SLATE TILES GUIDE
A product traditionally used for roofing tiles, today sees slate flooring and wall tiles becoming a hot eco friendly, trendy tiling solution.
There are many fantastic things that can be said about slate tiles, how impressive it looks inside and outside your home, how its great finishes means you can enjoy it barefoot, how its varied colour choices blend perfectly with many interior styles, and how it’s really durable & hardwearing!
OVERVIEW OF SLATE TILES
Slate was birthed by nature, and then crafted into tiles by us humans, therefore each individual slate tile will be completely unique, charming and ageless.
Its appeal goes beyond its defining look, slate is now recognised for its impermeable nature making it the perfect choice for high traffic areas of the home such as entrance halls, and utilities, where additional slip resistance is required. The trend for open-plan living and the development in brushed finishes has also meant that slate will be now found in living areas, conservatories, and kitchens.
The trend for bringing the outdoors indoors has seen many homeowners putting slate on their walls rather than traditional paint & wallpaper. This dramatic look can be found around feature fireplaces & log burners, feature walls in living rooms and also opulent bathrooms.
So if you are looking for something that is hardwearing, simple to maintain and with a beautiful, individual aesthetic, then this is the slate tiles are for you.
CHOOSE FROM A RANGE OF COLOURS AND STYLES
Natural Slate tiles are recognised for their neutral colour tones of Black, Grey and Multicolour. Black Slate tiles are desirable as they can complement both contemporary and classic interiors. Grey Slate is also becoming a popular colour, as this on-trend tone will complement many modern design schemes. Multicolour Slate tiles, provide a stunning appearance as they can have varied tones of olive through to brown, rust and heather, which provide a stunning focal point to any room.
The popularity of the Slate is due to its adaptable nature. With increased development in finishes that can be applied to this beautiful stone means that natural riven surfaces are not the only option.
Brushing slate provides an individual soft riven surface, which is achieved by gently machining the top of the tile, resulting in a sleeker, contemporary effect that is perfect for those of you who just need to go barefoot!
Honed slate has a soft smooth finish where all pronounce riven areas are removed to reveal the striking pattern of the stone (cloud like in appearance) and soft satin finish which gives an opulent look & feel.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SLATE TILES
Slate tiles are available calibrated and uncalibrated which will denote the cost. Calibrated tiles have the riven surface removed from the back of the tile, so you will find smaller variations of thickness from tile to tile making these easier to install. Uncalibrated have a rustic riven surface on both sides, so although a greater thickness from tile to tile, you have the option to choose either side of the tile.
The sizing of the tile is available in the classic 300x300mm, contemporary 600x300mm, popular flagstone 600x400mm and ultra modern larger format form 600x600mm up to 600x900mm in size.
For a truly bespoke design slate tiles are available in handcrafted modular sets, you can select a standard pattern or create your own individual design with the multiple sizes.
Slate is also available in striking feature mosaics; split face mosaic tiles are a developing trend and can compliment your floor tile perfectly. Linear tiles can also be used to create herringbone feature walls or floors.
Underfloor heating is a great way to add that extra element of luxury. Another benefit of using slate tiles is that they retain the heat so you'll find tiling with them an affordable solution.
Slate tiles are also perfect for you to create an on-trend out-door, in-door effect by taking the same flooring design out to your patio. Always consult the manufacturer to check the fitting requirements of your chosen slate in external applications.
HOW TO INSTALL
Natural slate tiles can take a longer to fit than standard ceramic tiles owing to the grading required prior to fitting. You may need to grade for thickness and colour, so if you are not fitting yourself, make sure your tiler is familiar with the stone you have selected and you discuss your requirements and expectations.
Check your substrates suitability for tiling before proceeding. The surface must be properly prepared, suitably level, sound, clean, dry, and free of dust, grease or any loose material.
Laying out your tiles before fixing will also ensure you get a good mix of colour shades across the area is important. Dry laying from the centre of you room with the thickest tiles will create a flat finish with no raised edges from tile to tile. Tiling should also start from the centre of the room and tiles should be dry laid first to avoid any unsightly cuts and to determine the optimum grout width for your product.
Adhesive & Grout – Natural Stone must be solidly bedded; cement-based tile adhesives are the most appropriate for this method. Using a suitable notched trowel apply the adhesive onto the substrate, spreading only enough adhesive that remains workable. Take the flat side of the trowel and smooth over the adhesive to produce a uniform, ridge-free bed. We also recommend ‘back buttering’ your stone to achieve a strong bond with whole tile.
It is recommended to use white adhesive with paler coloured stones such as Travertine & Limestone.
Cutting - The design and quality of the cutting tool selected will always determine how successful the cut through the tile will be. We recommend a Wet Tile Saw.
Drilling Holes - When installing the natural stone you may need to work around pipes and other elements. This can be easily done through the use of a diamond drill bit and diamond hole saw. Make sure that when you do the drilling you will want to use plenty of water to keep the drill from getting too hot.
For a full fitting guide please refer to our Natural Stone Fitting Guide.
CARING FOR SLATE TILES
Once fitted Slate tiles will require little maintenance and will last a lifetime with the correct care. We recommend applying 2-3 coats of sealer to prevent the absorption of oil-based substances. You can apply sealant after cleaning the tiles thoroughly; this involves applying a thin layer to the tile and allowing it to soak into the stone, then polishing off any excess.
Sealer can also enhance the finish of your stone; colour enhancers bring out the natural rich colour tones in multicolour slate, whereas satin sealers can also provide a subtle sheen. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions to check suitability for your Slate. All you will need to do is brush them and mop them with a mild detergent occasionally to keep them in perfect condition.
A GREAT OPTION FOR ANY ROOM IN YOUR HOME
Natural slate wall & floor tiles can be a great way to change the appearance of a room in an instant, creating a stylish and desirable appearance. Slate is now considered very affordable and isn’t just for those with unlimited budgets, so why not spend some time looking over the different styles available, and discover your perfect natural slate tile.