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All About Mexican Glass Tiles: Integrating Talavera Tiles to Your Living Space

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Talavera tiles are handcrafted glazed tiles made in Spanish town, Talavera de la Reina. During Spain’s colonization of the US, hundreds of Talavera makers traveled to Mexico during the 16th century. Talavera tiles are unique because of their high shine, bold colors and eye-catching patterns. These tiles are often used as accents or as a focal point of a structure.

Types of Talavera Tiles

Although Talavera tiles come in hundreds of designs, the most popular is the Saltillo style. The Saltillo tiles are widely used and come in three distinct styles: traditional Saltillo, Manganese Saltillo, and Antique Saltillo.

Traditional Saltillo: a traditional Saltillo tile comes in varying shades of terra cotta red, orange, deep gold and cream colors. No two tiles are completely identical. These tiles are often used in classical homes or traditional Spanish-style homes.

Manganese Saltillo: This Talavera tile comes in a wider array of bright colors. It’s the best tiles to use if you want to add a pop of color to your living space. Manganese Saltillo tiles add balance to the space too, allowing bright and dark color contrasts. These tiles are perfect for modern homes.

Antique Saltillo: Antique Saltillo looks like reclaimed terra cotta tiles. These tiles look weathered and rustic, giving an air of old world glamor. They tiles are hand-textured and come in various shapes and cuts. Antique Saltillo tiles are usually done in neutral and earth colors. They are used in Hacienda or Mediterranean style homes.

Working with Talavera Tiles

As Accent Tiles

Because Talavera tiles are eye-catching, they are often used as accent tiles. Usually, Talavera tiles coated with colorful ceramic are used as a focal point of a room. The process of coating Talavera tiles with colorful ceramics goes back to 16th century Spain where artisans use the same process in making plates, jars, and bowls. Colorful Talavera tiles can be inlaid in kitchens, bathrooms, wall counters and stair steps.

As Outdoor Tiles

Talavera tiles are naturally sturdy, making them ideal as outdoor tiles. Usually, a special type of Talavera tiles is used in outdoor architecture. It’s called Cantera stone. Cantera stone is mined in Central America and Mexico. It has similar properties to volcanic rock so it’s ideal for cutting or carving. Cantera stones are so durable; they can maintain the integrity of the structure for centuries!

As Kitchen and Bathroom Floors

You can install Talavera tiles on high traffic, wet areas of the home to reduce slipperiness. These areas include the bathroom and the kitchen. Cement tile can be used to replace old tiles. Talavera tiles can be used as floor or wall tile as well as backsplash tile around the pools or hotel lobby tiles.

Talavera tiles are usually used as accent tiles, but they are sometimes installed to the  entire floor or wall areas! Certain types of Talavera tiles are used in pools, kitchen sinks and cabana bottoms too. When developing ways to apply this tile type, you can get as creative as you want. You can even use different patterns to create a unique design.


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