Real stone does have many advantages. However when considering slate you might find that it isn’t exactly ideal for your situation. Yet you don’t have to lose all hope of having that gorgeous stone look, porcelain slate tile might be the right alternative for your needs.
Get To Know Slate
There is no doubt about it, slate it is an attractive and durable material. These facts help to make it one of the most popular natural stone choices of all. Slate tiles can have a very rustic feel and are also often chosen for their unique color variations.
In fact there can be a lot of variation from tile to tile making for a very unique presentation wherever they are installed. Although most people think of slate as grey it actually comes in a wide range of colors and can be as dark as black.
Slate is resistant scratches but also to water and staining too. And the rough texture of this stone can make it ideal for use as flooring in slippery areas.
Drawbacks That Might Not Work
Despite all of these advantages there are some drawbacks to real slate tiles. They can be expensive which puts them outside the budget of many consumers. Because there can be a wide variation in the look of individual tiles you’ll also want to have a professional match them up for you to ensure a cohesive look.
As with other natural stones you’ll need to make sure you seal your slate tiles and clean and maintain them properly. If you don’t want to deal with any of these disadvantages but do want the look of slate, porcelain makes an excellent substitute.
The Porcelain Alternative
While there are a couple of other materials that are used to mimic the look of slate, porcelain is definitely one of the most realistic. It can mimic other materials very effectively because of how easily it can be dyed.
Tile that is made specifically to look like slate is known as slate look porcelain tile but also as slate effect porcelain tile. It can have very natural looking markings, colorations, and even textures.
These are often so convincing that most people are totally unaware that they are not looking at real stone. A big benefit of porcelain is that it is dense and tough due to the fact that tiles are fired at high temperatures.
Tiles will have a uniform water absorption rate of less than .5% so they can be used in wet areas without a problem. Many people’s favorite benefits however, are that porcelain tile that looks like slate costs less, needs minimal care, and are easy to clean.
Because it’s tough and resistant to water porcelain slate tile can be used in just about all spaces. In fact it’s often installed in areas where you may not want to risk using real slate because it could be damaged.
The durability and lower cost of porcelain floor tile that looks like slate can help you to create larger spaces for less, even outdoors. If you will be using them in areas that need extra grip such as on bathroom floors, outside steps, patios, and surrounding the pool you may want to choose tile that has a stone-like texture for an extra non-slip grip.
Other Material Options
When looking for a substitute for slate there are other material choices as well. Ceramic slate look tile can look very similar to stone and even have texture too. While ceramic is not as durable or dense as porcelain, it costs less.
Vinyl might not have the detail of porcelain or ceramic flooring surface but it’s easy to care for and very budget friendly. Concrete tile can be made to look to slate and is very tough. It can be used outdoors and in areas of high traffic without a problem.
As you can see natural slate is a special material choice, but it isn’t for everyone. Porcelain slate tile on the other hand can give you that slate-like appearance without any of the drawbacks of the real thing.
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