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Flooring and Carpeting/Saltillo tile touch-up?


Our home in southern AZ has saltillo tile throughout, stained/colored a rich, dark reddish brown, with grout the same color. I don't know what product(s) have been used on it; the previous owner couldn't tell us.  The problem is that the color/finish has come off in a few places - not uniformly, as though from traffic and ordinary wear, but in spots or splotches.  Most notably this was the case recently when painters used blue tape to hold down their drop cloths.  The result: peach-colored stripes where the tile finish came off.  Other less conspicuous blemishes have been caused by such things as flower petals or cat vomit.  Is there any way to touch up such areas without totally stripping the affected tiles and starting over?

When color peals and wears off, this indicates a stain that was used, that contained a binder.

the trick here is to get a couple of brown inks from a hobby shop and thin them down about 40 parts water to one part ink, then put a small amount down of one and let it dry and evaluate how close it matches the surrounding tile. If you need more brown, then use more.  I would start off with "burnt umber" and perhaps another one darker than that, but so far, burnt umber works best.

By adding more, you get a darker look where you can slowly come up to the color/shade on the tiles.  Once you have it matched, then reseal the spots with a waterborne penetrating sealer such as our SPS, followed by a topical one. You might then want to consider a finish as a maintenance coat over everything.

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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