A stone backsplash adds a natural look to your kitchen countertop and can add another dimension to your decorating ideas. If you're looking for an extra layer of protection to your countertop, consider a granite or marble backsplash. It's a rich, rustic veneer created from thin stone slabs, that will keep kitchen surfaces safe from spills and heat.
Even better, marble backsplashes are available in a wide array of stone colors including black, blue, gray, and red. No matter what your kitchen design needs or style, there is likely to be a tile backsplash to meet your needs.
When deciding on a countertop backsplash, there are several things to keep in mind. The most important consideration is the type of material you're choosing. Stone backsplashes are generally recommended over ceramic, porcelain, or metal backsplashes due to their durability and resistance to stain and scratches.
Other kitchen countertops may have better staining resistance than stone. Ceramic tiles, for example, often lose their luster after repeated use. Tile backsplashes, on the other hand, maintain a beautiful shine and color for many years.
Backsplashes are also durable. If you choose a stone backsplash with a built-in backing, you can count on it for many years to come, even with regular use of your kitchen counters. Ceramic tiles and linoleum backings, meanwhile, should be replaced every few years.
Because stone backsplashes are so easy to install, it doesn't take a professional to complete a project. If you're handy, you may even prefer the idea of doing the installation on your own. If not, you can always hire a contractor to finish the job for you. Since backsplashes are typically built up over a concrete floor, you'll have to make sure that you prepare the floor for the installation process.
You should remove all existing tiles from the under your countertop, including the tile beneath the sink, and then clean the floor carefully. If you don't have concrete, you can still seal the surface using a waterproofing agent.
Once the floor is prepared, you should place your stone backsplashes on top. Be sure that they are level and snug against the underlying countertop. If the floor slopes toward the sink, make sure that you leave at least an inch between the stone and the floor.
The first thing you need to do is set the stone backsplash to the position that's appropriate for your kitchen. For example, if you have a small island, you should position the stone just below it, not over it. The placement of your stone will depend upon the size of your island and the space available under the countertop.
Make sure you pick a smooth, flat surface for the stone backsplash. It shouldn't be too rough or flat to catch stains. If you want to have a professional installation done, ask the contractor for a sample so he can advise you.
Once your stone backsplash is in place, fill the space beneath it with mortar. The type of mortar you use will depend on the type of stone.
You can also use wood chips as mortar, although this option is usually more suited to a marble or granite backsplash. The choice of wood chips depends on personal preference, but be sure you use sandable pieces.
When finished, you can simply slip your kitchen countertops back into place, and the backsplash will be sealed to the countertop. With proper maintenance and use, your stone backsplash can be a wonderful feature of your kitchen for many years.
Some things to remember when installing your stone backsplash: When installing tiles, you may have to remove some of the grout prior to installing the tiles. This will require a bit of work.
If you don't want to remove any grout, be sure to use a special grout remover. This is a plastic-based product that dissolves the grout easily. After you've used the grout remover, you can simply re-fill it with grout paste and continue the grouting process.
There are a lot of factors that can cause your backsplash to look different than it did before you started, so you can't do it all yourself. If you're not comfortable with this, hire a professional.
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