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Slate tile for your kitchen

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ February 4, 2011

The natural stone of slate tiles for your kitchen floors, backsplashes or countertops, has retained its popularity with homeowners for its durability and warm appearance. Slate flooring is naturally resistant to slipping and DIYers appreciate the look and feel of the product. When used with a dedicated slate sealant, the tiling is easy to maintain and has a solid performance life.

Consider slate tile among your floor options. In shopping for slate remodeling products-especially for the floor-be sure you choose a tile that is right for your expected level of foot-traffic, your climate and substrate. Buy only adhesive, latex grout and sealant products that were made for use with your selected slate products. Need information? Speak with a contractor or home improvement sales rep with direct floor experience. If you're taking on the job yourself, be sure to scrutinize the warranty information to the letter before you might invalidate it with incorrect installation.

Once installed, you can easily clean slate floors with mild soap and warm water. Manufacturers warn against waxing slate tile because it can alter the color and turn grout to a yellow tint. If you spend a lot of time planning the color and layout of your tiles, it's the last thing you want to happen.

Installing a slate tile floor on your own

Camara Slate Products has an expert, detailed step-by-step guide and there's no need to reinvent the wheel here when you can visit the site. Before you begin, be sure you're installing the tile on a clean and dry subfloor of wood or cement. Plywood nailed to cement subflooring should be at least 1.25 inches thick to support the tile. You may want to protect wood subflooring against moisture with urethane. And you can sand with coarse paper to ensure a secure mastic bond.

Remodeling handyman Tim Carter recommends you buy or rent a diamond-blade wet saw to cut the tiles for your floor and pattern. It produces the cleanest cuts and edges. Slate tile floors are only as durable as the quality effort that goes into your grouting process. If water pools or penetrates into grout, the grout is subject to cracking and deteriorating. Then your tiles begin to shift, slide and crack under use.

Whether you're using slate tiles for flooring or for countertops and backsplashes, always lay out the tiles and pattern before trying to bond and grout them into place. There's nothing worse than a puzzle that won't come together after you've anchored individual tiles. Good planning is worth the effort.

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