Slate Flooring-Pros, Cons, Types, Installation method
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.
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
- 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 :
Finishes are applied for stones to protect the surface and to achieve desired level of sheen.
- 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.
- Brushed : Flat and scratched. It is obtained by brushing the surface using rotary wire brush.
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.