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I installed a slate backsplash, don't have much experience with this material. It recomends sealing before grout. I'm using spectralok. Is it an isssue if I don't seal before grout.
 

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I installed a slate backsplash, don't have much experience with this material. It recomends sealing before grout. I'm using spectralok. Is it an isssue if I don't seal before grout.

Yes, definitely seal it--but use a penetrating sealer. The epoxy does mean things to acrylic/surface sealers.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Even when sealed, I have seen SpectraLock actually change the color of the stone.....almost the same effect as using an enhancer sealer.

I am not the SpectraLock expert. Chris and Jarvis have way more experience with it so I'd listen to what they have to say.

And I am not knocking epoxy in anyway, I'm just mentioning that urethane grout does not have the same issues. You can seal with a water-based sealant and it won't affect the stone's overall finish.
 

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Even when sealed, I have seen SpectraLock actually change the color of the stone.....almost the same effect as using an enhancer sealer.

I am not the SpectraLock expert. Chris and Jarvis have way more experience with it so I'd listen to what they have to say.

And I am not knocking epoxy in anyway, I'm just mentioning that urethane grout does not have the same issues. You can seal with a water-based sealant and it won't affect the stone's overall finish.
I'd swear you had stock in that stuff... :laughing:
 

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Yes, definitely seal it--but use a penetrating sealer. The epoxy does mean things to acrylic/surface sealers.
I agree. Also, contact the manufacturer of the sealer you use as some recommend 2 coats before grouting and then another 1 or 2 after.

Is this in a kitchen? Slate or any other porous stone does not make for the best backsplashes in kitchens, even if sealed.
 

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I think Chris has more experience with slate then me. I have used spectralock with a couple of different stones - the last being a tumbeled marble backsplash (for a kitchen) - sealed the tile x3 before installing - using a penetrating sealer. I didn't have any issues with the spectralock changing the colour of the stone.
 

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I agree. Also, contact the manufacturer of the sealer you use as some recommend 2 coats before grouting and then another 1 or 2 after.

Is this in a kitchen? Slate or any other porous stone does not make for the best backsplashes in kitchens, even if sealed.
I know that's a concern for many in a kitchen, but slate is really a great stone for just about anywhere. I've installed it a number of times as a backsplash, in kitchens that get A LOT of collateral messes, and have never had any issues.




In this case, we dry-stacked without grout--and sealed it twice. It's been up for about 6 years now, and I was back in the house a few months ago. It looked as good as the day it was installed. The floor has been resealed a number of times since then, but the backsplash doesn't get as much wear and has only needed it once.
 

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Nice looking kitchen,but you bring up another issue. The problem with no-grout installations is that the thin joints will allow water to penetrate. In a kitchen, this practice can be deadly because of E-coli, etc., most especially on a countertop install. There is nothing to keep bacteria from being sucked into the tile and growing behind the install. Even a failed caulk joint at the backsplash-counter intersection can cause the same problem in the backsplash. Although you may not have had any issues doing it that way, as of yet, you are putting your customers health in jeopardy and yourself legally at risk. I learned this from a tile setter you are familiar with, Michael B., who was an expert witness a handful of years ago in a case in which four people were killed due to a groutless install. Even though it was a countertop in a commercial setting, the danger can still be present in a backsplash and residential installs.
 

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Nice looking kitchen,but you bring up another issue. The problem with no-grout installations is that the thin joints will allow water to penetrate. In a kitchen, this practice can be deadly because of E-coli, etc., most especially on a countertop install. There is nothing to keep bacteria from being sucked into the tile and growing behind the install. Even a failed caulk joint at the backsplash-counter intersection can cause the same problem in the backsplash. Although you may not have had any issues doing it that way, as of yet, you are putting your customers health in jeopardy and yourself legally at risk. I learned this from a tile setter you are familiar with, Michael B., who was an expert witness a handful of years ago in a case in which four people were killed due to a groutless install. Even though it was a countertop in a commercial setting, the danger can still be present in a backsplash and residential installs.

Countertop install with no-grout - is utterly ridiculous!!

Backsplash - Chris, curious as to why you didn't grout? That being said, even if bacteria got into the crevices, how would that get back to the countertop or food being prepared??

Oh, nice job by the way (as usual)
 

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A spill on the countertop that runs into the backsplash will provide a nice transport for the bacteria to flow out. It would be a problem if bacteria killing cleaners aren't used. But just sponging up the spill could spread deadly bacteria around.
 

