Slate, like granite or marble, is a natural stone. It falls in the family of metamorphic rocks, along with familiar stones like quartz and soapstone. When used for flooring, slate is sold in tile form.
Slate was once used primarily for buildings and outdoor structures, but it is becoming more common as a flooring option, particularly in kitchens and entryways. Today, slate is the most common type of stone tile. It is available in dark variations of several colors, including green, purple, black, gray and red.
Cost of Slate Floors
Slate usually costs about $5 to $10 per square foot for materials, depending on where you live, how the room is configured and the size of the tile. Density also has a significant impact on price – the denser the stone, the more durable and expensive it will be. Installation is usually more expensive than with ceramic tiles.
Slate Floors Pros
- Very durable – Slate flooring is highly durable. It stands up to high-traffic and the typical damage that goes along with kids and pets. If you expect your floors to take a beating, slate is an excellent choice.
- Waterproof – Slate is completely waterproof, so it’s great for high-moisture areas such as kitchens or bathrooms. It even works for driveways or pool areas.
- Stain resistant – Slate naturally resists stains, making it a great choice for low-maintenance kitchen flooring. You won’t have to worry too much about spills. Slate floors are also easy to clean and they hide dirt well.
- Natural look – Stone floors create a more natural look than some of the alternatives, including ceramic tile and laminate.
Slate Floors Cons
- Difficult to install – Slate is much harder to install than ceramic tile. You’ll need to hire an installer that has experience working with slate. Do-it-yourself installation is not a good idea, unless you’re an expert or you like to live on the edge.
- Cold to the touch – As with any type of stone, slate floors are cold to the touch. You may find this uncomfortable on your feet, particularly in the winter.
- Prone to scratching – While durable, slate is prone to scratching and chipping. Home improvement experts suggest using furniture pads to protect the floors.
- Dark in color – Slate flooring tends to be dark in color, so it’s not ideal if you’re trying to create a light and bright space. And it can make small rooms look smaller.