WHAT IS SALTILLO TERRACOTTA TILE?
Saltillo Terracotta tile is an unglazed clay floor tile made in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. The tile is made from clay deposits which are excavated from river banks in Saltillo. The color and consistency of the clay is native to this particular region in Mexico. This type of clay, along with the atmosphere in the ovens and the type of fuel used for firing causes the unique color variations found in Saltillo tile. Each piece of Saltillo Tile is made individually, and for that reason each piece will have its own character. The tile is primitive, there are irregularities. You will find small chips, cracks and bumps. These imperfections merely add character and a rustic quality to the floor. If you are lucky, you might even find a few animal footprints in your tile!
Briefly, this is the manufacturing process: 1) Clay is excavated from river banks. 2) Clay is mixed with water. 3) Wet clay mixture is formed into tile shapes (molds) 4) Tiles are dried in the sun (frequently, rain destroys them) 5) Dried tiles are fired in kilns which are actually caves in the river banks 6) The fuel used for these kilns is usually and ocassionaly combustoleum, recycled wood and propane gas.
1) They often have sandy backs (Caused by dumping the wet tile, from the mold, on the ground to sun dry before backing in the kiln for 4 days).
2) Have shipped edges.
3) Sometimes have lime pops (and come in all sizes and shapes).
4) Are NOT the same sizes.
5) Are NOT all the same thickness.
6) Are NOT all flat.
7) Are NOT all square.
8) Have occasional cracks on the surface.
9) Have occasional animal prints (to get one of these you have to be very lucky).
10) Are NOT all the same color. (They even vary in shading in the same tile).
11) Are prone to Alkali in the clay. To minimize problems they must be properly sealed and maintained and kept sealed.
Delivery time is 4-6 weeks.
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