What is Saltillo Tile?

Mexican architecture is known for its stunning intricacy, bold colors, and overall beauty. Saltillo tiles are one of the many building design elements that contribute to this unique beauty. These traditional handmade terracotta tiles come from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and are a staple of Mexican interior design.


Saltillo tiles come in a range of colors but are often found in warm tones including red,  orange, and yellow. The warm tones match the overall aesthetic Mexican culture is known for and they helped provide that earthy welcoming hue found all throughout the country. 

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Much like Mexico's iconic Pasta tiles, Saltillo tiles can also feature intricate geometric patterns and floral designs which range in color. However, Pasta tiles are better known for their pops of color. 


Saltillo tiles are also a bit larger than Pasta tiles as the average Saltillo tile measures 12-inches by 12 inches. The average 7-inch by 7-inch Pasta tiles are typically used for architectural wall decor and their smaller size lends well to this use. 

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While Saltillo tiles do provide an element of decor, they are mainly used for flooring in areas where a non-slip surface is needed. Their porous nature allows them to lend well in outdoor environments including patios and decks. 


Today, you can find Saltillo tiles all throughout Mexico. If you stroll through Saltillo’s historic city center, you’ll see these beautiful tiles on display throughout the region. The popularity of these tiles has allowed them to be manufactured all over Mexico now. If you travel abroad, you might even see their influence in other cultures including Italy. 



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About the Author

Nadia El-Yaouti

Nadia El-Yaouti is a writer and photographer based out of Central Virginia. As a travel writer, she enjoys connecting readers with stories and sharing photographs that depict the beauty of different cultures. Some of her most prized work introduces readers to underrated destinations like Mexico, Kurdistan, and North Africa. When she’s not juggling work, she can be found traveling the globe with her wonderful husband and three darling children.

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