Marble backsplash behind range?

In the prior two kitchens that I have done I have chosen 3x6 white subway tile for the backsplash. I could do it again. But I was thinking that maybe there was something nicer. I found 3x6 all white polished marble tiles on the web. Doing my due diligence I'm trying to find out what negatives there are in a switch from tile to marble. The only one I can come up with is cleaning. Especially behind the range where grease will be splattered on it from frying. So I headed to the web. I found that it isn't easy to clean grease off marble. Though I found many pictures of white marble behind the range. See some here: http://www.houzz.com/marble-kitchen-backsplash
Does anyone here have experience keeping a light colored marble clean behind the range? What type of cleaner? Use a sealant?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Yep, that would be the one.
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On a backsplash, you don't need the hardness and strength that you do on a floor, but marble is really just compressed limestone, and limestone is etched by acids, even mild acids like ketchup if it's hot.
So, if it were me, I would stay with the white glazed wall tiles on a kitchen back splash just so that you know there won't be a problem with acidic foods spattering on your backsplash and leaving dull spots that won't clean off.
Also, grout sealers come in two flavours; penetrating and film forming.
Penetrating sealers penetrate into the grout, leaving it porous. You don't want that on a kitchen counter top, kitchen tile floor or counter top backsplash. That's because soft foods that get spattered on porous grout can get mooshed into the porous surface of that grout and leave a stain as well as provide a food source for bacteria to multiply.
On, kitchen counter tops, kitchen tile floors and tile backsplashes, you're better off to use a film forming grout sealer which will form a smooth impermeable plastic film over the grout, thereby preventing soft foods and liquids from penetrating into the porous surface of the grout.
And, film forming grout sealers come in two flavours as well; silicone based and acrylic. Look on the fine print of the bottle of grout sealer for the word "acrylic" or "anything siloxane". The term siloxane really just means "silicone based plastic". Now, you want to avoid silicone plastic based grout sealers because all silicone based caulks, rubbers and plastics share the same Achilles Heel, and that is that nothing sticks well to them, not even more silicone caulk, silicone rubber or silicone based grout sealer. So, during the first 10 years, your silicone based film forming grout sealer will work perfectly well. But, if you ever want to paint more silicone based grout sealer over the grout lines to improve the protection, the new silicone based grout sealer won't stick well to the old silicone based grout sealer, and you'll have pieces of clear silicone based plastic falling off your grout when you clean your backsplash.
Acrylic film forming grout sealers are the equivalent of a clear latex paint, and they don't have that problem with adhesion that silicone film forming grout sealers do. Just as you can paint a latex paint over a latex paint, you can paint an acrylic film forming grout sealer over anyone else's new or old acrylic film forming grout sealer, and it'll stick well.
Home Depot sells two acrylic film forming grout sealers marketed by the Tile Lab Company (which is a division of Custom Building Products); "Matte Sealer & Finish" and "Gloss Sealer & Finish" that I think are pretty good. Both of these use the same binder resin, but the Matte has extender pigments in it to make it dry to a rough finish whereas the "Gloss" doesn't.
[image: http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/webservice/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/2809/TLMTSSQT.png&width%7 ]
Now, normally, grout sealer can be pretty hard to remove if you ever want to remove it. But, Tile Lab makes a product called "Heavy Duty Cleaner & Stripper" for these grout sealers that makes removing them a breeze. I couldn't believe how easy it was until I tried it myself. So, one of the benefits of using these two grout sealers is that if they ever do get stained (by cigarette smoke, for example), they're easy to strip off so that you can replace the grout sealer.
[image:
http://www.amestile.com/upload/accessories/Sealers%20and%20cleaners/tlstsq.jpg ]
I've used the "Gloss" and it's a good product. If you can paint a straight line you can seal grout. Go to any artist's supply store and buy a "script" paint brush which will have much longer bristles for less dipping and less dripping. And, I'd apply three coats.
I can't think of any food that would stain an acrylic film forming grout sealer, but I've been the landlord to some of the world's worst chain smokers, and when these people moved out, not only could you tell where pictures were hung on the walls, but you could see where furniture was on the floors because of the fact that the floor wasn't stained in those locations. And, I've learned that intense cigarette smoking (like people do while sitting on a toilet in a bathroom) will stain acrylic grout sealer.
If you live in California, a company called Glaze 'N Seal makes an excellent acrylic film forming grout sealer called simply "Grout Sealer", and I use it on all my bathroom wall tiling. I actually imported a gallon of it from a place called Sepulveda Hardware, some place in California about 10 years ago.
[image:
http://www.sepulveda2.com/catalog_sepulveda/images/product_1114032477_GroutSlr.jpg ]
I'd recommend tiling the backsplash with glazed wall tiles and sealing the grout lines with any acrylic film forming grout sealer. I've used the products mentioned in this post, and I was happy with both of them.
--
nestork


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