Post details: Slate Kitchen Counters


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Slate Kitchen Counters

Read this before you consider installing slate countertops.

Slate Kitchen CountersQ: I am thinking of putting slate countertops in our kitchen, but I've heard they may stain or scratch. How well do they hold up over time? -- Sandy

A: When used for kitchen countertops, slate requires lots of maintenance, says Sara Busby, a certified kitchen designer in Elk Rapids, Michigan. "It is very porous and needs to be 'filled' or sealed often, depending on the use," she says. "That could mean weekly in a high-use kitchen." This makes it, she says, "a very poor top for any area with any amount of use."

For some, though, the maintenance slate requires may be worthwhile. "It's beautiful!" says Carter Bravmann, an architect who chose English slate for his own high-rise condo in West Hollywood, California. Overall, he says, slate is less durable than granite, but more durable than marble. He recommends applying a stone sealer once every three months. As is the case with granite, one should never set an extremely hot item directly on the stone.

Other options can also give you the slate look that you are after, Busby says. For example, soapstone has a very similar look but is denser and makes an excellent sink. Be aware that it will scratch, however. Honed granite is a much more durable material. The honed finish removes any shine, so a dark gray or black granite would look similar to slate. It also needs to be sealed, approximately once a year, depending on use.

Better Homes and Gardens



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