Q: In my kitchen, I have a saltillo tile floor that keeps getting chipped. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
In my kitchen, I have a saltillo tile floor that keeps getting chipped. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
—Dewanda Votaw, Childress, TX
Joe Ferrante replies: There's no finish strong enough to prevent a dropped pot from chipping a true Mexican Saltillo tile. About all you can do is parka throw rug in the impact zone to cushion the blows. You can't repair the chips, either, but you can make them less obvious.
Saltillos are a relatively soft tile, which means you can sand away the damage using 150-grit sandpaper. Don't sand the entire tile—just hit the sharp edges and rough surfaces so they blend with the surrounding area. Unlike glazed ceramic tiles, the color of a Saltillo is fairly uniform from surface to interior, so sanding off a little here and there won't be noticeable. When you're finished, seal the tile with the same sealant you used on the floor before.