It’s not exactly the Da Vinci Code, but we’ve got the truth about your Mexican Pavers.
Mexican pavers, made of clay by artisans of the industry, have been around for hundreds of years. (Saltillo is a type of Mexican Paver, but not all pavers are Saltillo). The rustic look of the tiles is appealing to many homeowners and designers, and many millions of square feet have been installed in homes and businesses throughout the world. Since these tiles are made of clay and fired at low heat, they are softer than ceramic or porcelain, and tend to have cracks, bumps, pits and the occasional paw print. These features are what make the tiles attractive and endearing to many.
Once installed, the tiles require maintenance, which is often ignored. Often they go unsealed. Sometimes they are sealed with an impregnating sealer, which provides some protection for the tile’s vulnerable interior structure but doesn’t protect the top of the tile.
Most often, the tiles are sealed with some form of topical sealer, either water or oil-based. This method is like putting Saran Wrap on the tiles. It provides a coating that protects the top of the tile, but is prone to peeling and sluffing.
What should you do with your Mexican Pavers?
That’s where Appleby comes in. We specialize in the cleaning, sealing, staining and repair of Mexican Pavers.
Let us come in and assess your pavers and make a determination of the best way to protect and beautify them. We have the experience and expertise to make sure your floor is properly handled.
Here’s what we may do:
1) If your pavers have been previously sealed without a topical sealer, you may opt to clean them and have them resealed in the same way. Sealing with an impregnator will produce a more rustic, rough and non-reflective look that some prefer. This floor will require cleaning more often, due to the fact that there is more porosity (open capillaries) exposed. But sealing it with one of our best sealers will make the cleaning much easier for years to come.
2) If your pavers have a topical sealer on them, sometimes the sealer has been applied in layers over dirty tiles and grout. In this case, you must decide whether you’d like Appleby to clean it to the best result and seal with a topical sealer, or strip the existing coating off and recoat it. Typically, after stripping off the lacquer or water-based sealer and cleaning the tile and grout, we apply a water-based topical sealer. Stripping (and we’re not talking about the one that involves a G-string and dollar bills) is difficult and labor-intensive. Be prepared to pay extra if this service is required.
3) If your pavers have a topical sealer, but that sealer was applied when the tiles were clean, then that sealing most likely protected the tiles and we can clean and recoat with a topical for much less than a strip and recoat.
4) Finally, we do custom staining of tiles. We hand color each tile (with a minimum of 3 colors and up to five colors) to bring discolored tiles back to life and blend in tiles that have been stained by overlays of dirt and sealer from years of neglect. We can also fix tile that has been scratched by metal chairs and tables. Again, this is a labor-intensive process, but even with the added cost, it’s a fraction of the cost of ripping out the tiles and replacing them. We can also replace seriously damaged tiles, but understand that a perfect match of the grout can sometimes be challenging.
Mexican Pavers provide a beautiful, warm feeling to your home. Tile contractors and installers don’t service these tiles. Few companies know or have the experience to assess and correctly clean and seal Mexican Pavers or Satillo. Give Appleby a call today and let us help you make the right decision when it comes to renovating your floor.