Mexican floor tile is a popular flooring choice among new homeowners and those seeking to remodel their existing home.
Those who choose Mexican floor tile typically do so because they love the Spanish look that this flooring brings to a room. Mexican tile hails from the town of Saltillo, Mexico, where artisans use clay to create true Mexican tile, drying the finished product in the sun. Another drying method includes wood firing. Authentic Mexican tile can last for years if taken care of and sealed properly.
If you are looking for perfection in your flooring, then you'll want to seek other options beside Mexican flooring. The tiles' authenticity is evident in its imperfections. Because true Mexican tiles are handcrafted, each one has an individual look. You may find small leaf indentions, animal prints, and other "flaws". However, this is what adds to character to your floor, and this will turn your ordinary home into a venerable conversation piece.
Types of Mexican Floor Tiles
Mexican floor tile can be used in so many areas of the home, and not just on the floor! Tiles look great as pavers on the patio, porch, landscape areas, and even driveways. Many who admire this southwestern look, however, have found other creative ways to use this tile. The warm, terra cotta look of this tile works wonders for flooring throughout the home, including entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas. It can also be used on walls, around fireplaces, and even as countertops.
While the traditional Mexican tiles are typically created from raw clay and dried in the hot, Mexican sun, there are several versions of this southwestern flooring favorite.
- Lincoln and Tecate tiles: Theses tiles are characteristically stronger and more uniform in appearance than Saltillo tile, which some people prefer.
- Saltillo tiles: These tiles, which are created in Saltillo, Mexico, are by far the most popular choice. When you order Saltillo tiles, you never know quite what to expect. The variations in color and texture make each piece of tile a work of art. Colors may feature the warm, terra-cotta reds to oranges and even yellows. While most people don't choose to change the look of their tiles, others may want to add stains to change the colors to create more eclectic looks.
Care and Maintenance
Once you've received your tile, you have a choice to make. You can leave the tile in its raw state, or you can seal it, much as you would do to a wood floor. Because Mexican tile is created out of a porous material, it can absorb moisture if it isn't sealed. It is recommended that you seal your tile with a sealant designed for this type of flooring. The correct sealant should not change the coloring of your tile and should last for many years.
Purchasing Mexican tile is as simple as clicking the mouse on your computer. Before you start clicking, however, keep the following points in mind:
- Measure your floor. Take a square footage measurement, but then add 15 to 20 percent more tile. This is especially important if you are going to install the tile yourself. You'll want to allow for broken pieces, etc.
- Choose your floor company. Not sure if a company is legit? Check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Read the fine print. Look at the company's shipping and return policy. Also find out how the company handles packages that contain damaged tiles.
The following sites will get you started. Be sure you do your own investigative work, however, before you hand over that credit card number!