Pros and Cons of Slate Flooring

Publish Date

February 10, 2023

Post Author


Slate flooring is a good choice for natural stone flooring because it is attractive and robust. Homeowners love how a slate tile for the floor looks because its deep, dark color and unique texture can give any room a sense of warmth. When you install high-end flooring like slate, especially in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and foyer, your home’s value will increase. In addition, slate tile flooring is known for being strong, beautiful, and lasting longer. Slate tile flooring maintenance is relatively easy but requires regular attention.

Steam moping slate flooring in a living room

But you should learn as much as possible about slate flooring before making your final choice. So, you know how much it costs and how to set it up and keep it in good condition. This page has everything you need to know about slate flooring. The advantages and disadvantages of slate flooring can help you decide if it’s the best choice.

What is Slate Tile Flooring?

Slate tile flooring is made from natural slate, a type of stone mined from the earth, usually in mountainous regions, and used as a flooring material. Slate is a metamorphic rock, which means that it was created over a long time from other rocks that were already present. Some minerals and sediments are quartz, mica, muscovite, and calcite. You can also often find biotite, chlorite, hematite, and pyrite in this area.

Slate tile flooring is made when these elements are heated and pressed for long periods to make a solid stone with small grains that are all the same size. It takes a while to complete this process.

Slate Flooring Cost

The cost may be high initially when you choose a durable floor, like natural slate flooring tiles. In addition to the high cost of the slate material, which is usually between $4 and $10 per square foot on average, having a professional install it can add another $10 to $15 per square foot to the total cost. Because slate tiles for flooring are so expensive, it is usually only used in the most important rooms.

Slate Flooring Maintenance and Repair 

Slate tile flooring is one of the most durable and long-lasting types of natural stone flooring because it is naturally strong. As a result, it doesn’t get cracked, scratched, broken, or chipped easily. Slate tie floors must often be protected against stains, especially in kitchens. Still, with the proper care, it can look great for decades without needing to be removed or replaced. When properly sealed, it can last for many years, which makes it an excellent choice for flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. In addition, it is a great floor material for places with a lot of foot traffic.

A tile can be broken in many ways, such as by a hard hit, natural chipping, weathering, flaking, or a decisive blow. Even though removing and replacing slate tiles can be a pain, it is possible to do so. However, keeping leftover tiles from the first installation for the best match is best. Slate floors tend to change in color and appearance, so it could be hard to match new tiles to old ones if they were made from a different batch of stone. You should not anticipate that a new slate you purchase a few years after the first one is installed will be the same color or style.

For a floor made of slate tiles to keep looking nice, it needs to be cleaned and cared for regularly. During installation, the tiles must be sealed twice: first with a penetrating sealer to block the stone’s microscopic pores and then with a barrier sealer to make a surface hard to damage. Sealing slate floors is key to protecting them from water and dirt and giving them a clean, polished look. Slate flooring sealer is an essential product for anyone who wants to keep their slate floor looking beautiful and protected from wear and tear These sealers may need to be reapplied once a year, depending on where they are and how much foot traffic is on the floor.

The grout lines between slate tiles are also easy to damage. Any movement in the floor can cause cracks in the grout lines, especially vulnerable to stains, mold, and mildew in damp places. Keeping the seal the same can be helpful. During the floor’s lifetime, you can replace all the grout between the tiles with new grout.

African slate flooring in a house


When it comes to slate floor tiles, you can choose from almost any color or color combination. Because the natural beauty of slate can look different in different stones, each slate tile floor will have its look and be a work of earth-born craftsmanship in its own right. Even though some types have very different colors and others have similar colors, the overall look is always unique. You have more options because there are many different grout colors, which can match the tiles or stand out in stark contrast to them.

Slate tile flooring has a unique look that could make it a good choice for places people often see, like entryways and large kitchens. It is less valuable in rooms that only get a little use, like bedrooms, or in places where carpeting is the norm. Slate is a high-end flooring material. Even though slate can be expensive to buy at first, it often adds to the home’s value. For the best flooring, in particular, this is true.

This is especially real in areas where guests can easily see them, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. Slate’s unique look is one of its strengths, but the same thing can also be one of its weaknesses. It can be challenging to achieve the exact look you had in mind for your design because this flooring is so different. If you have extra tiles on hand, it might be easy to repair them. Therefore, when putting in a slate floor, it is always best to buy a lot of extra tiles in case you need them.

