Slate tile is a naturally diverse flooring option. It has a wealth of advantages over other materials. Slate’s first and foremost advantage lies in its durability. Slate, as a rock, has a naturally smooth texture thanks to tightly bonded silt and clay particles once stressed under high heat and pressure. This relatively fine texture makes it difficult for most liquids to penetrate and stain the tiles. Still more incredible is the popular texture called "natural cleft." This texture is actually rough enough to create a natural anti-slip surface, but at the same time is smooth and compact enough to prevent most stains.
That being said, using sealants on slate is not unheard of. Many homeowners enjoy a wet look achieved with a penetrating sealer that makes the stone tiles even more resistant to stains. At the same time, the slate is porous enough to prevent any sort of glossy residue or build up, so the unique appeal and texture of the stone is not compromised.
Slate is also available in an array of naturally occurring color options. Minerals and impurities within the slate itself create a color spectrum ranging from black to rust, grey, maroon, and assorted mixtures. Tiles may also be purchased in a variety of thicknesses, with 1/4-inch being the most popular.
As for shapes, slate again shows off its diversity. Tiles are available in uniform tiles or in irregular sheets that can be cut into specific shapes (irregular or not). Slate tiles must be cut with a hacksaw or a wet diamond blade.
Slate is also affordable and comfortable to walk on, absorbs rather than reflect heat, and is easy to maintain.
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