The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ladrillera mecanizada tiles

bshuval's picture

ladrillera mecanizada tiles

This weekend I went to Home Depot and bought some stuff. I also bought a couple of 12" tiles (unglazed, red, tiles. They remind me of clay or terra-cota from the outside) by a company called ladrillera mecanizada. I was wondering if anyone knew if these contain lead, and if it safe to bake with them.



Kurt's picture

Boaz, while at HD, did you find the orange, flexible bowl scrapers?



bshuval's picture

At the epoxy section, like you said.

maxamilliankolbe's picture

I called the manufacturer of the tiles I purchased at home depot to find out if they were food safe.  I'm trying to remember how I found out their phone number.  It might have been on the box they came in or perhaps I looked it up online.  If you are really stuck, I'm sure there is someone at Home Depot who could find out the phone number for the manufacturer, perhaps someone in their purchasing department.  Ladrillera doesn't sound familiart to me, but I purchased the 6" tiles.  12" tiles sound nicer... hmm... I might have to go back there.  Were they pretty cheap?  The 6" tiles I bought were something like .30 or .40 each.  Good luck!

bshuval's picture

I found the website of the manufacturer, but it's all in Spanish... 


My bread blog:

JuneHawk's picture

I bought these same tiles last night and I just saw this post, which made me curious.  I am a native Spanish speaker and just looked at their website.  I didn't see anything regarding lead in their tiles.


cranbo's picture

Yeah, I bought some of the ladrillera mecanizada Saltillo tiles too. 12x12" is size, measure 1/2" thick. About $1.50 a piece. Smooth surface, but definitely unglazed.

I checked out their web site:

According to this, they're made of "100% natural clay" (100% barro natural)

I emailed the vendor about the issue of whether their product contains lead this evening. We'll see if I get any response.

I'm going to take 3 of 'em back to see if Home Depot will cut em down for me. 24" side-by-side is slightly too big for the width of my very basic GE oven; 23" to 23.5" would be perfect.


BethF775's picture

I didn't see an update on whether these Home Depot Saltillo tiles are safe.  I know the website says that the clay is 100% natural - but it still could contain lead and be considered natural. Especially by a foreign manufacturer - different rules down there.  The more I started thinking about it, I wanted to be very sure since I have kids. 

If anyone got more confirmation, please post.

I e-mailed Home Depot and Ladrillera Mecanizada...I'll post when I hear something, hopefully.


fastt82's picture

did you ever hear anything back about the tiles????

timetobake's picture

We just got some of those Ladrillera Mecanizada tiles as a gift, so we're also wondering about the lead. Did you ever get an answer to your questions? If so, please let me know as soon as you get a chance. Thanks!

HASnyder's picture

I bought some Saltillo tiles a while back and promptly cracked them by heating them too fast, then heard you should heat them slowly to 150, 200, 250, 300 degrees over a period of several hours. I did this with a second set and they've served just fine. I use two 11 or 12 inch ones plus some 3" scraps from a friend's leftovers, and these almost completely fill one oven rack leaving about 1.5" on either side and less than that in the back.

As to lead, I remember researching this when I got the tiles and everything came up fine. Lead in Mexican pottery came from the glazes used, not the clay itself as far as I ever heard.

Saltillos are sometimes warped a bit and so search thru the piles for flat ones for best results. 'Ladrillo' is spanish for tile or brick so that manufacturer's name probably translates to something like "Mechanized tile factory".

Chuck's picture

I got my Saltillo tiles from a different source; I think (but am not sure:-) they came from the very same manufacturer though (I am sure they came from Mexico). I've had them about a year and a half, crank my oven up to 450F or so every two or three days, and see only one tiny crack about an inch long.

The seams between multiple tiles looked a little scary at first, but have turned out not to matter much. Bread doesn't seem to care at all; the biggest problem I have once in a while is catching my peel on the edge between the front row and the back row of tiles.

The pieces I got wouldn't fit in my oven, and my attempts to trim them just made a big mess. So I found someone with a "tile" (diamond) saw who cut them nice and straight for me with no problem at all.

They work great for me, and I'd recommend them if they're easy to obtain. However they don't seem to be "better" than other things and are not worth special ordering (or even probably worth driving a long way).

Generally I just brush them off with a dry brush when they get too covered with burnt cornmeal. I have occasionally abused them though, like the time I tried to make a deep dish pizza and the bottom failed and I got melted cheese and sausage and tomato all over them. I scraped and scraped with a putty knife, then scrubbed them vigorously with a slightly damp sponge pad, then went back to baking on them. It seems to have worked fine. They're stained  ...but who cares.

Everything I've ever heard about pottery is that "lead" is often used in glazes (especially brightly colored ones), but never in the pottery itself. The worst story I ever heard was a colorful imported pitcher that a family kept orange juice in in the fridge; orange juice is somewhat acidic, and being in the pitcher constantly it leached enough lead out of the glaze to make everyone in the family chronically sick. As far as I know, with unglazed tiles there's no risk of that.

alfarera's picture

As a potter working with clay and glazes, (often mixing from scratch) I can tell you with certainty that the unglazed clay tiles would not have any lead.  When lead melts in the firing, it turns glassy, it is used to create bright colors in glazes at a low firing range.  In the US they continued to use lead in low fire glazes until recently especially red ones.  The makers of prepared glazes no longer use lead.