Slate Tile Flooring Advantages

Natural Slate Tile is Perfect for Inside and Outside the Home

By Mark J. Donovan

A few years back I wanted to install slate tile flooring in my home’s main entranceway however in the end I wound up going with 12”x12” ceramic tiles that very closely resembled a slate tile color and texture. The tiles I selected also had a slightly brushed and honed finish that left the tile surface with a smooth and flat like surface, but with some texture around the edges and with various color tones radiating outward.

One of the main reasons I was interested in a slate tile floor was its natural look. It’s a beautiful stone that is ideal to work with and that can be used indoors or outdoors. In addition, due to its natural color it is great at hiding any dirt that may be tracked into an entranceway.

Also, due to the fact that it is quarried from many parts of the world there are numerous shades of color and textures to choose from. Slate flooring tiles also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and thicknesses. For example, you can find slate floor tiles that range in sizes from 6”x6” to 24”x24”. The larger tiles are usually more appropriate for outdoor applications and/or on concrete slabs. Slate tiles also come in rectangular shapes, so that you can create various layout patterns when tiling a floor. Slate floor tiles also range in thickness from ¼ inch to ¾ inch thick, however the ¼ inch thick tile is most commonly used due to cost and installation advantages.

Slate floor tiles also come in several finishes. The polished finish yields a highly smooth and glossy slate floor tile and looks similar to marble tile. The honed finished, as I already mentioned, yields a smooth, slightly glossy, flat finish. Natural or cleft finish slate tiles are left unfinished. They are not sanded or polished down, thus yielding a more rough textured finished. Lastly there is the brushed finish. Brushed finish slate floor tiles are effectively cleft tiles with their ridges and points slightly sanded down.

One of the nice advantages of slate tile flooring is its ability to hide dirt and other materials that may have inadvertently been brought into the home. The reason for this is that slate tile flooring typically has a slightly darker appearance.

Slate tile flooring advantages

Moreover, due to the fact that slate floor tiles are darker you can use darker grout and thus prevent the grout from being discolored via dirt and debris.

Slate tile is also difficult to scratch, stain, or damage, thus making it perfect for high traffic areas including kitchens, entranceways and hallways. This advantage is also why it’s popular outside the home as well. The only time slate floor tile is at risk of damage is during the transportation and installation of it. Also, if you select a natural or cleft finished slate tile it is slip resistant, again making it ideal for entranceways.

In regards to installing slate tile flooring I would recommend using a professional installer. Slate tiles are difficult to cut and can break easily. Depending upon their size and thickness they can also be fairly difficult to handle and transport. As with any tile flooring installation, there should be a solid underlayment floor installed first that is both smooth and level. In addition, thinset mortar should be used to set the slate tiles in place. After the tiles have cured for at least 24 hours they can then be grouted and sealed. When grouting slate tile flooring, make sure to immediately and frequently wipe off any excess grout after grouting every few tiles, as slate tile is very porous. Slate tile flooring

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

Related Information

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