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Slate Flooring-Pros, Cons, Types, Installation method

Slate Flooring

  • Slate is a type of metamorphic rock that is created by alteration of shale or mudstone by low-grade regional metamorphism.
  • Slatestone is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite.
  • It is durable and long-lasting.
  • Resistant to water and fire.
Slate flooring

Advantages of Slate Flooring:

  • Unique appearance: natural beauty
  • Very durable long-lasting
  • Easy to remove and replace
  • Adaptable to radiant heating systems
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Biodegradable and green option
  • Many varieties are freeze-thaw resistant

Disadvantages of Slate Flooring:

  • Expensive: expensive than man-made materials
  • Soft: takes scratches easily than granite
  • Not a seamless flooring option
  • Difficult to repair and has to be sealed
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Very slippery when wet

Aesthetics:

Sizes

  • Available as slabs, tiles, cut to size
  • Slabs: average size: 2’x5’ (may vary as per suppliers) thickness: 20-50mm
  • Tiles: 30x30cm,60x60cm,40x40cm,30x60cm, thickness -10mm to 30mm or
  • Cut to size: as per custom size order

Types of Surface Finish

  • POLISHED: high gloss mirror-like surface, used in wall cladding, countertops, tabletops, fireplace facing and hearth.
  • SANDBLASTED: rough but tidy look, used in traffic areas.
  • LEATHER FINISH: suede look and feel.
  • HONED: low gloss, smooth and eggshell finish.
  • NATURAL CLEFT: Textured natural finish. Achieved by splitting the stone along its cleave with a hammer and chisel.
  • CASCADE: fairly flat with subtle ripples and soft texture.

How to Install Slate Floor Tiles:

1. Prepare the surface

Prepare the subfloor for a clean and dry, flat and even surface. If plywood is used as a subfloor, then a backer board needs to be installed/attached to the subfloor as an underlayment.

2.Preview tiles layout

As slate tiles have a lot of color variation, they have to be blended randomly so that light and dark colors won’t wind up together.

3.Spread thin-set on floor and set permanently.

Spread thin-set on floor evenly with a notched trowel starting from the corner of the room and then place the tiles o thin-set and press firmly to form a secure bond. Place the tile spacers 1/8th inch or as per the slate supplier instructions.

4. Remove any excess moisture/thin-set between tiles.

5. Allow the slate and thin-set to dry for 24-36 hours depending on weather location.

6.Apply clear sealer on slate tiles before grouting (or after grouting as per supplier’s instructions).

7. Mix the grout and apply grout between joints with a grout float.

8.Wipeout entire surface with a sponge to remove any excess grout.

9. Allow grout to dry or harden for 24-48 hours depending on weather and supplier’s instructions.

10. Apply a clear sealer to seal the slate tiles as per directions.

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