Slate is a miracle formed in nature
Slate is referred to as metamorphic stone meaning it is made through the compression of clay, quartz, and shale. These materials come together in a riverbed or the ocean floor where they are then compressed and bonded together by the heat of the earth's crust. This process gives slate tiles a unique appearance and texture. Due to the way slate forms in nature, the tiles have a natural surface texturing that provides protection from slipping when when walking on a wet floor. The amount of weathering slate can withstand makes it a perfect choice for indoor and outdoor use.
The color, finishes, and sealants available for slate tiles
The color and finishes available in slate tiles are an advantage when it comes to layout of a natural stone floor. As you might expect, these tiles come in earth tones and deeper jewel tones like reds, greens, and purples. It is not uncommon to see a natural blend of several colors within a completed stone floor.
You do need to pick a specific finish and sealant. Finishes come in natural (sometimes called cleft), suede, and honed. While slate tile is already highly stain resistant, it is soft and at risk for cracking if left unprotected.
Due to its porous nature, penetrative sealing is recommended. High-gloss is a sealant that gives your stone flooring a glossy "wet look". Low sheen sealant is reflective, but not as lustrous as high-gloss. Sealant with no sheen is sometimes known as natural. These sealants will help maintain the spaces between the tiles better than grout alone. Slate tiles that are sealed are very low maintenance, but that should not be mistaken for no maintenance. Make sure to take steps that preserve your investment.
The many sizes and shapes of slate tiles fit any project or budget
Slate tiles are available in sizes ranging from 12 to 24 inches. The tile can be cut down into smaller pieces to fit the scope of any customized project. The important thing is to keep an eye on the thickness to ensure your flooring stays level. Thickness of slate tiles start out at about a quarter of an inch and top the scale at about three quarters of an inch. The price per tile is usually $5 to $10. The good news is you may not have to spend a fortune on your natural slate stone flooring.
Two main concerns involving slate tile
The two biggest criticisms of slate tile are the cost of the initial installation and the coldness of the flooring. It is rarely recommended that you self-install these tiles. It is better to pay that cost upfront than it is to risk making a mistake during a DIY renovation. The coldness in look and feel can be balanced out by surrounding the slate stone flooring with warmer colors and by using nearby carpeted areas to offset the starkness of the tile. If temperature is your primary concern, consider the additional feature of heated coils in the floor, especially for the bathroom.
All in all, it is easy to see why slate flooring is so popular. You can't hold much against this bestselling, long-lasting option. These tiles have a lot of the features you look for when considering natural stone flooring. The few drawbacks can easily be planned for and worked around. If you have never considered using slate tile for your natural stone floor, perhaps it is time you did.
If you have questions about slate tiles or natural stone flooring, contact Gowdy Flooring. We have a large selection of natural stone flooring choices and the expertise you need to complete an installation quickly and correctly. Call us today at (806) 353-6226. You can also connect with us via email. Check out our About Us to learn more about our company and staff. Visit our showroom and office located at 5205 S. Coulter Street in Amarillo, Texas and let our professional staff help you with all your flooring needs.