How to Repair a Slate Countertop
One of the more durable, and strikingly beautiful, additions to any kitchen renovation is a slate countertop. This type of countertop is made out of very hard stone that is available in many different colors for a wide range of decorative options. Slate is also non-porous. This means they are not only durable, but easy to clean after food preparation. Installation of the slate countertop is easy enough to do for a do it yourselfer. However, there are some special tools that are required to do the job right. The same goes for making any repairs to the slate countertop that may have to be done throughout the life of the material. Here are some steps to repair a broken slate tile on your kitchen countertop.
Step 1 - Clean Surface of Slate Countertop
Slate is an easy surface to clean. However, there must be some precautions in the type of cleaning solution that you use. For the most part, a simple mixture of warm water and dish detergent. Wipe down the surface of the slate countertop so you can better inspect it for the full range of repairs that are needed.
Step 2 - Remove Grout
The grout is the material that both binds the slate together as well as keep water from penetrating under the slate tiles. This grout will have to be removed in order to remove the damaged portion of the slate countertop. Use a mallet and a chisel for this part of the process. Tap the chisel into the grout to break it up. Remove the broken pieces.
Step 3 - Lift up Broken Slate
Once a portion of the grout has been removed you can then focus attention onto the slate. With the flat end of the chisel pry up a section of the slate. Chances are that it will break, or snap, as you pry on it. This is alright as you are replacing the piece anyway. Continue to remove the pieces of slate until removed.
Step 4 - Prepare Surface for New Slate
Underneath the broken piece of slate there will be adhesive and grout remaining. This can be cleaned up with a scraper, chisel and some warm water. Continue to work away at it until the surface is bare and clean.
Step 5 - Spread Adhesive on Counter
After the old adhesive has been cleared away, you can then spread out new adhesive. It is best to use one that is specifically made for use with slate countertops. It will be able to grip the non-porous surface better. Use a small scraper for this part of the process. Spread some adhesive on the underside of the slate tile also. This will work to create a bond between both parts.
Step 6 - Set New Slate in Place
Carefully position the new slate into place and give it a little bit of a wiggle. This will cause the 2 surfaces to bond and mix. Place a level on the slate countertop to make sure it is level with the entire surface. Tap the corners that are high with the handle of the scraper or mallet.
Step 7: Grout and Clean
Mix the grout according to directions and spread it over the slate with the sponge. After it dries to a flaky consistency, clean it off with a clean sponge.