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Flooring and Carpeting/saltillo tile stain removal

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Question
I bought a house about 15 years ago that had saltillo tile on the entire downstairs floor. It is very dark brown in color. I think they put a stain and maybe then sealed it. I would like to get it back to its original color, so my question is how can I do this? And, what can I put on it to help strip this sealer and stain off the fastest and easiest as there is about 1500 square feet to do? Any help would be appreciated.

Answer
Stripping Saltillo is extremely difficult, and the chances of botching the floor is quite great. What happens is that as the sealer strips and liquifies, then it starts soaking down into the tile, ruining the aesthetics.  And, to have a company come in and do it usually results in two things: 1. They botch it, and; 2. The cost is greater than tearing out the floor, and putting in a new one.

If you really don't like the dark of the tiles, best to take the floor out, and seal the new floor with waterbornes that minimize the darkening effect that sealing produces.  

If you really, really, really want to strip the floor, and if they stained it prior to sealing, it will all be in vain, but I can give you some instructions on how to strip the floor if you really, really, want to. It is possible they used a sealer/stain where both would come up. The only way to tell would be to strip one tile somewhere.  

Bill Hohmann
Sparks  

Flooring and Carpeting

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Bill Hohmann

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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