Saltillo tile is known for providing a traditional Spanish twist to any home. Its beautiful brown terracotta coloration and luxurious cuts have made it a timeless classic. While most people think of saltillo as a more “old school” material, it can be modernized fairly easily. Take a look at our inspiration for modern saltillo tile looks.

1. A Little Continuation With Modern Saltillo Tiles

Source: Westside Tile

One of the greatest things about saltillo tile is that it looks just as “at home” outside as it does inside. This means that it’s a perfect pick for homeowners that have floor to ceiling windows and a sliding door. The saltillo tile here helps add continuity from the indoors to the outdoors.

If you have an interior courtyard, then it makes sense to add a sense of continuity to your home. It gives this particular home a sense of “bistro chic.”

2. It’s All White Because We Have Modern Saltillo Tiles for Kitchens Too

Source: The Nordroom

The easiest way to make any flooring feel more modern is to pair it with an all-white surrounding that features sharp lines. The “all white kitchen” trend, in particular, has become associated with modern settings. 

Some might argue that this white marble look is going to be dated in a couple of years, but we disagree. White marble countertops and neutral colors remain timeless to almost every designer. 

3. Say It In Scandinavian

Source: The Nordroom

A close cousin of the crisp “all white” look is the Scandinavian (or Nordic) line of fashion. Scandinavian fashions involve clean furniture with crisp lines, lots of white and soft neutrals, as well as a fresh splash of blue. 

In other words, it’s similar to IKEA’s color palette and style. That’s not a bad thing, considering that it’s a billion-dollar company.  If this isn’t pretty, we don’t know what is.

4. Industrial-Power Cool

Source: Making Modern Home

If there is one easy way to make anything look more modern, it’s matching stone tile (like saltillo tiling) with industrial-style furniture. Industrial furniture is known for thick lines, black accents, and the ability to add a pointedly urban spin on any room. 

Here, we see saltillo tile flooring with urban industrial furniture…and it’s gorgeous. If you want to choose to do a home with industrial furniture, it’s often best to go for bright, open looks. Otherwise, it can look gloomy if done incorrectly.

5. Woodn’t You Know It?

Source: Floor & Decor

Sometimes, the bold brown of saltillo tile can be a bit much for most modern areas. The best way to make things look better is to pair it with wood stains that can match it. This is a design idea that is best suited to larger, more spacious rooms. 

Here, we see a cherry stain on the desk that mimics the same shade as the saltillo. It’s unifying in a way that keeps things modern.

6. Bold, Bold Bathroom

Source: HGtV

Saltillo tiling is often said to be very old school when paired with whites and yellows—and yes, that’s true. This bathroom turned that statement on its ear by pairing classic saltillo tiling with modern bathroom fixtures and patterned shower tiling. 

The end result remains European, but still gives you the updated vibe you want. It also can be dressed up or down, so what mood you put here depends on the accessories and lighting. 

7. Whitewashed Wonders

Source: Collins Tile and Stone

One of the newer trends to help modernize saltillo tiling involves trading the tile’s classic brown hue for something a bit paler. Here, we see whitewashed saltillo on a floor, paired with a strikingly modern kitchen. The overall effect is a deeply modern and welcoming kitchen area.

8. Midcentury Modern Marvels

Source: Hous

This gorgeous retro-modern home is a different take on using saltillo for a modern take. At one point, this house belonged to a millionaire. It became a time capsule filled with the finest midcentury furniture. 

Now, it’s a great reminder of why midcentury modern furniture looks so good with dark color palettes. Saltillo tile is a great pairing for this and helps add flow to the room.

9. Midcentury And Bright

Source: Marianahome

While many old school midcentury modern homes tend to be filled with darker colors, there’s no reason why you need to stick to that look if you don’t want to. Saltillo tiling is bold enough to be able to handle a bright color palate without looking blanched. 

Cyan and orange play together very well here, especially when paired with the chartreuse seats. Orange acts as a contrast to all the blue-based hues. 

10. Spot The Difference

Source: HGTV

Saltillo tiing is a great choice for people who want to work with bold designs. It’s the daredevil of flooring, which means that you can usually do things with this that you can’t with others. 

Here, saltillo tiling makes for a perfect complement to the accent wall thanks to the contrast between the blue dots and the brown tile. The fact that there is tile on the accent wall just helps add a little continuity. 

11. Patternize It

Source: Arch Daily

Saltillo tile doesn’t have to have a particular furniture pairing or accent wall pairing for it to remain modern. Saltillo tiles are used in conjunction with slate and poured concrete tiling here, and it looks beautiful. The saltillo acts as a pathway in the middle of this spacious home. 

12. Goin’ To Catalina

Source: Design Ideas

While many people tend to assume that saltillo tiling is something specifically for indoor use, the truth is that it still remains a great pick for patio tiling. This is particularly true if you want to go for a California beach club ambiance on your patio. 

Here, we see saltillo paired with boxy, cream-colored patio furniture and a ton of succulent plants. It’s a beautiful look, especially if you want to have a lookout over the sea.

13. Green With Envy

Source: Tile Press Pro Installation

If there was ever a color that was classically matched with saltillo tiling, it’s white. Next up? It’s green—dark green. Green and brown are a pairing that’s always found in nature.

Here, a living room was done with saltillo flooring and had bricks painted with a crisp whitewash. To help balance out the area, a bold green fireplace was added alongside some gorgeous potted plants. It’s clean, modern, and rustic all in one!

14. Beige N’ Brown

Source: DecoHolic

Most people assume that modern means that you can’t have any kind of grittiness to it, but this isn’t true. While it is not always easy to do, you can add a worn and rough aspect to your modern room design without killing the ambiance.

Here, we see faded saltillo wall tiles paired with a darker stained saltillo flooring. What makes this gritty look modern is the concrete poured sink and industrial vanity holding it. If you want something edgy yet modern in your home, this is it.

15. Stay Peachy

Source: Domino

Most people tend to design around the deep terracotta hue that traditional saltillo has, but there’s no need to do that. This is especially true if you want a light modern home that offers a little bit of pastel to your palette. 

This particular design shows lightened (or perhaps whitewashed) saltillo tile being used as a kitchen backsplash. The peachy shade of the tiling is remarkably pretty when contrasted with the blue-grey of the cabinetry. 

16. Worn N’ Woodsy 

Source: Westside Tile

There’s often a belief that you can’t have a home that remains both rustic and modern at the same time. This chic kitchen shows that it’s totally possible, thanks to saltillo tile and a smart almost-neutral color palette. 

Coloration is what makes this place look so warm and inviting. The gentle touches of red and green help add a country touch, while the clean lines of the architecture make this place look modern.

17. Taken For Granite

Source: Design Ideas

Beige granite is one of the most popular countertop materials, and here, we see it paired with bleached saltillo brick. The end result is a kitchen that looks contemporary (and modern) without looking like it belongs in a faux setup. It’s homey rather than sterile.

If you are looking for something that is a little more mainstream, then it’s okay to stick with a beige and terracotta palette. It’s a classic for a reason.

Editorial Contributors
Stacey Bailiff

Stacey Bailiff

Stacey Bailiff is a talented writer with a passion for home improvement, particularly in the realm of tile design and installation. Stacey is an expert on the latest trends, techniques, and materials used in transforming spaces through tile work. Whether you're a homeowner looking to revitalize your kitchen backsplash, renovate your bathroom with stunning tile patterns, or explore creative ways to incorporate tiles into your living spaces, Stacey's writing is sure to inspire and guide you.

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