Many homeowners like Saltillo tile as a flooring choice. It has a distinct, old-world vibe that instantly redefines any room.
Even though you are undoubtedly well aware of how tiles can transform a room, many people fail to consider the effect that the grout you choose can have on the installation process as well as the final look of the floor.
When it comes to grout, Saltillo tile is a highly specialized kind of tile that requires special consideration.
Before you can narrow down your choices for the best grout for saltillo tile, you need to decide what the style of your room will be: traditional or modern.
For a more “traditional” installation representative of original Mexican design and architecture, you will do well to choose a gray grout and feature wider grout lines. Although more expensive and high maintenance, this grout will give your home a hacienda-style appearance.
For a modern aesthetic, choose colored grout that allows for smaller grout joints. You’ll end up with a slimmer, more contemporary appearance.
When it comes to choosing a color, there are really only three strategies to choose from: matching, contrasting, or complimenting.
Matching: If you want the overall perspective of your tile to appear larger than it is, pick a matching or similar grout color. Your grout lines will be less noticeable if you choose a grout color that blends in with the hue of your tiles, allowing the tiles themselves to take center stage.
Contrasting: To draw attention to the tile’s shape, choose a grout color that contrasts with its hue. The contrast lets the patterns stick out to the eye, but remember, it will also make the space busier.
Complimenting: If you want to play it a little safe, pick a grout color that complements the tile’s hue. Most tiles go nicely with neutral colors like gray, beige, and white. Although complimentary shades may not evoke a distinctive aesthetic, they will be more flexible as your style preferences change over the years.
The Best Saltillo Grout Options
With joints up to 1/2-inch, Starlike EVO tile grout is a two-component, acid-resistant epoxy grout for laying and grouting all sorts of tiles. It is the top high-performance and high-fashion grouting material around the globe. The installation and upkeep of this Litokol Epoxy grout are straightforward.
LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK Pre-Mixed Grout
Even when grouting in the most demanding applications, this professional-grade, patent-pending grout, offers excellent durability, extraordinary adaptability, and superb color consistency. It is expertly prepared to guarantee a consistent appearance for years to come.
A fast-setting grout that mixes with water to create a consistent color that is ideal for floors or walls. Equipped with Microban, the LATICRETE PERMACOLOR grout fights mold and mildew growth.
Red Devil Pre-Mixed Tile Grout
A unique grouting formula that combines the convenience of DIY use with a professional quality product. Red Devil Pre-Mixed Tile Grout is designed with a user-friendly consistency and the durability of an acrylic-based product. It can be used for new tile projects or to repair existing ones.
Alliance Gator Polymeric Super Sand
Superior Pro-Grout Terra-Cotta Sanded is a go-to choice because it’s incredibly durable and can withstand years of use. Works well for projects with wider grout lines as it has minimal grout shrinkage. There is a wide range of color choices available.
QUIKRETE Construction Grade Mortar Mix
Use QUIKRETE Mortar Mix for your everyday mortar needs. A pre-blended mix of masonry cement and graded sand offers optimal hold and is simple to use. The formula requires only water and minimal mixing. QUIKRERE gives you versatility and convenience.
What Grout Joint Size Should I Use?
Due to the handmade nature of Saltillo tiles, the size and thickness will vary from tile to tile. Just like snowflakes, these Mexican tiles will be at least a little bit unique, requiring the tile installer to pay particular attention to grout spacing.
The varying tile sizes generally lead to broader grout lines averaging 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Giving the extra space between tiles allows for the natural variations.
What Are the Most Common Grout Color Options for Saltillo Tile?
Grout, the seam that holds tiles together, is the final step in any tile job. Although it is often overlooked until the last minute, choosing the right grout color ensures you get the aesthetic you desire for your Saltillo tile flooring. There are plenty of options to choose from, and it can seem like a daunting decision, but it doesn’t have to be!
Remember what we said above? There are really only three categories of colors for your tiles: matching, contrasting, and complimenting. Once you choose which you want, narrowing down the color will be a lot easier.
Here are a few popular grout colors to consider for your Saltillo tile floor project:
Right now, gray is a highly fashionable color as it is both versatile and neutral. It gives the same sort of distinction that black or brown grout does, but with a softer tone. Gray comes in shades that range from nearly white to a deep and rich tone.
White is a tried-and-true classic that looks polished and clean. It can compliment, contrast, and match depending on the color of your Saltillo tiles, and it is unlikely to date like some other colors. Many shades of white grout are available — just like white paint colors — bright, cold, warm, creamy, and off-white are all available.
Black grout gives your tiles a masculine, edgy look. While you may not gravitate toward black due to the typically earthy tones of the Saltillo tile, it can still be a good match for your floor. Many people enjoy the darker grout colors because they hide dirt better than white or light gray.
Depending on the hue of your Saltillo tiles, you may be seeking a grout with a more neutral, earthy tone. Shades of brown will likely be just the thing. You can opt for a lighter tone like beige, which gives a more muted look. Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have rich chocolate browns that will add depth to your flooring.
How Much Grout Do I Need for Saltillo Tile?
By sealing the area around your tiles with grout, you can create a waterproof barrier that shields your floors from moisture. DIYers generally consider it one of the best aspects of laying the Saltillo Tiles because it means you are almost finished with the job!
Grout work will give your floor its polished appearance, but how much grout do you actually need? You can get a pretty good estimate for how much grout to purchase with a little bit of math.
To make the calculation, you’ll need the following measurements:
- Total flooring area in meters squared
- Height and width of your tiles in mm
- Thickness of the tiles in mm
- Width of the grout line you want between the tiles in mm
- Coverage ratio for your brand of grout
Remember: Your Saltillo tiles are handmade and not uniform in height, width, or thickness, but you should be able to get an approximate or average number to work with for your calculation.
Time to Calculate
- A = tile width + tile height
- B = grout line width x tile thickness
- C = A x B x grout coverage ratio
- D = tile width x tile height
- E = C / D
- F = E x total tiled area
F is the total grout required in kg to complete your tile project.
Pro Tip: Add 10-15% to F to account for the variations in your handmade tiles, spillage, and waste.
How Do I Grout Saltillo Tile?
In this video, an expert from California Tile Restoration shows his process for grouting a large Saltillo tile project. He recommends making the grout just a little bit runnier when working with Saltillo due to the irregularity of the handmade tiles.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions completely before beginning your grouting project.
- Follow the product’s instructions for preparing your grout.
- Once it is mixed smooth and ready to go, use the flat side of a grout float to apply the grout to the tiles.
- Work in small sections, roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot at a time.
- Continue to sweep across the surface of your tiles until the gaps between are filled with grout. Keeping the float at an angle will help force the product into the gaps.
- Use a damp sponge to clean the excess grout from the tile surface.
- Buff away any residue with a dry cloth.
Pro Tip: When mixing your grout, add the recommended water to your working bucket before the powder. This will prevent unmixed powder at the bottom. You will want to mix your grout in small batches to keep it from hardening inside the bucket before you can get it on your tiles.
Ready to Grout!
Now that you have explored the available colors, calculated how much product you will need, and studied the process, you are ready to grout your Saltillo tile flooring.