Slate may not be as popular as its marble and granite cousins, but it has many qualities that make it a great choice for kitchen and bath surfaces. More than just a “nice personality,” slate has some genuine attention-grabbing attributes.
Slate Floor by Whitten Architects; photo via Houzz
Just as strong as granite, slate is dependable, versatile, and low-maintenance. Though slate is easily split into thin pieces depending on its intended use (it is, after all, a metamorphic rock usually formed from shale), it is a very durable material. In fact, slate roofs have been known to last upwards of 50 years.
Slate backsplash by Weston Kitchens; photo via Houzz
Unlike marble and granite, slate is non-porous, which means it won’t harbor bacteria. This also means that all of the liquids that are “taboo” to marble and granite, such as tomato sauce and oil, won’t stain slate surfaces. In fact, slate actually requires less maintenance than granite or marble. It cleans best with simply water and may be left to air dry since its waterproof.
Slate has its own distinctive, understated look. Simple, strong and elegant, slate is typically more uniform in color that marble or granite. Rather than vivid veins, it offers subtle color shifts that are equally lovely. Slate’s shades can vary with tones of black, charcoal, gray, pewter, brown, and even green, purple, blue or red. It may be oiled for a glossy or “wet” look, but mostly its honed for a subdued effect.
Slate bath counter by Woodmeister Master Builders; photo via Houzz
Keep in mind that slab sizes are usually on the small side (not typically found longer than 85-in. or taller than 50-in.) This is something to consider if you’ve got a large run you’re looking to cover. For a substantial countertop, you’d be dealing with a lot of seams. Slate slabs are also not always gauged, so you could be dealing with varied thicknesses. While slate may not be ideal for your island countertop, it is perfect for floor tiles. It retains heat well, making it warmer than marble tile. Plus, slate is known for its smooth, pleasant feeling underfoot. It’s also a beautiful choice for backsplashes.
If you are curious to know more about our products you are welcome to visit our website or visit our showrooms in person. We’ll help you consider the various options for making your space a true natural beauty.