Slate Flooring Installation 

The installation of slate tile is similar to the installation of ceramic tile. Still, installation must be done carefully because the slate is so fragile. Still, installing slate floors is a great way to make a home look nicer and last longer. Just like any other natural stone, cutting slate tile requires special tools. Also, the subfloor and underlayment must be carefully prepared, so they don’t flex and break the grout joints or tiles. Because of this, you should always let a professional install slate floor tiles.

Slate is a weighty material, so putting it in rooms on higher floors can be hard on the building’s structure. In some situations, the floor structure needs to have more support added to it so that it can do its job.

The Pros and Cons of Slate Flooring

Slate flooring has been a popular choice for homes since the early 19th century. With its various colors and textures, slate flooring can enhance the face of any home.

Slate Flooring Pros


Since slate comes in many colors, striation patterns, and surface textures, you can use it however you want. You match it to any style of decorating. These days, you can get slate in hundreds of different colors. You can show off your style using a natural color palette with a wide range of colors, from bright and bold to soft and sophisticated blacks and grays.

Boast Property’s Value

Slate tile flooring is one of the few good options available to homeowners today that will raise the value of their home. It is one of the most popular choices for flooring among homebuyers. As a result, it might enable you to sell your house more quickly if you wish to do that later in life.


Where do the good looks and usefulness of slate flooring fit in? Put them on display in foyers and other places where many people walk by. But you can also install it in any room because slate can indeed look great in almost any room or interior space. There’s also no reason to keep slate flooring from being used outside. It is also famous for flooring in garages and areas near pools.

Fire and Water-Resistant

A few types of flooring on the market today also resist fire and water. Because it is naturally resistant to fire and water, slate tile flooring is a great choice for most homes. This offers additional safety and security. Slate tile flooring can be installed in bathrooms, kitchen flooring, laundry rooms, patios, and all places that often come into contact with water.

Slate flooring installed in a bathroom

The amount of water that slate can hold is less than 0.4%. Its surface doesn’t soak up much water, so you can walk on it safely even when wet.


One thing that makes a lot of property owners interested in slate tile flooring is that it lasts for a long time. Compared to many other types of flooring on the market today, slate has an impressively long life.

The stone is hard because it is made deep under the earth’s crust using heat and pressure. Even though its hardness can vary depending on its composition and how it was made, slate is still one of the hardest natural stones that can be used for flooring.


Even though natural slate is a type of rock, it has a smooth, soft surface and feels great to walk on, mainly with bare feet. Even on frosty mornings, slate stays slightly warmer than stone flooring because it can hold heat. On the other hand, other stone flooring materials can get so cold that they hurt your feet in the winter.

Slate is often the best choice when installing a floor over a radiant heating system built into the subfloor or the concrete slab. This allows the slate to retain and release heat consistently.

Slate Flooring cons 


Is slate flooring expensive? Slate flooring is typically more expensive than other types of flooring, such as wood or carpet. Due to its high price, slate is not a good choice for homeowners who want to avoid spending much money on their floors. However, this is something that people who want to use natural stone as flooring in their homes need to know. This is especially true if homeowners buy high-quality slate tiles made to last a long time.

Professionals can only install slate flooring. This is because cutting the stone requires special tools, and only trained professionals can use these tools. This is another reason why slate flooring costs more than other options. After buying the materials, homeowners would have to save money to pay for the work of professionals.

Not Easy to Install

Slate tile floors are known for being hard to install because they are heavy and rough. But because installing flooring is a complicated technical job, homeowners need to hire skilled flooring contractors to do the job. It would be best to have special tools to cut the slate tiles into smaller pieces to fit them into tight spaces. Before laying down slate tiles, the subfloor needs to be well-prepared so the slate doesn’t break from its weight.

The subfloor must be perfectly flat for the slate tiles to be placed right. Therefore, before installing the floor, the flooring contractor will need to level the subfloor if the one already there needs to be flat enough.

Potential Damage

Many complex, long-lasting stone types, like slate, can break under certain conditions. One of the biggest problems with slate floors is that they need to be fixed frequently.
Even though slate is better at withstanding wear and tear and can easily hold heavy weight, a tile made of slate can still crack if a huge object hits it hard. Also, other furniture that is harder than slate can scratch slate (a few typical household furniture).

Slate floor installed outdoor

Final Words 

Slate tile flooring can make the room look unique and impressive. It has the functional durability of hard tile and the stunning beauty of real stone. Like other types of natural stone flooring, slate tile flooring will raise the value of your home. However, a slate floor will stand out as something exceptional in the modern era, where granite is used so frequently that it is becoming more and more typical.


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