Can I repair damages Saltillo tile?


I have a rental that has Saltillo tile in all the living spaces. The last tenants ruined the tile in the living room and bedrooms. There are scrapes and gouges. Should I just put down an area rug, or is there a fix? Thanks!!

  9 answers
  • Yes, you can repair it. A product called E-Z Patch 13 Saltillo Tile Repair will do it.

  • William William on Mar 29, 2020

    How to Repair Holes or Cracks in Ceramic Tile

    Patching unwanted holes in glazed tile like this can be a tricky proposition. Here's a solution that may not always be perfect, but will make a big improvement. Polyester resin or auto body filler, often used to repair car bodies. Mix up a small batch by adding some hardener and stirring it thoroughly. Using a putty knife, press the resin into the hole slightly overfilling it. Then just as the material begins to harden while it's somewhat rubbery, trim off the excess with a razor blade.

    Next use 600 grit sandpaper to sand the filler smooth. Wetting the paper with water makes it work best. Now it's time to try and match the color of the tile. A porcelain touch up kit which is available at most home improvement centers comes with several different colors of paint. You can also use artists acrylic paints available from Michaels, Hobby Lobby, art supply stores, and online.

    The trick here is to mix these different colors together until we come up with one that matches the tile. Apply the paint with a small brush. You can test it on a nearby tile. When you get it the way you want it, then just paint over the patch and let that dry. Give it one final sanding with that very fine sandpaper and you'll have, well, maybe not a perfect match, but something that's a heck of a lot better than what you started with.

  • Deirdre Deirdre on Mar 29, 2020

    Thanks, William.

  • I agree with William, its a tricky proposition, labor intensive and may not hold up well if your application and technique are not just right. I would test it in a small inconspicuous area first. However, an area rug with a good pad underneath may be your best option. Good luck!

  • Deirdre Deirdre on Mar 29, 2020

    Thanks everyone. I have a lot of research to do. I appreciate all of your ideas.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Mar 31, 2020

    As you know Saltillo tile is soft and unfortunately is going to be an ongoing maintenance challenge.

    For the amount of labor for patching it, I would replace the tiles.

    They break quite easily and one can chisel out the old mortar and then thinset new ones in.

    If you want to patch them and then paint them with porch paint, then they wouldn’t be so porous. I wouldn’t paint the grout, personally.

  • Deirdre Deirdre on Mar 31, 2020

    There are far too many to replace. Unfortunately, tenants don’t care, and the measly deposit wouldn’t cover 25% of the replacement cost. I am tight on funds, so repair it will be. Thanks!