Sanding, Sealing, and Grouting a Saltillo Tile Patio

Finish your saltillo patio by sanding, sealing, and grouting.

Sanding the Tile

When the mortar has cured, grind down the edges of the tiles that are thick enough to disturb the smoothness of the surface. (Grind down any edge that would trip someone). Start with a masonry stone and finish the grinding with a sharpening stone (or start with 80-grit carbide sandpaper and work up to a 200 grit). Vacuum the tile, then wipe it with a tack rag to get all the dust up before sealing the tile.

Sealing the Tile

If saltillo is not sealed, it will quickly absorb the moisture from the grout, causing it to crack. Seal the tile twice with a penetrating sealer. If you've purchased presealed tile, seal it once before you grout. Apply the sealer with a brush, roller, or applicator recommended by the manufacturer. Then grout the tile.

Grout the Tile: Step 1

Working from corner to open floor, spread the grout in a small section. Then, holding the grout float at a low angle (not quite flat) and working it diagonally across the tile, pack grout into the joints.

Grout the Tile: Step 2

Go back over the section, this time holding the grout float almost perpendicular to the floor to scrape off the excess.

Grout the Tile: Step 3

When grout has set up (a fingernail will leave only a slight impression), use a barely damp sponge to remove the grout residue from the tile.

Grout the Tile: Step 4

Smooth the joints with a barely damp sponge, rinsing out the sponge frequently. Let the surface dry and seal the entire floor (or just the grout lines) according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!