That's better than I would have expected. "Imperfections" are part of the character of real Saltillo.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 01:19 PM   #8
drewsg
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Thank you, will do.

Looks like I'm one layer away from the promise land.
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Unread 12-16-2020, 10:38 PM   #9
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My hat's off to you, Andrew. Even experienced pros are terrorized by trying to restore that stuff. A huge problem is the vast variety of "sealers" folks put on that tile. Everything from motor oil, to polyurethane, to wood stain, to...you name it. That makes it super tough to use just one product on the stripping.

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Unread 12-17-2020, 06:46 AM   #10
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I still don't think we're dealing with the Saltillo tiles I'm familiar with. Saltillo tiles are raw clay, very soft, dried in open kilns in Mexico. If we're dealing with Saltillo tiles I think everything would have been removed from them by now.

What I'm seeing looks to be some time of finish or even glazing that has been applied to the tiles, and if I'm right it won't come off with a stripper. We really need to know what we're dealing with here.
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Unread 12-17-2020, 08:59 AM   #11
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Due to the deep looking scratches that were caused by the plastic bristle brush you used, I would think they are Saltillo tiles. You are most likely removing the color finish from the surface of the tiles. In my personal opinion, vintage Saltillo tiles are beautiful with slight chipping and scratching because they are fragile and you expect that to happen with age, it gave them a certain charm. I always recommend to customers who are selling their house, not to do any big tile repairs or projects, if everything is still usable and functional. The buyer could have a totally different taste than you, so it could be a waste of time and money.
One of my customers has Saltillo tiles in his hallway and part of them were covered with a rug. The tiles beneath the rug maintained their beautiful fresh color and the rest of the tiles were faded from wear and the sun. He asked me what he should do about it. I said put the rug back!
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Unread 12-17-2020, 04:55 PM   #12
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How can I tell if it's authentic Saltillo tile?
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Unread 12-17-2020, 07:09 PM   #13
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Axe it in Spanish where it's from, Andrew, and see how it responds.

I think you have Satillo. If there are no extra pieces stored somewhere, 'bout all I could suggest is you drill a hole in an inconspicuous place and see if that color goes all the way through. Generally it'll be the more pink/orange (whatever your eye calls it) color and it'll all be soft. No indication of a glaze of any kind.

Any dog or chicken or duck tracks in any of the tiles?
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Unread 12-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #14
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No dog tracks or anything like that, I did do what you said and drilled a small hole by the back of the house. What do you think? Real saltillo?
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Unread 12-18-2020, 05:49 PM   #15
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Not sure what you're showing us there, Andrew. Where's the hole?
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