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Multi-Color Tumbled Slate Kitchen Backsplash

A few months ago I completed a kitchen backsplash for friends of mine just outside of  Tampa, Florida. They wanted a tile backsplash that would match but not clash with their green Verde Butterfly granite counters and also accent their nice wood cabinets.

I had showed them some nice porcelain tile and also some glass tile but they were either a little too busy or too plain. I then showed them some tumbled marble and they said I was getting closer, they liked the soft, tumbled look but the marble was too tan or brown. Right then I knew what look they wanted and which direction I should go with a tile sample.

I went out to my local tile supplier and got a sheet of 2×2 tumbled multi colored slate. The different amounts of colors in the multi colored slate range from a mixture of different textured light greens to dark greens, tans, a mixture of various grays and a few light red salmon colors tiles. The mixture of colors would be perfect and match the cabinets and the granite counter top.

They fell in love with the tile when I showed them the sample. The textures were great, the colors were great and the small sized 2×2 tile were just what they wanted. I recommended setting it on a diagonal to add a little classier touch to the backsplash. I also recommended the use of metal, stainless steel or injection molded metallic look tile to accent their stainless appliances. They loved the idea and gave me the ok to proceed once they selected the accent style and grout color.

The metallic 2×2 accent tile was installed square on the inside of 4 tile randomly.  I placed my starting point layout in the center of the stove and under the microwave, it was perfectly centered between the two wall cabinets. I also noticed when I measured that if I started with a half cut tile on the bottom granite 4″ splash it would end up under the cabinet with another half tile.

Installation went smoothly with the 2×2 slate tile. I elected to use Omni Grip premium mastic since some of the work was slow and tedious and I wanted an adhesive that would give me a little more working time then a modified thinset mortar. I worked diligently setting the tile, cutting around the electrical outlets, inserting the deco’s and wrapping the tile around the inside corner so it matched the other wall. After the tile setting was done I gave the adhesive enough time to dry before grouting. I then sealed it once prior to grouting to help with staining and grout clean up ease.

The grout color they selected was Custom Building Products #9 Natural Gray Polyblend sanded grout. After the grouting was done I washed it a few time so there would be no grout haze left on the tile when I sealed it. I let the grout cure and I came back and applied 3 coats of  TileLab gloss sealer & finish to the slate tile. Man did that make the mixture of colors pop. Another thing good about the sealer is his wife’s Italian and likes to cook, the sealer will help protect the tile & grout from any unnecessary spatters while cooking. I suggested that they find metallic switch plate covers to accentuate the metallic accent deco’s and stainless appliances.

below you will find pictures of the work in progress, and also some the the customer sent me. If you are looking for a tile contractor in Florida to do a custom backsplash feel free to Contact Us for an estimate.

enjoy the pictures…….


Andy January 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Brian was fantastic throughout the process. My wife and I had a general look in mind but Brian brought it to life. He listened to our ideas and made suggestions that were right on! He found the right tile, color, accents etc… We are very happy with the end product and plan on using Brian for our next project “the bar”!

Jane March 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

wow, nice transformation!
I want my backsplash to look like this one.
I was searching for “slate backsplash ideas” and your
blog came up, thanks for writing it and helping me with my decision.


Dave January 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I just bought a very similar tile but I’m wondering what the best way to cut it is. Can you give me a hint?

Ceramictec January 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm

if you bought a slate mosaic tile on sheets you will need to cut it with a wet saw.

Penny March 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

This looks fantastic ! I will be installing same in my kitchen. We currently have the tumbled slate on the floor of our shower. Can you tell me what I should use to clean it ? thanks

Ceramictec March 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

this slate backsplash is sealed, so clean water can be used.

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