When Rubber Sticks to Your Tile
LESLIE: Marvin in Texas has something going on with the tiles on his project. What can we help you with?
MARVIN: My wife and I put saltillo tile in our townhouse about three years ago when we bought it and started trying to remodel it.
LESLIE: And these were the completely raw, unfinished ones. Correct?
MARVIN: Well, actually they were presealed. They had a sealer already on them but we came in and sealed, you know, the grout area around it later.
MARVIN: But rubber sticks to it, so we can’t put any kind of pad under rugs to put them down on it. And we even put a mat by the back door and it stuck to it so bad that when you peel it up I had to strip all of that down …
MARVIN: … to get it cleaned off. And we haven’t been able to find anything that’ll work where we can even use our rugs. We just can’t find any kind of a pad that’s not rubber that will go under our rugs and stuff to put on there and that’s the only thing that seems to have – we have trouble with…
MARVIN: … is just something rubber. I mean I can even put down a bag, like a rubber bag, on the floor and it’ll stick to it overnight.
LESLIE: Interesting. Because these saltillo tiles – you know, Tom, they’re those beautiful handmade Mexican tiles.
LESLIE: They’re 12 square. They usually have little animal footprints in them. They’re all handmade in Mexico.
MARVIN: That’s it.
LESLIE: They’re gorgeous. But you know, usually you see them and they’re non-sealed. They’re as porous as the day is long.
TOM: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.
LESLIE: Gosh, I’ve never heard about this rubber sticking to it. And really, if you’re looking at a carpet backer, you don’t want to use any other material because then you’re going to skid.
TOM: Sometimes when you put rubber mats over different products you get a chemical reaction between the two. For example, if you tried to put a rubber mat on a vinyl floor, very often the vinyl turns yellow because of an oxidation that occurs between the two products. I’m wondering if you’re having something similar to that between the rubber.
Well, why don’t you try this? Why don’t you try resealing just one or two tiles in maybe the corner of the room with one of the tile sealing products and see if that gives you that kind of release that you need for this?
MARVIN: OK. You have a particular sealer – just any sealer?
TOM: Any sealer that’s rated for an unglazed tile. Even though it has a glazing on it I would suggest trying that.
TOM: But try it on just a couple of tiles because it may be that this existing sealer that’s on there is just breaking down.
MARVIN: At times I even thought that it had never really dried.
MARVIN: But (INAUDIBLE) so it should have had time. And it’s plenty dry but …
TOM: Well, that’s why I say it could be a defect in the sealer and that’s why perhaps a second layer might help.
LESLIE: Yeah, there’s a good company that actually makes a ton of products for saltillo tiles and it’s a company called Aqua Mix. And they make two types of sealers. One is a Sealer’s Choice Gold and the other is a penetrating sealer and they’re both water-based, which means that they’re going to allow moisture evaporation and they’re going to dry quickly. So that could be a good option to give it a whirl.
MARVIN: Right. Alright. We’re right near Amarillo, Texas so maybe they’ll have it there.
LESLIE: Yeah, and if you can’t find it go to their website. It’s AquaMix.com. I’m sure you can find a dealer locator there as well.
MARVIN: Thank you. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck. Unusual problem. Hope we helped you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.