Are you considering a stone kitchen backsplash? Maybe you are wondering if stone is a good idea? Is it a durable material? What are the advantages of a stone tile backsplash? What do you need to know about certain stone materials? What stones are available for backsplashes? What can be done with stone in this area? Can I have any design I want? These are some questions you may be asking yourself.
First of all if you are considering a stone backsplash you are making a great choice. Stone has a timeless quality, because of it's appearance.
Although it's true that some stones, like granite and marble, can have some very off-the-wall colors that may not be in style in the coming years. Remember the '70's? Avocado is not a color that is "in" these days and some stone colors can have the same qualities.
The durability of a natural stone backsplash is outstanding. It will be very difficult to break one of these tiles. Stone tiles such as tumbled marble, granite, marble, or slate will stand up to dings from pots and pans very well.
This area doesn't generally get much wear and tear but at least you know the durability is there with stone, if needed.
Marble is also a great material for a stone kitchen backsplash. A stone backsplash made from marble is very durable and also comes in many colors. Marble like tumbled marble is affected by acids, like citrus juices and vinegars, because they contain calcium which is very reactive to acids. Acids can etch the stone and permanently stain them. To lessen or eliminate this sealing may be required.
How about slate for a stone kitchen backsplash? Slate is one of those materials that either you love it or hate it. The reason for this is the colors available and the texture of the stone itself. The colors are generally light to dark gray with red, green, and purple stones mixed in.
The good news is there are a lot more designs available than in years past. So if you like the look of slate then I say go for it because it is definitely a more unusual looking backsplash. To learn more about this stone take a look at this page on slate tiles (opens in a new window).
There are also other stones available, which include onyx, limestone, and even soapstone. Some stones are specialty items and may require an extensive search for a retailer.
Any design that can be thought of, can be made. Most stones can be cut with a standard tile wet saw which makes it possible to have any design you want. Check out my page on designing a tile backsplash. For more help with this.
Not only can you have a plain old stone tile backsplash but you can have a stone tile backsplash with various accent features. These accent features include rope moldings, borders, a mosaic over the range or sink, glass tile, and various other accent pieces. It's almost impossible to list all of the accent features available. The best thing to do is to go to your local home improvement center and browse their selection.
Some stones need special attention and maintenance. Tumbled marble is very porous and requires a sealant after the grout and thinset, or mastic, has fully dried. The full cure time for grout is 28 days. So you will have to very careful not to stain the tile in this time period.
Sealants tend to give the stone a shiny appearance though. I personally like the more finished look of a sealed stone, but if you want a more rustic look you could always leave the stone unsealed.
Overall if you want a backsplash that will last forever and hold up to the rigors of the kitchen environment stone is the way to go. The cost can be prohibitive for some budgets. If your budget doesn't allow stone at this time you can always go back later and install it.