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Spotlight on: Slate Tile

Domus_700_Brownstone_RmWhen it comes to tile and stone flooring, there are several types you can select from when deciding on new flooring. Each have their own benefits and beauty, but today, let’s focus on the tile that brings the natural patterns of the outdoors into your home – slate tile.

Best Rooms for Slate Tile

Natural slate tile can work in many rooms of your house. It’s a naturally beautiful tile that has an unpredictable texture to it; no two tiles are the same. Natural slate comes in a subtle rainbow of earthy colors: you’ll find muted greens, blues and reds. Colors that punctuate, like gray and black, can be found in some natural slate. It’s a timeless element to include in your space, one that will never go out of style.

In high traffic areas, like an entryway or hallway, natural slate is the rock star of durability. Kitchens, breakfast nooks, laundry rooms and bathrooms are ideal applications for natural slate as well.  It is slip-resistant and waterproof, so it is suitable for areas prone to water drips or splashes. If you want to work slate flooring into a living room, you can make it cozier by adding a nice, thick rug over the tile in the seating area.

Unique Uses for Slate

Move over granite! Slate tile countertops are an interesting alternative to granite. Not only does slate make for a stunning and stylish looking countertop, it has a non-porous surface, meaning that it’s a snap to clean. Slate doesn’t absorb liquids from food or drink, so it’s a surface that makes it hard for bacteria to flourish. Additionally, it’s a really hard surface that stands up to chipping, heat and damage. Best of all, slate countertops are nowhere near as pricey as granite.

Just as slate can look great on your floors, it also gives a nice touch to your walls. Try tiling an accent wall or fireplace surrounds for a flourish of earth-toned color. Bathroom walls tiled in slate make a very sleek, modern statement as well.

Slate-style Porcelain  

One way to achieve the natural aesthetic of slate but at a lower cost and maintenance requirements is to consider porcelain style slate.  There are some significant advantages to this alternative.

The manufacturers have refined the styling process of porcelain to the point where some lines are effectively indistinguishable from natural slate. The high definition color and texture processes now in use are creating stunning looks in all stone and natural material categories, i.e., travertine, granite, marble, etc., all in porcelain.  Many are available in coordinates for walk-in shower walls, backsplashes, and deco tile and accents for all types of applications. Slate-style porcelain products can run 10% – 50% less than natural slate.  That can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings depending on your project.

In terms of maintenance, porcelain requires no reapplication of sealers over the life of the product; at some point most natural slate installations will require reapplications of sealer since it is a very porous material.  Also, slate-style porcelain is made with rectified precision edges so grout joints can be kept to a bare minimum, often ¼” or less.

To look into natural slate or slate-style porcelain for your project call Tish Flooring at 317-879-TISH (8474).