Saltillo tiling is one of the most beautiful types of terracotta tiling on the market — but it can also be one of the most difficult to incorporate into your home’s design. You may feel like saltillo tiling means you will be limited to the classic white that adorns so many Mediterranean and Spanish homes.
While white is a versatile and popular color choice to pair with saltillo tile, it is certainly not the only option. We’ve picked out some of the best paint colors to pair beautifully with saltillo tile flooring.
The terracotta tones of classic saltillo tile make this flooring fantastic at bringing out the warmth of a home. Light peach paint colors can enhance continuity, retain a delightful Spanish ambiance, and also coordinate well with a wide variety of decor styles.
Benjamin Moore’s Pumpkin Mousse is a great choice for this look, as it has just enough warmth without being too saturated. For something slightly cooler and closer to white, Pale Oats is another option.
The key is to select a peach or peach-adjacent tone that is not stark white but remains fairly light. Going too dark risks looking dingy, while an overly saturated peach will clash with your decor.
Deep Turquoise or Teal
Bold blues like deep turquoise can provide beautiful, lively contrast against the warmth of saltillo tiles. One fantastic option is a deep turquoise, which retains just enough yellow to coordinate smoothly while still offering punch.
A rich teal with strong blue-green undertones can create a bold, exotic look that really pops against the inherent warmth of saltillo tiles. Consider a color like Valspar’s Bay Teal, which exemplifies these desired undertones. The striking contrast of this shade against orange saltillo tiles creates visual interest.
Want to channel some retro, mid-century flair? Green is a foolproof pairing with most saltillo tiles. Whether your tiles are natural, sealed, or stained, green offers lively contrast. A color like Valspar’s Sunny Lime captures the essence of this look.
Yellow-tinged chartreuse or grassy green. In our experience, pairing this color with weathered wood accents is great for a timeless yet modern feel.
If you want to enhance the inherent warmth and earthiness of saltillo tiles without going overboard on color, consider a pale golden beige instead of basic white. These versatile warm neutrals offer a hint of color while still remaining flexible enough to suit almost any decor. They are also particularly well-suited to rustic, countryside-inspired spaces.
A great example is Benjamin Moore’s Beacon Hill Damask, a rich yet muted golden beige that beautifully mirrors the warmth of terracotta tiles. The pale beige adds a subtle enhancement without overpowering the tiles.
Vibrant Royal Blue
If you’re looking to add a touch of old world opulence, royal blues create a striking contrast against traditional saltillo tiles while retaining a traditional elegance. The key is choosing a deeply saturated royal blue with pure and cool undertones to stand up against the warmth of the tiles.
Consider a dramatic navy like Benjamin Moore’s Starry Night Blue for big and bold contrast. This rich indigo hue can lend any space a luxurious, regal ambiance.
Saltillo Tile Is Not Limited to Basic White
While white remains a popular tried-and-true choice, saltillo tiles can handle a wide spectrum of colors. Do not be afraid to add a splash of vibrancy that reflects your personal style. Colors like peach, green, turquoise, and even deep purples can help complete your home’s aesthetic.
Experiment and have fun playing with different hues and tones. Since saltillo tiles offer so much built-in visual interest, you have lots of room for colorful creativity.
FAQs About Saltillo Tile
What type of paint finish should I use with saltillo tile?
Flat or matte paint finishes work best for walls paired with saltillo tiles. The low-sheen, porous texture plays nicely against the variations and natural patina of the tiles in our experience. Semi-gloss or high-gloss paint will create too much contrast.
How do I pick the right paint color?
Choose colors that complement the warm, earthy tones of your saltillo tiles. Warm neutrals like beige, peach and yellow are foolproof. For a stronger contrast, look at the color wheel and select cool counterparts to orange like blues, greens and purples.
Should I seal my tiles before painting?
Sealing saltillo tiles before painting helps prevent stains from paint splatters or drips during application. We recommend using a penetrating sealer specifically formulated for terracotta or brick. It is always best to test sealers in an inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your tiles.
What about accent walls?
Bold accent walls pair beautifully with saltillo tiles. Try using a bright, saturated hue like emerald green or navy blue just on one wall as a striking focal point. You can also complement your accent wall by using lighter, neutral paint colors on surrounding walls.
Can I paint the tiles themselves?
You can paint saltillo tiles, but it is not generally recommended. Staining the tiles is a better way to change or enhance their appearance in our experience. If you do want to paint them, use specialty tile paint and know that results are not always guaranteed over time.