When asked about classic flooring types that never go out of style, most people will automatically jump to hardwood flooring. But if you have a home decked out in Saltillo tiles, you may wonder if the handmade Mexican tiles are dated.
We asked the question “Is Saltillo Tile Outdated?” to five home design experts to get their take. Check out their answers below!
What is Saltillo Tile?
While there may be people out there calling any reddish-orange tile floor Saltillo, it is only true Saltillo if it comes from a specific region of Mexico. Much like how champagne can only be called so if it comes from a specific area in France.
Saltillo tiles are handmade by artisans who source the clay from a local riverbed. They manufacture the tiles in the same way they have for decades, and since they are allowed to dry outside, they have unique variations in each tile.
Your batch of tiles may contain a few with puppy prints or little birdie feet embedded in them! Some people consider these specially marked tiles as lucky.
Saltillo Tiles: Classic or Outdated?
Gromes Floor Service
Gromes specializes in installing hardwood, tile, and vinyl flooring as well as refinishing existing floors. They have served customers throughout the Southeast for the last 15 years, and their flooring experts have seen trends come and go.
We asked Jordan F., a custom tile installer, his thoughts on Saltillo tile:
“I think Saltillo and terracotta tiles are classic. They don’t really “date” or belong to a specific period like some other tile styles do.”
Jordan commented on how many homes and businesses in the Southeast choose to install Saltillo tiles because they feel cool underfoot during the brutally hot and humid summer months. For those worried that their tile floors have lost their luster, Jordan suggests hiring a professional for a deep clean and possibly getting the tiles resealed to bring them back to their former glory.
KJG Building and Remodeling
KJG and its owner Barry Selwon have been in the residential remodeling business for 25+ years providing clients with value, quality, and a high level of personal service. While KJG offers a whole range of remodeling services, they specialize in historic building conservation, outdoor kitchen design, and bathroom remodeling.
We asked owner Barry his thoughts on Saltillo tile:
“Always keep Saltillo tile. It’s a coveted, classic flooring option that never goes out of style.”
While Barry has worked with plenty of terracotta tile options like Saltillo in his historic buildings, he says they show up in many newer homes as well. Homeowners like the fact that they look great, are easy to maintain, and age beautifully. In fact, Barry will do his best to salvage the tiles anytime a customer opts to pull them out of their home!
Husband and wife duo Chris and Tina take a straightforward approach to design which has won them several awards and accolades. They are experts at blending various styles to create something unique and beautiful for their customers. Based in San Francisco but designing (and redesigning) homes across the country, they are used to watching trends come and go.
We asked Tina for her thoughts on Saltillo tile flooring:
“I work on homes in Southern California, so I have come across a lot of Saltillo tile and knockoff versions. If I see true handmade Saltillo tiles from Mexico, I do my best to get customers to keep them! It adds a richness to the home decor that just can’t be found in other flooring options. Now, if it is just a knockoff manufactured tile floor made to look like Saltillo, I’m less partial to keeping it as it won’t age in the same way. But true Saltillo? A keeper!”
Tina and Chris have found ways to fit Saltillo tiles in with eclectic, boho, and traditional decor styles. They both agreed that it can be a lot more flexible than people think, and there is no need to stick with a Southwestern decor style if that isn’t your vibe.
Rustic Home Designs
Rustic Home Designs is a stone and tile dealer founded in Oklahoma during the 1980s. With several decades under their belts, the experts at Rustic have purchased and sold thousands of handmade Saltillo tiles. They work closely with installers in the various markets to ensure their customers get the end result they are hoping for.
We asked Rustic’s purchaser Melanie about Saltillo tiles:
“Everything has a season, right? The trends come and go, but terracotta like Saltillo doesn’t go completely out of style. It just gets less popular for a while. Then there will be a stretch of years where everyone is looking for it.”
Melanie explained how they try to keep Saltillo in their inventory because there is always someone looking for it. “Some years, it seems everyone is looking for it,” she said.
A+ Flooring Services
Based in the Atlanta metro area, A+ Flooring Services was created by a pair of brothers who wanted to offer customers an honest approach to floor installation. The duo collectively has 20 years in the industry, and they have been running their own company for the last five years.
We asked Jose, the eldest brother, for his thoughts on Saltillo tile:
“Saltillo is a good choice. It last forever. It can make the home look soft and warm.”
Jose and his brother both agree that Saltillo tiles are easy to keep up to date. With the right wall color and decor, your tiles can keep from looking dated, no matter what the current flooring trends may be. They often convince homeowners to restore these tiles instead of tearing them out.
Saltillo Here to Stay
As you can see, the experts agree: Saltillo tile is here to stay. With a little bit of imagination, you can incorporate these lovely handmade tiles into your home decor style — no matter what it may be.