When most people think of stone countertops or showers, they likely think of marble or granite. However, there are more than a dozen popular types of natural stone that can be used for everything from shower enclosures to flooring. One option you may be overlooking is slate. This beautiful stone boasts a unique appearance and texture that makes it a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens. Here are 6 facts you might not know about slate.
1. It Has a Unique Clefted Surface
Slate is easy to recognize by its distinct surface with a texture unlike any other, and it naturally has layered clefting created when it’s quarried and split into sheets. While many homeowners appreciate this beautiful effect, there are other types of finishes available. Honed slate creates a finish similar to polishing other stone like granite. Because slate does not have a crystalline structure, it is always honed, not polished.
2. It Comes in Shades Other Than Gray
When many people think of slate, they think of drab, dark gray. However, slate comes in many colors, including some that are very distinctive. In addition to gray and sleek black, slate comes with rich marbling of copper, gold, green, white, blue, and even lilac. This distinctive range of colors makes it easy to design a kitchen or bathroom that is one of a kind. Slabs like Rustic Gold, African Gold, and Gold Green look especially striking when paired with copper accents.
3. It’s Perfect for Flooring
Slate is one of the most popular types of natural stone for flooring, especially in wet areas like a bathroom. This is because the stone’s clefted surface creates a natural slip-resistant floor. While slate has a rough surface, it still feels very comfortable on bare feet.
4. It Isn’t Just for Floors
Many people are most familiar with slate as a flooring option, but it can be used for many other things in the home. Its durability and the way it naturally splits into sheets makes slate an ideal choice for flooring as well as tile and even roofing. Slate roofs can last up to 50 years with proper care, longer than most roofing systems on the market. Slate can be used easily in shower enclosures, backsplashes, patios, and countertops.
5. It’s Resistant to Stains When Cared for Properly
One of the biggest benefits of slate is that it has a very low absorption capacity. This means it can be virtually stain-free if sealed regularly, especially if you choose a turquoise or green color. While black and gray slate have low absorption rates, they do require sealing more often than green slate.
6. It’s Easy to Maintain
Just like granite, slate is easy to care for as long as you avoid common care mistakes. Slate is more porous than granite, which means it must be sealed regularly. The good news is that this is easy to do yourself by applying a stone sealer such as Granite Gold Sealer®. When sealed, slate can resist staining very well. Never use household cleaning products on slate. Always use a stone-safe granite countertop cleaner like Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®. Common chemicals like vinegar and citrus acid can cause damage to the stone. With proper care, your slate countertops or flooring can last a lifetime.
Whether you have slate in your home or another type of stone such as granite, travertine, or marble, make sure you take care of it properly. Consider a high-quality granite clean and shine product from Granite Gold® that acts as a cleaner and polish all in one. If you’d like to know more about our stone-safe products, give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.