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Basics of Slate Tile Flooring and the Installation

By Edited Jun 21, 2016 1 2

 

Slate tile flooring will make a world of difference to the value of your home. Not only will it enhance the appearance of each room it will instantly attract attention to your floor as each person enters the room. Slate tiles are made of mica, calcite, chlorite and quarts and is the most robust and hard wearing product available.

It needs a little more maintenance than some of the other ceramic tiles, although personally I believe the extra work is well worth the effort. Slate tiles are unique and quite often you will see different plant formations actually in the slate themselves. It looks as though the plants have been captured and preserved in time.

Slate tiles can be used in any areas either indoors or outdoors when installed on a solid support foundation, these will look beautiful. They come in many different colors and are easy to lay.

Types of Slate Flooring

You can buy two different types of slate either Chinese or Indian. Slate is not like a normal tile it can come in a variety of thicknesses. One side of the tile could be thinner than the other side so when laying these you need to be careful to keep the tiles straight, if you want them to have an even level finish.

Choosing the slate

Before you spend your hard earned money on something you will later regret, you need to do your research and see what types of slate is available to you. Some have a smooth surface, while others may have a rougher or natural split along the grain or cleft in the slate tile. These would be more likely to prevent a person slipping on the tile.

Preparation needed for slate floor installation

It is best to draw a plan on the floor so you will know exactly how many tiles you will need, and have an idea on how thick the grout will be between each tile. The more grout between them will mean 1 or 2 tiles less although you do not want to spoil the effect. Always buy more than the required amount as you may break some when cutting them in half or for corners to fit the floor plan.

Check out the colors of all your slate tiles, as the colors of slate will vary. Slate is an earth product and as such may have a lined layer appearance; others may have darker colors of orange with others even with shades of blues or greens. It will of course depend on which type of slate you have chosen.

Look for defects, cracks and chips and use these under or inside linen or pantry cupboards. Mix the colors around the room you will not want all one color in one place. Lay them in sections so you can keep the surface level, or you may want an uneven surface. Keep in mind that if it is uneven someone could trip on the corner of an uneven tile.

 

Choice of finished surface

Choose which finish you want on your slate. Do you want a shiny or matt finish?

NOTE: Once you have finished laying your slate you need to be very careful not to splash any water on the slate tiles. As this will look like a stain and you will never be able to remove it even years later by stripping and resealing it. We had this problem on our slate tiles.

Grouting

Now it is time to grout the tiles, you have to seal the whole floor not just the spaces between with slate. Make sure that you fill in all the holes and spaces if you wish to have a smooth level surface. Wipe off the excess grout then when it is completely dry can seal it with the sealer of your choice.

You will need to apply another coat of sealer between every six to twelve months. After a few reseals it is a great idea to strip these off and reseal again to keep it looking like a million dollars. The finished appearance is well worth the extra effort.

Choosing which types of flooring to put down is a very big decision and there are so many choices to think about.

 

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Comments

Nov 1, 2010 9:32am
askformore
Great article! I agree with you that slate is a wonderful natural material.
I would love to have a larger area of slate tile flooring, - now I only have an area in front of my fireplace.
Nov 1, 2010 9:42am
eileen
We had it in our last house and it looked great. This house we had to put vinyl on floor as not level at moment until we redo floor but still wood floor so not sure yet.
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