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  • Saltillo, Terra Cotta and Mexican Tile Cleaning and Restoration

    Saltillo / Mexican Tile & Terra Cotta Restoration

    saltilloThis delicate man-made tile offers beautiful reds and browns and can come in a range of finishes from matte to gloss. Each requires annual care in order to maintain their appearance. Wear through the topical seal and man-made finish and you have permanent damage requiring replacement of the tile, or living with the unfinished clay appearance below the finish.  How does the manufacturing method impact tile replacement?


    In just the past 20 years Mexican tile manufacturing methods have changed dramatically, making what would appear to be a simple repair – replacing a damaged tile – a historical exercise, as it takes more than color and size to find the appropriate match.. One must also account for edge cut methods , as well as the flatness of the tile to access the bake process employed. This is a key factor to consider before one agrees to replacing a tile. But if you do – we can do that to. While some issues can be repaired insitu, others can require replacement of the offending tile.


    How do I get my tile back to its original appearance?
    Mexican tile can show its age through wear, stains, lime spots fading, and dirty stained grout lines. Each issue may require a different treatment. MARBLELIFE can walk you through not only the repair, but what caused it, what your repair options are, and how to take care of it afterwards, all during a FREE estimate, and all done by a uniformed, MARBLELIFE trained sales person or craftsman.


    How do I care for my Mexican Tile?
    If you have not have your mexican tile cleaned-and-sealed, or stripped-and-sealed in the past year, your maintenance is running long-in-the-tooth. If 2-years you are risking permanent damage to your tile, as your high traffic areas have likely already worn through their topical seal, and are wearing on the tile\’s man-made finish. MARBLELIFE has the ability to spot address and spot maintain as needed, so that your high traffic areas are being appropriately serviced, insuring you are not OVER-serviced, while delivering a quality outcome. Mexican tile should be re-sealed every year, or depending on traffic, every six-months. A proper topical sealer will protect the baked on color and finish. Wear through it permanent tile damage can be done.


    Mexican Tile or Terra Cotta?
    It may not seem like a huge difference, but understanding what you really have can make a significant difference in how your tile surface is treated and cared for. Did-you-know that terra-cotta installers are encouraged to wear gloves when installing terra cotta to avoid the possibility that hand oils might be absorbed by the unsealed tile locally darkening the tile. Little details make all the difference when analysing what transpired to create the effect you are seeking to repair.


    What to do Now?
    (1) If you are unsure how to care for your tile – contact your local MARBLELIFE office, as they will be happy to provide you the guidance you need to the right products based on a few short questions about your floor and your traffic levels.


    (2) If you have an area of concern, or have not arranged for your periodic service visit enter your zip code into the service locator to the right and request to schedule your FREE estimate right now. The zip code will also return the contact information for your local office. Its easy and when you are done you will know what you need to do to keep your floors looking great for years to come.


    What NOT to do?
    (1) Never allow someone to hone, grind or try to level your tile, as this will create a dust cloud that could take months to clean up and typically results in repainting the room, not to mention cutting through the man-made finish baked onto the surface to reveal the raw clay beneath. Mexican tile needs to be refinished by a company that has experience servicing Mexican tile, and has the knowledge to help you properly protect your floor from being damaged by wear, and can recommend appropriate maintenance products.


    2) Never allow an acid cleaner or stain to be applied to the tile, as acids will react with the tile surface, leaving a white spot or lime spot if dripped onto an unprotected floor, or washing out the surface color if treated across the entire floor area.


    (3) There was a time when Motor Oil was used to seal Mexican Tile creating a soft patina finish, but with a persistent oily smell. Believe it or not this is still done, even though we have long developed solutions that deliver the same outcome, without the oily feel and odor.