Slate is one of the most desirable of all tile materials. But it might not be within your budget or the right choice for your lifestyle. For the majority of consumers slate look tile is a much more convenient alternative. And this guide will help you to quickly learn the basics.
A Bit About Slate
Slate is famous for its rustic looks and beauty. Tiles are often seen with a rough and uneven cleft finish which gives them an extra natural appearance. However tiles do come in many other finishes as well for example a honed finish is another popular option which can be quite sleek yet at the same time earthy.
Slate comes in a wide variety of colors which are influenced by the different compounds and minerals present in the stone. It is often seen in a grayish blue but can be green, tan, red, purple, black, or even orange.
Slate is a very durable stone that is also resistant to water and staining. It’s a versatile material that can used everywhere from walkways, floors, patios, showers, fireplaces, counters, walls, to backsplashes.
Natural Slate May Not Be What You Want
With so many benefits it’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with slate, however real stone is not always the right solution for everyone. High quality slate can be costly. The more dense and water-resistant it is the more it will be.
And even though it is a tough material like all natural stone it will need the right care and cleaning to keep it looking its best which isn’t something that everyone wants to deal with. It will also need sealing to protect it from staining and moisture.
Fortunately you don’t have to miss out on all the beauty and color slate has to offer. There are tiles that are made to look like real slate but with the benefits of modern man-made materials such as being easy to clean and requiring only minimal care.
They also cost less and can in some cases be even more durable. As a group they are known as slate look tile but are also sometimes called slate effect tiles as well.
They come in a few different materials and each one is different so you’ll want to take some time when deciding which works best for your specific needs. Usually they are made from vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, and concrete.
Slate look vinyl tile will have a face that is printed to look like real slate. Vinyl tiles are inexpensive considered to be the cheapest slate look option. So they can be the perfect way to go when you’re on a restricted budget.
They also provide a flooring surface that is not as hard as stone and other tiles which can be a plus when you will be standing on it for long periods time. Vinyl tiles are easy to install and you won’t have to deal with any tile grout or mortar to do so.
Ceramic is a traditional favorite for tile because it can be used in so many different areas and is quite durable. Slate look ceramic tile can be made to look very realistic. It can be used in wet areas like the bathroom and is available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
While slate look porcelain tile generally costs a bit more than ceramic it is tougher. This extra durability comes from the fact that it is fired at higher temperatures during the manufacturing process.
Porcelain is also highly resistant to water to the point where it’s almost waterproof. It can be used in high traffic areas and outdoors since it is resistant to freezing temperatures.
This material takes dye exceptionally well which means it can be made to look like just about any other type of material and that means slate too. Porcelain slate tile can be particularly hard to tell apart from the real thing and it can even have a highly realistic stone texture.
By placing concrete in a mold, it can be made into tile that has a convincing slate texture. Concrete tile can also be dyed to give it just the right coloring as well. It’s a choice great for areas where you need extra strength.
And it has the extra advantage of being low cost. If you’re handy and want to save as much cash as possible you can even create your own concrete slate look tiles with the right dye and a mold.
Slate is a special material that has many fabulous benefits. However slate look tile can give you many of those same advantages for less and without the care or maintenance.
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