Slate countertops are a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. They add warmth to any space, and they’re easy to clean! Slate counters can be sealed just like other types of natural stone. However, you should always seal your slate counters with care because the sealant may need some time before it cures completely. I’ll show you how to do that below!
What is slate?
Slate is one of the natural stones that are used for flooring, countertops, and roof tiles. Slate is a metamorphic rock formed from shale; it has layered bands of dark minerals like micas or chlorite embedded in lighter-colored materials like quartz (or feldspar). These layers result when the mudstone sediment on which slate forms is baked by extreme heat and pressure during tectonic mountain-building events.
It has been used as a roofing material since the Roman times and continues to be used today. Slate tiles are also often used for chimney caps, gables, ridges, and other decorative features on buildings. In addition, slate floors are beautiful and long-lasting. They are relatively easy to care for and can last for hundreds of years if properly maintained.
Does slate need to be sealed?
The answer to this question is a little bit nuanced. In general, slate does not need to be sealed; however, if you are using it as roofing material or on a high-traffic surface, then it will likely benefit from a sealant. A good sealant will protect the slate from weathering and staining.
If you are using slate in a wet area, like a bathroom or kitchen, then it’s especially important to seal it. The moisture in the air can cause the slate countertops to become stained and pitted over time. A good sealant will protect against this type of damage.
So, should you seal your slate? If it’s for a high-traffic or wet surface, then definitely! For other applications, it’s not always necessary, but it’s still a good idea to do so. This will help keep your slate looking beautiful for years.
Types of slate sealers
There are two main types of slate sealers: penetrating and topical.
A penetrating sealer is absorbed into the stone, while a topical one stays on top of it like paint. Both can be used to cover up stains or add color, but only penetrating ones provide protection against spills and dirt build-up. Some people use both for maximum effect; applying a penetrative sealer first then following with a good polish that will make the surface shiny and protect your finish from wear and tear over time.
Usually, using a penetrating sealer is enough and you don’t need to use a topical sealer.
Steps to seal slate
- Clean the slate with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. This step is important because you do not want to apply a sealer over anything that is dirty.
- Mix together equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto the slate and let it sit for a few minutes. Also, you can use a commercial slate or natural stone cleaner if you have one.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe the slate clean and let it dry completely before applying any sealer. If there is still dirt or residue on the surface, reapply a mixture of vinegar and water as above. Some people find that letting the slates sit outside in direct sunlight for an hour can also help remove stubborn dirt.
- Once the slate is clean, it’s time to seal it! There are many brands of slate sealers on the market, so choose one that is best suited for your needs.
- Apply a coat of sealer to the surface of the slate using a brush or roller. Be sure to apply sealer in even strokes and avoid puddles. Allow the sealer to dry completely before applying a second coat. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
- Allow the sealant to dry completely before using the slate surface. Usually, it takes up to 24 hours for a sealer to dry completely.
- For better results reseal your slate countertops every 1-2 years.
As you can see, sealing slate countertops requires no special skills nor expensive tools or materials. You can do that easily by following the steps in this article. Hope the article was really helpful to you.