Unique and Colorful Slate Tile Flooring. Image courtesy of cleanprous.com.

Slate – Natural Beauty with Every Step

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Unique and Colorful Slate Tile Flooring. Image courtesy of cleanprous.com.
Unique and Colorful Slate Tile Flooring. Image courtesy of cleanprous.com.

Slate is a fantastic option for your indoor and outdoor flooring designs. It’s highly durable, all natural, and so unique you won’t find duplicate patterns in any of the pieces. That’s because slate is a fine-grained rock with unique color and striation patterns due to the layers and alignment of clay, shale, silt, and other sediment that makes up its consistency (Dictionary.com).

 

Installing slate flooring is a sure way to increase the value of your home and add a unique touch to your décor. Before you make your purchase, though, let us share with you a little more about slate flooring and sample Dzines to show just how great this flooring option can be.

 

Where Slate Comes From

Slate Quarry in Belfast. Image courtesy of bangorblueslate.com.
Slate Quarry in Belfast. Image courtesy of bangorblueslate.com.

Here’s a little history. Slate is all natural and comes from quarries like this one. These flat, oftentimes, colorful stone pieces were originally used as roofing for homes in Wales, as early as the 1300’s, and is still a practice that continues to this day. The stone won’t warp, expand, or leak if gets wet thereby making it an excellent roofing and flooring material.

The available colors of slate vary according to the quarries the product is pulled from. For example, Vermont and New York extract slate in “greens, greys, black, purples and red… Neighboring slate quarries can yield stone of completely different colors – a grey/black quarry is next to a weathering green quarry – and even within a single quarry different colors can be extracted (New England Slate Company).”

 

Slate vs. Tile

Modern Grey Slate Tile Flooring. Image courtesy of Houzz.com.
Modern Grey Slate Tile Flooring. Image courtesy of Houzz.com.

Slate is comparative to ceramic and porcelain tile in look and feel. However, the aesthetics are where the similarities end. Both ceramic and porcelain tile lack the same durability as slate and chip easily. Ceramic tile show chips most noticeably simply because the coloring doesn’t go through the entire piece. When slate or porcelain tile chips, you may not even notice because of the consistency of color throughout. However, with slate, the natural texture of the stone masks chipping whereas porcelain will show cracks and indentations. (Rockymountainbathrooms.com)

 

Installation

Installing Slate Flooring. Image courtesy of aventetiletalk.com.
Installing Slate Flooring. Image courtesy of aventetiletalk.com.

 

When it comes to installation, it’s always best to have a professional do the work. However, if you’re looking to do the installation on your own, there are a few things you should be aware of when choosing and installing your tile or stone flooring:

 

 

Without a doubt ceramic tile is the least expensive to install, it has great forgivingness and can be installed with the simplest of thinsets. Porcelain takes more care, requires more expensive thinsets, more expensive tools and much more careful installation due to the nature of the material and it’s resistance to adhesion unless it is installed correctly. Stone is by far the most expensive to install, with additional labor required for pre-sealing of the stone if required, the thicker thinsets because of the irregularity of the material and the more expensive thinsets required. It’s probably not common knowledge to homeowners but some marble will actually curl and warp if the wrong thinset is applied to it (Rockymountainbathrooms.com).

Even though slate is the most expensive option, it makes up for its cost in its durability and unique characteristics, not to mention it’s versatility as both interior flooring or exterior patio and walkway pavers.

Of course, making the choice is a matter of personal preference. Ceramic and porcelain tile have similar color and texture options as slate and are great alternatives to the costlier product. However, slate will outlast either type of tile and will require less work to maintain.

Sample Dzines

Here are a couple of Dzines we created with slate flooring for you to sample.

Dzine of grey slate tile applied to an office. Original image courtesy of floorlabor.com.
Dzine of grey slate tile applied to an office. Original image courtesy of floorlabor.com.
Dzine of entry and living room with colorful slate tile. Original image courtesy of tweetbrowser.com.
Dzine of entry and living room with colorful slate tile. Original image courtesy of tweetbrowser.com.

Have a picture of your own slate sample and want to see how it would look in your home? Create your slate flooring Dzine at dzinesteps.com.


For more information about slate products, click on any of the following links:

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/ceramic-tile-vs-slate-tile#b

http://www.neslate.com/geology-a-history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slate_industry

http://pennbigbedslate.com

http://bvslate.com/index.html

http://www.greenstoneslate.com/about.htm

http://slateassociation.org/slate-manufacturing/

http://www.rockymountainbathrooms.com/ceramic-porcelain-stone-tile.htm

 

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