cleaning protecting slate kitchen back splach

jerry_njOctober 14, 2011

We are consider material for a new back splash that will go all the way down to the kitchen counter top (which is new). I was first looking a ceramic tile, as that is very easy to clean and water proof, but we find we like the look of brick. We are considering both a very small 1" square slate tile and a 1" x 2" slate tile. Both are mounted on a netting backer and come in 1 foot square sheets (I believe).

My concern is cleaning the slate, it is not slick like most ceramic tile, and the small size means more grout lines/area.

I will check with the tile store, but assume the slate/grout hast to be sealed after installation, and maybe annually.

I seek advice on cleaning/maintenance.


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I wouldn 't advise using a porous material near cooking areas. Right now I have stone backslash everywhere but around the stove where there's ceramic. The stone stays pretty clean because nothing much spatters there. However, on a couple of occasions tomato sauce has splattered on the stone and it's almost impossible to take out.

I''m building a new home now and fell in love with a brick style backsplash so I found a pretty tile for around the cooking area with a decorative trim. I think it's the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:16PM
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I used a product by Stonetech. It maybe called Bulletproof; not sure. Basically it is a sealer that comes in either an enhancer formula (that deepens and brings out the colors in the stone), a really shiny formula (that deepens and adds a gloss) and the regular one that doesn't change the finish at all. You know it's sealed because when you wipe water or oil on the sealed stone it doesn't change at all. It's sealed. I used a regular matte finish on my stone backsplash and haven't had any problems with it all all. You might need to reseal like they recommend you do with Granite but I haven't done it in 5 years and still no problems.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Thanks, the tile person at Home Depot suggest when using slate for backsplace to give it, as I recall, three sealing coats during installation. I think see said lay it out and put on sealer before even installing it. Then I think she said give it a second coat, then install, and seal again after installation.

My wife likes the look of the real small 1" squre or small brick shapted 1'x2" (I think) in slate that has the "used brick" look, as is the case for our fireplace that can been seen from the kitchen looking across the dinning room. The backsplash would be about 40' from the brick walled fireplace, but she sees the visual connection anyway.

Something I'm pushing for is a ceramic, brick, or even light color to white backsplash along the counter and up to about 4", then full behind the sink which has a window directly behind the sink section...this gives a break in the wall that would allow for a break in the upper backsplash which would be the "brick-like" slate. Again, behind the stove I'd go to all the way to the overhead cabinets behind the stove. This too would break the slate backsplach that would pick up again and continue to the end of the counter top.

I understand the sealer can protect the slate against water and grease, but if it is rough (and has lots of grout lines) those areas will be harder to wipe clean.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:04PM
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have you looked at the finished kitchens blog? it's got a section for just backsplashes. Maybe you can get an idea to show the spouse first. I really don't have to wipe my backsplash much, but I see where you would have a problem with a rough texture behind a grease-splattering stove.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:21PM
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Thanks, I took a quick look at:

Which gives a lot of examples and details on the materials used in the kitchen, including the backsplash.

I would like to find some "mini" brick (used brick look) in a ceramic or other hard finish. The stuff that catches our "eye" as looks like brick, is all tumbled slate. Thus my question on this post.

I think we'll end up with tumbled slate and hope we can clean it. We do not fry a lot of stuff on the range top and we do have a vented range hood which has the fan on when using the range cook top.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:16PM
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