How to Protect Slate Countertops

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Natural stone cleaner
Soft cloths
Old towel
Mineral oil

Slate countertops can make an attractive addition to your kitchen and bathroom. Slate is a metamorphic rock and is one of the most attractive natural stones available for home installations. Although it is softer than most rocks, it is a suitable material for countertop use. Slate is available in various colors and finishes. Countertops made from slate fit perfectly in both traditional and modern kitchen design. Once installed, your countertop can last a lifetime, especially if you take steps to protect it.

Step 1 - Sealing

It is important that you seal your slate surfaces soon after installation to protect against damage. Clean the countertops with a stone cleaner and rinse with minimal water. Use an old towel to dry the countertop. Spray a sealer evenly on the countertop and distribute with a soft cloth. Allow the sealer to settle for the stated time before you apply a second coat. Use a sealer that penetrates the slate if you want to give your countertop higher protection. Topical sealers will wear away faster and require the countertop to be resealed soon. Ideally, once you notice that water doesn’t bead on the countertop, it is time to reseal.

Step 2 – Cleaning

It is important that you clean your countertop after use, especially in the kitchen. Bathroom countertops can be wiped so that they don’t remain wet for prolonged periods. Avoid abrasive, acidic and citrus-based cleaners on your slate as they etch the countertop. Normal household detergents shouldn’t be used either as they tend to dull the appearance of the slate. Use a neutral stone cleaner that is suitable for slate. A soft cloth can enable you to clear dirt and grime effectively. Rinse the countertop then wipe with an old towel. Do not use hard or stiff cleaning products on your slate. These easily cause scratches and ruin the beauty of your countertop.

Step 3 - Spills

Blot out spills as soon as they occur. Due to the porous nature of slate, it is best not to wipe spills on countertops. When wiped, the fluid spreads which creates and spreads stains on your countertop. Clear stains on your slate with a poultice meant for natural stone countertops.

Step 4 - Polishing

You may want to preserve the natural shine of your slate. Apply mineral oil sparingly and polish with a soft cloth. Be sure to polish only after you’ve given your countertop a good clean. You may polish your countertops once a week. It helps to maintain the natural beauty and shine.

Step 5 – Exercise Caution

Be careful as you handle kitchenware on your slate countertop. If heavy items are dropped onto the countertop, the impact can cause the slate to chip and crack. It helps if you take measures to prevent scratches on your countertop. Do not cut food directly on the countertop. It is best to cut on a cutting board so that you don’t spoil the sealed countertop.