Stackstone backsplash: water resistant around sink?

repacFebruary 25, 2013

Finally, after months of looking for a backsplash, we found one we liked. But it's a stackstone splitface marble, so it won't be grouted (seams are too small) but will be sealed. My biggest concern is whether it will resist water around the sink, or if water will be able to work it's way in between stones and slowly destroy the wall.

Does anyone have experience with this type of backsplash? Does it work well in the kitchen, or am I setting myself up for lots of repairs down the road?

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Water, spaghetti sauce, grease splatters and any other kitchen disaster will be in between the stone. Use it somewhere else, but don't put it in a kitchen. It is not suitable at all.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:06AM
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For the split face travertine mosaic tile in our hall bathroom, the tile guys used unsanded grout. I don't recall if they mixed it up slightly wetter than normal, or not. I know I had discussed that with someone, somewhere, prior to the install but don't remember the outcome.

I know they got much grout as they could between all the tile. We used the tile over the vanity, and as a border on the tub surround.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:00PM
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cat mom, how long have you had your split face tile in the bathroom? How has it held up? With the experience you've had with it so far, would you try it in a kitchen?

I found a beautiful split face quartzite in a stacked stone tile, very similar to the marble. The tile comes pre-grouted on the back, though the grout doesn't go all the way to the front. With sealing on the front face, do you think this would stand up to the kitchen environment?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:51PM
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It's been in for just about 2 1/2 yrs. Mostly DH uses that bathroom, as do visitors. I don't know how much he splashes the backsplash, but it looks totally fine. I clean the bathrooms every week, but wiping down the tile over the sinks, not as often--they really don't seem to be/get dirty. When I clean the tub surround, I spray the border tile (same split face mosaic) and tub wall tile with spray cleaner and wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth. It still looks brand new. No hard water or soap build-up.

I know there are a lot of naysayers, but I think if the tile is grouted, and sealed well using a solvent based, penetrating sealer, you should be able to keep it looking nice in a kitchen. This is just my opinion, of course. It might not be as easily cleaned as a smoother tile, but I am sure you would be able to find the right cleaner to do the job on that type of surface.

FWIW, we used STT's SB sealer (deluxe?) on in our bathrooms. Very easy to apply, and minimal odor. Appears to be doing a good job.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:31AM
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I have stacked stone quartz, no grout. DH thought it didnt need any caulking (I did) until we had a spill on the counter that slipped between the splash and fried the dishwasher! After that we installed a nice bead of clear silicone caulk and water pools right up on the counter if spilled. You can't see the caulk at all. The sealed stone gets sauce, soap, paint (?!) etc on it and it wipes right off.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:51AM
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cat mom: that's encouraging that it has worked for you for so long! Can you buy the STT sealer at most home improvement stores? The quartzite definitely needs a penetrating sealer. I tried putting a few drops of cooking oil on it, and it soaked through the stone within minutes.

calimama: so nice to know that it has worked for you in your kitchen. How long have you had it? How/did you seal it? Do you have it behind your cooktop and faucet?

All this valuable info is so appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:31PM
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The first container of sealer (for the bathrooms), I purchased from a distributor. The second one (FR/guest bedroom travertine floor tile), I purchased directly from the company owner. They had changed the labeling between my purchases, so he helped me choose the correct sealer. Very informative, and helpful. The stuff wasn't cheap but so much easier to use than some other sealers I've used, and it has very minimal odor.

Here is a link that might be useful: STT Sealers

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:07PM
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