Slate is a natural stone that is very durable and makes for a low maintenance floor. Its rich texture and hues (which range from browns, greys, and blacks to multicoloured earth/rust colours) give it a dramatic look. Slate is often used in high-end bathroom remodels, but it is appropriate in other rooms as well: kitchens, hallways, and semi-outdoor living areas (slate is naturally water resistant). Another advantage of Slate is that it is cheaper than other natural stone products such as Marble and Granite
Slate flooring commonly comes in tiles or "riven," which is split slate which is less common. Riven slate has a somewhat rough surface that provides a bit of slip resistance. Its thickness tends to be uneven, which can make it trickier to install than tiles. Cut slate tiles have smooth surfaces and even edges. However, they can be slippery, so if you're going to install them in a bathroom, be careful not to polish them too much. Choosing a textured variety can also help keep down slipperiness in areas that have the potential to get wet.
Cleaning Advice for Slate Floors
Slate floors are extremely durable, and they are easy to care for in comparison to many other flooring materials. To keep your slate floors looking nice, here's a list of cleaning suggestions:
- Sweep or vacuum regularly.
- When needed, clean with a wet mop, using a diluted household detergent.
- If a stain requires scrubbing, use a nylon- or natural-bristle brush (never use a brush with metal bristles as they can permanently scar the floor).
- Because slate resists water naturally, it doesn't need sealing; however, you can apply a finish if you like extra luster. (To maintain the shine, treat the floor with a new coat every 6-12 months.)
Slate floors are popular in bathrooms, kitchens, cellars, and slightly outdoor areas (i.e. verandas) because the natural stone is waterproof, making it a good choice where moisture may be present. Slate is very durable, doesn't require much maintenance, and due to its dark colouring, hides dirt well.
Advantages of Slate
- Slate is a tough stone that can take a lot of traffic.
- It resists water well.
- It's easy to care for.
- Slate doesn't just come in greys and blacks but in a range of beautiful, subtle hues that can enhance many decors.
- It works nicely in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and on porches.