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Is this in a kitchen? Slate or any other porous stone does not make for the best backsplashes in kitchens, even if sealed.
Nonsense, almost all my backsplash work is stone, tumbled everything and mosaic stone, once sealed and maintained looks great and never an issue.


Here's some slate.
 

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Carpe Diem
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who was an expert witness a handful of years ago in a case in which four people were killed due to a groutless install.
:eek:

OK, I'm not gonna debate a groutless install but how the hell can the type of installation kill anyone? Do guns kill people or do people using guns kill people?

I'm no attorney but the defense to that ridiculous situation is that perhaps the people didn't clean up after themselves???? If you are that sloppy and get raw chicken juice all over....clean up after yourself! What's next? Maybe sue the cabinet manufacturer for having drawers that will harbor bacteria???

Really :rolleyes:
 

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:eek:

OK, I'm not gonna debate a groutless install but how the hell can the type of installation kill anyone? Do guns kill people or do people using guns kill people?

I'm no attorney but the defense to that ridiculous situation is that perhaps the people didn't clean up after themselves???? If you are that sloppy and get raw chicken juice all over....clean up after yourself! What's next? Maybe sue the cabinet manufacturer for having drawers that will harbor bacteria???

Really :rolleyes:
Or cabinets that hold Twinkies and Ho Ho's and Pop Tarts and Lil' Debbie snacks and...Great now I have the munchies.Thanks.
 

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Nice looking kitchen,but you bring up another issue. The problem with no-grout installations is that the thin joints will allow water to penetrate. In a kitchen, this practice can be deadly because of E-coli, etc., most especially on a countertop install. There is nothing to keep bacteria from being sucked into the tile and growing behind the install. Even a failed caulk joint at the backsplash-counter intersection can cause the same problem in the backsplash. Although you may not have had any issues doing it that way, as of yet, you are putting your customers health in jeopardy and yourself legally at risk.
You bring up a very valid point for a commercial kitchen, but in this case I think the risk is minimal.

Chris, curious as to why you didn't grout
This was the particular look we were going for. It accentuates the variations in gauging and gives the wall an interesting texture. Obviously you could never do this in a wet location. We re-cut the 12"x12" floor material to 4"x4", and made them perfectly square so the pieces would fit tight as a tick.

Here's another dry-stack application in slate:
 

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Nonsense, almost all my backsplash work is stone, tumbled everything and mosaic stone, once sealed and maintained looks great and never an issue.
Maintained being the key word. How many homeowners actually maintain these types of tile installs as regularly as they should? Or any other install for that matter? In a heavily used kitchen, a porous stone backsplash that is not regularly sealed will be a problem, which is why I don't recommend them. Your experiences with stone backsplashes are obviously different from mine, but it doesn't mean that either of us are wrong. So no, my opinion is not nonsense because it is not an idea that is absurd or contrary to good sense.




It's interesting how some here are quick to attack or make jokes toward anyone who has opinions different from theirs. Aren't these forums for exchanging different ideas and opinions? There really would be no need for these types of sites if everyone knew everything and thought the same way. I don't believe I've disrespected anyone here and if I have I'd like someone to show me.
 

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:eek:

OK, I'm not gonna debate a groutless install but how the hell can the type of installation kill anyone?

I'm no attorney but the defense to that ridiculous situation is that perhaps the people didn't clean up after themselves???? If you are that sloppy and get raw chicken juice all over....clean up after yourself!
Quote by highly respected tile professional Michael Byrne from another thread on groutless installs:

"What did the tile rep say the tiles were designed for? If the mfg of the tiles says it is OK to use the tiles in a functional wet area without grout, please give me the name of your lawyer so we can begin working on the wrongful death suit that is likely to follow.

How can you expect to keep these tiles clean if there is no grout. How are you going to remove all the meat, fish, chicken juice that will splash on the wall, soak into the setting bed, and become a permanent housing project for e coli and salmonella?

Anyone who installs groutless tiles or recommends groutless tile installations in food service areas should speak with a health specialist or doctor to learn about food poisoning.

Anyone who sells groutless tile installations is not doing the tile industry any favors. In fact, they are part of a much greater problem called stupidity."



Angus, I'm all for seeing the points of view of others. Are there any industry standards concerning groutless installation in kitchen areas that you could provide me with?
 

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Or cabinets that hold Twinkies and Ho Ho's and Pop Tarts and Lil' Debbie snacks and...Great now I have the munchies.Thanks.
I take this issue seriously because I think the safety of my customers and yours is important. Please tell me how that comment provides constructive input concerning this discussion.
 
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