Slate is a metamorphic rock, which is fine-grained and foliated and originates in former sedimentary basins, where tectonic movements and heat transform shale and mudstone into slate. It comes in abundance of colours – the whole spectrum of gray plus green, red, black, brown and even purple. This diversity is one of the reason why slate tiles became such a popular flooring option around the world. You can see them used both as indoor tiles and outdoors they cover walkways, paths and patios.
Slate tiles are an excellent accent for any décor and are a perfect fit for both rustic and traditional settings and a more modern and contemporary look.
So, what are the properties that make slate tiles such a beloved flooring material and where can you use them?
Slate floor tile properties
Floors made of slate tiles have distinctive and particular beauty. This is due to the unique properties and qualities of the natural stone.
Some of the main advantages of slate floor tiles include:
- Durability – slate is one of the strongest natural stones and is resistant to cracks, breaks, scratches, which makes it perfect for flooring. It is the ideal solution for people with pets, who do not have to worry that the claws of their dogs can scratch the floor. In addition to that slate is waterproof and stain resistant;
- Heavy-duty – slate can take a lot of wear and tear and is particularly suitable for households with young kids running around or busy people with lots of friends visiting;
- Non-slippery – because of its rough surface and clefts, slate is perfect flooring material as it is not slippery.
- Colour – slate comes in numerous shades of gray and other colours or combinations, such as gray and black as these Tasso honed slate tiles. In addition, its clefts and grains also make it quite distinctive and attractive both as a main or accent material in any room;
- Low maintenance – slate is easily maintained. It can be mopped and cleaned quite easy. It is mandatory, though, that it is properly sealed after installation and resealed regularly as per the manufacturer's recommendations;
- Heat transmitting – slate transmits heat easily and therefore it is an excellent material to use with radiant below surface heating systems. Slate will not only transmit heat evenly but also retain it.
As every material, slate also has some disadvantages:
- Price – slate is on the expensive side of the spectrum when it comes to flooring but given its longevity the investment is worthy;
- Keeps cold – in cold weather slate keeps the low temperature and can be quite freezing to walk on barefooted, especially in rooms with no heating;
- Heavy – slate tiles are quite heavy and not very easy to work with. It is advisable to get professional assistance when installing them;
- Consistency – slate tiles vary in shades and non-calibrated tiles also vary considerably in thickness. This makes the installation process a bit more challenging and requires longer hours of work. And if a tile needs to be replaced it may be hard to find a similar shade in another batch. On the other hand, however, diversity is also one of the most distinctive and beloved features of slate floor tiles.
Taing into account these features and the possible slate finishes is of great importance when you are choosing slate tiles for your next flooring project.
Slate floor tile usage options
Every slate tile is unique and helps create an awe-inspiring atmosphere in any room where this natural stone is used. Thanks to its amazing qualities, slate can be used as flooring material almost everywhere in the house, as well as outdoors. Slate tiles are your perfect choice for:
- Kitchen floors
- Bathroom floors
- Master bedrooms
- Living room
- Dining area
- Entryways and mudrooms
Slate combines well with other stones and natural materials. Depending on the colour of the tiles you can mix them with marble, granite or wood to get the aesthetic effect you are looking for. Enjoy some Houzz inspired ideas.
Because of its durability and resistance to cracks and chips, slate floor tiles are also an excellent material to be used outside. Due to the natural clefts and grains contained in the stone, slate is often sold with a riven finish. This is the most natural of all slate finish options and is quite suitable for exterior tiles. Its main drawback – the uneven surface and thickness of the tiles, can be turned into an advantage in the garden. You can create a natural looking path or alley or beautiful steps. Just be careful, since the uneven layout, although, attractive can pose a tripping danger. If you have kids or elderly relatives at home, better opt for calibrated tiles to avoid this hazard.
Exterior slate tiles are suitable flooring option for:
- Outdoor kitchen
- Paths and alleys
Here are some ideas form Decorrosion:
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that slate floor tiles are one of the most universal options for natural stone flooring. Have a look at our selection and choose the most appropriate type for your next project.