Thinking of renovating your kitchen? You may have chosen your new fridge, stove or oven and maybe got a new coffee maker to match the decor. Did you also get the backsplash installed to enhance the overall “feel” and pull all the elements together?
A slate backsplash comes in many earthy colors, making it a prime candidate for combining many different elements in the kitchen. Some colors you can find in slate are: Black, Grey, Brown, Beige, Blue, Green, Red and Purple. The colors can either be most of the entire stone, or they can be shown throughout it in streaks, waves, and spots like veins. The best part about slate backsplashes is that they are truly unique and the design you have in your kitchen cannot be repeated by any other person.
Benefits of having a slate backsplash
Slate is heat resistant and fire resistant. It also has close to the same durability and hardness of both granite and marble, but commands less maintenance. Slate has a low absorption rate which helps to reduce the growth of bacteria.
Slate backsplashes are each completely different, due to the natural color and design varieties available. You can also have a number of different finishes for the slate (killed, polished and etched) and, perhaps best of all, a a slate backsplash will increase the value of your home!
How much will a slate backsplash cost
The cost of a slate backsplash is dependent on a few factors:
- Who manufactures it
- The size of the tiles (if you are deciding on tiles)
- Thickness of the slab or tile
- Color choice
- Pattern/vein formation (this is typically based on current “trends” for slate in the market)
- The size of the slab or the number of tiles required
If you’re looking for a slate backsplash, chances are you’ll find them in tile form in any of the following sizes:
- 8×8 inches
- 12×12 inches
- 16×16 inches
- Rectangular shapes
Slate tiles typically start at $2-$3 per square foot, not including installation costs. Murals and slate mosaics are available, but these are usually quite expensive (though incredibly stunning).
Slate backsplash buying tips
1. When you are buying slate tiles, be sure to get a few extra boxes, as you may need them. Be sure to check the lot numbers, as you want to make sure they are the same color and patterns.
2. When choosing, be aware of the pattern and color you choose. You want to make sure that the color of your slate backsplash complements the rest of the decor. The color should not stick out like a sore thumb, but blend in with the rest of the decor.
3. In case, you already have a slate floor, you may want to choose the same slate as your backsplash (probably, a smaller size). Or perhaps, if you have a slate countertop, continue the counter to the wall, with the same backsplash – making it consistent in appearance.
4. If you want a casual look, keep a rough finish. For an elegant and chic look, go for a shiny look.
5. To minimize grout lines, choose large slate tiles, as there won’t be as many gaps to fill with grout. That way you have less to clean.
6. In addition, you will find that polished tiles are very easy to clean.
7. Mix and match – you don’t have to use just one color or size of tile for your slate backsplashes. Mix and match to create a unique look.
8. Lighter shades reflect more light on work surfaces – such as your sink, cooking range and countertops. If you have a large and open kitchen, then only dark colors will be better.
9. You can use your slate backsplashes in brick fashion. These are made of small rectangular slate tiles, and look extremely attractive. You will find this available in small tiles on sheets, and to facilitate easy installation, the sheets are supported by a strong mesh.
How to install a slate backsplash
Because of how easy it can be to break or chip slate murals, mosaics and tiles, it is best to hire professionals to do the installation in the kitchen. They will know how to prepare the surface for the tiles to be placed on them, and they will also be able to make the spacing between the tiles as small and straight as possible. He or she will also know what types of sealants, grouts, and adhesives to use so that your slate backsplash looks as good as it should.
Professional installers need to decide how to arrange the tiles and where to cut the tiles, which can be very difficult for the beginner or novice handyman.
How to maintain your slate backsplash
As with anything you buy, it is best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean it in case there are any treatments applied to the stone. You may also need to reseal your slate backsplash from time to time, simply to prevent discoloration and staining of the stone.
Hot water and soap should be all that is needed to actually clean your slate backsplash. Be careful about the cleaning materials you choose, however, as abrasive cleaners and cleaning products can easily scratch and damage your beautiful slate.