marble tile backsplash and the usual staining/etch issue?

heidiaOctober 5, 2012

Oh I would just love to do a marble tile backsplash...but should I avoid doing that for the same reasons I am avoiding marble on the counters? What happens when tomato sauce gets on it? Are the marble tiles sealed diff to avoid the usual marble issues(staining.etching)?

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Please see my posting of today regarding limestone backsplash tiles. It is my understanding that marble is like limestone in that sealing it gives you more time to clean up a spill but cannot prevent staining/etching if the substance is left there long enough (tomato juice, oil, lemon juice, for example). If I had it to do over, I would continue looking for a limestone substitute for the cooking area (not that I didn't spend countless hours looking--just could not find anything nearly as beautiful as what I chose). There are some porcelain tiles these days that look remarkably like marble.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Thanks Jamesdutt...what I had feared. We love it when Grandma makes us sauce, but I find spots of it days after cleaning, so this is def something I should to find marble like tiles...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Well, you won't get rings from glasses on it....

just sayin'

Seriously, there are some great porcelains that look like marble.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:46PM
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i have a marble backsplash, crema marfil. Had limestone in the last kitchen i remodeled. No etching with either. Its sealed of course and i don't let things sit on there overnight. We're not the neatest cooks and it does get splashed with tomato sauce often!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I have a marble backsplash too and it has not been a problem at all. It is honed marble and well-sealed. If I'm cooking tomato sauce I put a sheet pan behind the cooktop, but I've had tomato sauce and all sorts of stuff on the backsplash with absolutely no problems.

Remember, a backsplash is very different from a countertop. Pretty much the only stuff you'll get on it is water, oil, stocks (no bonds), tomato sauce, and other sauces. OK, there might be more when you're cooking wild in the kitchen like I do sometimes but it hasn't been a problem. You're not going to leave a lemon on your backsplash like you might on your countertop.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Don't discount the fact that the top to your blender might come off while making margaritas. That can get everywhere! (Personal experience.)

Or the fact that when you are teaching a youngster how to make a red velvet cake that you forget to tell them one of the first things about using a mixer is that you don't pull it out of the batter with it running. (Also personal experience, and you have no idea how far flung batter can be until you are cleaning it off of the ceiling 15' away from the accident.)

Then there's the time my sister didn't really put the espresso maker together correctly and tried to make a pot. Thankfully, that wasn't my kitchen, and no actual bloodshed resulted, but you can bet she'd rather make a run to Starbucks these days than clean up those grounds. And the dent in the underside of the cabinet is still there, but you have to stand on your head to really see it.

Then there was the time the cat had an ear abcess and the first I really knew of it (super fuzzy guy) was the blood he had slung all over the kitchen when he shook his head when it burst. Even with him on the floor, yes, it went everywhere and was a bear to clean off of the painted walls. I'd hate to think about a more porous stone with it on it.

There was also the mess from the brother in law who cleaned fish in the kitchen.....and the spouse who thought it would be a great idea to use a spray cleaner on a greasy engine part and splattered that black yucky grease everywhere when the cleaner hit it.....and the time that the fruit punch spilled into the cooler, and instead of pouring that outside, a brilliant soul decided to try to pour it down the kitchen sink and splashed it everywhere.......and I could go on and on.

I don't think my stories are too atypical of a lot of the wear and tear a kitchen will see over time, and I could never see putting in a surface that wasn't easily cleanable and stain resistant, even if your kitchen's occupants are more thoughtful and well behaved. I couldn't ever be a marble person, anywhere in the home. There's too much life being lived here to have to worry about delicate surfaces.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:24PM
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We're also looking at marble for the BS and have the same concerns with oil/grease/tomato sauce/etc. What about cleaning the grout--any issues there with the above listed trouble makers?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:19PM
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I also have a marble backsplash in Calcutta subway. It is honed. I have cleaned off tomato sauce from behind the stove countless times, in addition to grease that made it's way there. No staines whatsoever after sealed with porous plus. Remember, etches will be hard to find. I thought I found one couple years ago, but for the life of me, I cannot find it even looking for it.
The grout has turned very slightly off white over the years behind the stove. I notice that more than anything else.
I do love the marble, though, the natural beauty of the stone really adds so much to the whole feel of the kitchen that a tile would not have.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Totally agree with Billy and la jan.

I have a large, very white (Vermont Danby) marble slab backsplash behind my range. It's sealed with Porous Plus 511, like the counters, and has no staining, although some food splatters have landed on the BS and sat for days before I noticed them.

Etching, IMHO and experience, is also not a concern at all. Sealer doesn't prevent etching, as an etch is an instant chemical reaction when an acidic substance hits the marble. However, etches (and my counters have plenty if them) are only visible when the light hits them at certain angles. Since the BS is on the wall, light just doesn't bounce off of it in such a way that etches are noticeable or even visible (and my kitchen is super sunny).

I've splattered plenty of tomato sauce on my BS, and don't have a single noticeable etch.

FWIW, if you're really concerned about staining, you might want to
consider Vermont Danby marble tiles for your BS. Danby looks like Carrera and Calacatta (white with grey veining), but it's considerably
denser and therefore really resists staining. With Danby marble and Porous Plus 511, I don't have a single stain after almost a year of heavy use.

That said, I have a friend with a Carrera subway tile backsplash. She has a huge kitchen, lots of kids, and a pro stove. She cooks a lot, and her subways are pristine with no staining or etching visible.

I say go for it!

Good luck, and have fun with your project.

Madeline :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:06AM
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