Slate is a very versatile type of natural stone, which can be used for worktops, floors and interior walls, as well as for exterior paving and façades.
Here are the main characteristics of this building material and some of the advantages of its use in the home.
Characteristics of slate stone
Slate stone is a type of metamorphic rock (i.e. it has been formed by the modification of other pre-existing rocks) that stands out for its foliated, dense and fine-grained structure.
It is very recognisable aesthetically because it is made up of several layers or laminae.
Two of the main characteristics of slate are its hardness (it is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite) and its impermeability, which make it a versatile building material with many construction applications.
The most common slate is blackish blue, very rich in organic matter and carbon, although it can also be found in reddish and purple tones.
On the other hand, its origin from clayey soils makes slate slabs easy to exfoliate in sheets by sanding to make flat slabs that can be laid on floors or walls.
Some varieties can also be polished to a finer finish.
What can be done with this material?
Due to its physical and mechanical characteristics, slate stone can be used for cladding, flooring and cladding.
And, although in the past it was used to manufacture enclosing elements and load-bearing walls to support the loads of buildings thanks to its strength and compressibility, today its use as a structural element is minimal.
Slate roofing stone
One of the most common applications of slate stone is as a roof covering, replacing conventional ceramic tiles.
The very low weight of the slate sheets and its impermeability make it a good alternative in snowy and rainy regions, and it is common to see slate stone houses in mountainous areas.
Slate stone for facades, walls and floors
The other widespread application of slate stone is as cladding for floors and walls, both indoors and outdoors.
When we cover a wall with slate, what we are looking for is to give the space a special charisma.
We can use this type of natural stone on the walls of living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms, and also on façades.
With regard to floors, and as it is a stone with flat foliation and easy to cut, slate stone offers very good finishes as flooring.
Slate is normally used with honed finishes, due to its smooth surface.
If we choose slate stone to cover the exterior floors of the house, it is essential that the surface on which we are going to lay it is completely smooth, being common for surrounding swimming pools or for making paths in the garden.
Other applications of slate stone in the home are:
- Houseware. Its technical qualities make slate an ideal material for making trays and plates. This type of tableware is very hygienic and can be used to present both hot and cold dishes.
- Shower trays. Due to its high impermeability, slate is one of the most used materials to make shower trays of great aesthetic and functional quality.
- Worktops. This type of natural stone has a minimum absorption coefficient. In addition to being waterproof, it has a really attractive appearance if we want to use it in the kitchen.
A great example of this is the Airslate series by L’Antic Colonial. This collection of slates has a thickness that changes depending on the natural variation of the surface (between 2 and 4 millimetres).
This feature of the stone allows it to be laid in curved areas or to move pieces measuring 240×120 centimetres with no difficulty, and with a radius of up to 35 cm. It is therefore a very flexible and light material.
Finally, it should be noted that slate paint, made from this material, also has many decorative applications for the home, being an original option for covering walls in children’s rooms, offices, study or play areas or passageways in the home, such as the entrance hall.
3 advantages of slate floors
Among the advantages of using slate floors in the home, we highlight the following:
- Durability. Like other natural stones, slate is resistant and durable, making it suitable for high traffic areas.
- Aesthetics. Slate stone is an aesthetically beautiful and elegant material, with a unique definition. Although we can find slate cladding in different colours and textures, the most common are dark tones.
- Replacing tiles. Changing or replacing slate tiles is quite easy in case of breakage. Moreover, it is a timeless material, so we will always find a replacement that fits our needs.
Get to know our slate cladding
Natural stone is a material that has been used in construction since prehistoric times and is characterised by its elegance, durability and adaptability.
It is also characterised by its ornamental value and timelessness, which make it a good alternative for all types of homes.
L’Antic Colonial’s natural stone floor tiles, wall tiles, furniture and bathroom accessories are custom-designed for each space in the home.
Consult our catalogue and discover the DELHI, BHUTAN, KATHMANDU and PATAGONIA slate coverings, capable of withstanding changes in temperature, sun and rain, and which are an excellent option for natural stone façades.