ClickCease Slate flooring: everything you need to know
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Everything you need to know about slate flooring

Last modified: 2021-06-14 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Christine Simard

Thinking of renovating your kitchen or bathroom floor? There are already several materials on the market that can give you a professional and original finish, which will give your room a breath of fresh air. If you've been considering slate for your new home improvement project but are still unsure, maybe this information can help you!

Everything you need to know about slate flooring

First, what is slate?

Slate is a kind of stone that turns out to be very versatile. Both indoor and outdoor, you can use it for your projects because it is very durable. Belonging to the schist family, it is distinguished by its flaky appearance and grain quality. Depending on its deposit, it is said that slate can last from 70 years to 300 years! 

The advantages of a slate floor

Great resistance

One of the main qualities of slate is undoubtedly its very high resistance, the latter being reflected in several ways. First of all, slate has the ability to not fade under the effect of the sun. Secondly, it is particularly resistant to wear and will not tend to crumble. It's for this reason that we consider it's quite appropriate to use this type of material as an outdoor floor covering.

In addition, the slate floor offers great resistance to stains. Although it is not necessary to apply a sealer to its surface, it is strongly recommended to do so to increase the stone's waterproofness as well as the intensity of the colour. Next, note that the slate floor is waterproof, which makes it very suitable for installation in a bathroom.

Easy maintenance

For its daily maintenance, a simple cleaning with soapy water and a soft cloth is sufficient. Avoid all abrasive cleaning products and tools to avoid damaging the floor surface. Also, the application of a protective coating on the surface is required, although it is possible to do it every three or four years.

While slate tiles may eventually crumble slightly, it's good to know that this is nothing to be worried about. This is because the tiles are cut in the direction of their lamellar layers, which makes this type of chipping inevitable. In such a situation, it is advisable to apply a layer of sealant to the area concerned.

Source: Houzz

A variety of formats, shapes and colours

When choosing tiles for a new slate floor, be aware that they come in many forms. Indeed, it's possible to find slate tiles in the form of planks or tiles. These can be rectangular, square or have a raw outline giving them a more natural look. Generally, slate tiles are available in the following formats:

  • 6 '' by 6 '';
  • 4 '' by 4 '';
  • 12 in by 12 in.

In addition, it should be noted that slate tiles are available in a wide variety of colours. As each tile is unique and has its own unique colours and grain, this creates a particularly interesting effect when installing the floor covering. The little sister of marble, therefore, has a distinctive look that does not lack originality. 

Do you wish to save some money during your next floor renovation project? Check out our article 4 Ways You Can Save on Flooring Renovations.

tuile d'ardoise_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Mandarinstone

Other qualities to highlight

We shouldn't forget to mention that slate tiles have interesting non-slip properties, which makes them a good choice for bathrooms as well as kitchens. As we briefly pointed out, the possibility of using this material both indoors and outdoors makes it a versatile and quite practical option.

Some disadvantages of a slate floor

A cold surface

As this is the case with most natural stone floors, slate is rather cool to the touch. To avoid having your feet frozen while walking on your slate floor, it is imperative to adequately insulate the bed of the tiles before their installation.

A price sometimes high

In comparison with other floor coverings, it must be said that some categories of slate can be expensive. A slate floor costs an average of $6 per square foot, making it a little more expensive than ceramic, but less expensive than granite.

However, be aware that installing this material can quickly increase the cost of a flooring project. Indeed, slate is more expensive to install than granite or marble. Thus, some concessions may be necessary if your budget is smaller or the area to be covered is large.

To know more about flooring prices, you can consult our cost estimator here.

Also, don't hesitate to check out our article Floor Renovation Project: Checklist of the Steps to Follow.

Slate flooring: available finishes

The matte finish

From the outset, it should be noted that slate flooring is essentially available in the form of two finishes. The first finish, natural, has an unmistakable textured appearance that is impossible to achieve with any other natural stone such as quartz, granite or marble. To keep this look, it is suggested to apply a neutral sealer.

Plancher en ardoise

Source: devolkitchens

The polished finish

In addition to this matte finish, it is possible to opt for a polished finish by cutting the slate in parallel with the bedding. The surface is then polished with diamond instruments to standardize it and remove any marks resulting from slate recovery. Note, however, that it is strongly recommended to repolish the floor more than once during its life, which requires a new application of sealant.

Installing a slate floor

Do you doubt your ability to lay a slate floor? While it's not impossible to use the expertise of a professional to do so, be aware that this project is accessible to the majority of individuals. In this regard, you should know that no professional tool is required to install your slate floor, it's as easy as a ceramic floor.

However, a certain tact is required to avoid any unevenness in the laying of the tiles. Otherwise, the floor will tend to warp over time and work will have to be restarted from the start.

Second, pay attention to the joint between the tiles: a lack of waterproofing will allow water to seep between the gaps and eventually cause the floor to rot. In this regard, you should know that it is possible to put no joints between the slabs. As this requires extreme care, it is best to call in a professional to obtain a quality result.

To learn more about the price of your next floor renovation project, see our article Renovating a Floor: The Price of Materials.

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