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Flooring and Carpeting/sautillo tile around SALT WATER pool deck


We have sautillo tile around the pool deck and have had it acid washed and two coats of sealer applied but keep getting white flaking spots after a few days.  Could this be that this type of tile should not be used with a salt water pool.  Can you recommend what we can do to avoid this rather than replacing the tile.  Thank you so much for your reply.

Salt is really rough on all sorts of sealers/resins.  Part of your problem could be that salt has gotten into the tiles, and then you put a sealer on that goes in, and can't handle the salt in the tile as well as the salt from the surface that is splashed onto the tiles.  Also, it could be the acid type you are using is leaving a residue (sulfamic will do this).

Most likely then the white flaking material is the sealer breaking down.  The tiles need to be flushed with plain water in order to get out as much salt as possible. Once dry, you can try a sealer such as our Sigma that is designed to handle the conditions around a salt water pool, but ideally, such a porous tile should not be installed around a pool, especially a salt water pool.

Bill Hohmann

Flooring and Carpeting

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Bill Hohmann


I can answer questions concerning the stripping and sealing of various tile, brick, and stone flooring with an emphasis on Mexican Tile. I cannot help in regards to installation issues, such as what sort of tile to use; how to install or remove tiles, etc.


Over 30 years experience in the manufacture development and use of sealers, coatings and cleaners for tile, stone, brick, etc.

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