Many experts consider a slate kitchen floor to be one of the best types for a kitchen . Slate is durable, water-repellent, cheaper than other natural stone and beautiful. It is also versatile in style.
According to Livingetc , slate is a “timeless flooring option that can look good in any style, modern or traditional.”
Slate kitchen floor: pros and cons
Most people love the look and feel of a slate kitchen floor, but nothing is perfect for everyone. Consider this short list of the pros and cons of this beautiful stone to decide if slate kitchen floors could be a good option for you.
- Beauty – Slate floors are varied in color from gray to vibrant tones. It is a textured stone for rustic kitchens or can be sanded smooth for more modern styles.
- Durability – Slate is a natural stone with an innate strength and durability to withstand certain damage. With proper care, slate floors can last as long as the life of your home.
- Investment – Natural stone floors are attractive to other home buyers and can increase your return on your home investment.
- Water Resistance – Slate floors are water and stain resistant, making it an ideal choice for kitchen floors.
- Cost – Slate floors are less expensive than other natural stone floors such as marble or granite.
- Easy Regular Maintenance – The regular maintenance required for kitchen slate floor tiles is sweeping or dry mopping every day and wet mopping every month.
- Repair – In severe cases, slate kitchen floor tiles may be damaged or broken. It is difficult to replace the broken tiles without breaking the surrounding tiles.
- Installation – Slate is hard but also brittle. Slate floor tiles are more difficult than other tiles such as DIY porcelain to install because the subfloor must be level to prevent the top layer of slate from cracking.
- Cost – Slate is more expensive than synthetic flooring options such as vinyl or laminate.
- Sealing – Slate floors should be sealed every year to prevent the porous natural stone from absorbing water and other substances. m
- Scratching – Slate floors are easy to scratch. Therefore, this is not a suitable floor type for a room where the floors are heavily loaded.
- Hardness – Slate is a hard floor material that is difficult to stand for long periods of time. It’s also less forgiving if you drop objects on it.
What is Slate?
Slate is a fine-grained, layered metamorphic rock formed from a shale-like rock made of clay or volcanic ash.
Slate also contains quartz, feldspar, calcite, pyrite and hermite. Slate is formed with heat and pressure that causes these minerals to lie parallel to each other and form the layers that allow shale to split into plates.
Most slate is a deep gray color, but slate is also available in green, red, brown, black and purple. Slate floors can be found in both outdoor and indoor spaces due to its strength, beauty and durability.
Types of Slate Flooring for Kitchen Design
By far the most common type of kitchen slate is tile. These have a variety of styles and finishes that you can purchase.
Types of Slate Kitchen Tiles
There are three main types of tile styles: measured, unmeasured, and calibrated.
- Measured Tiles – Measured slate tiles are ground or cut on the underside of the tile, leaving the top textured or uncut to maintain the rustic quality.
- Uncalibrated Tiles – Uncalibrated tiles are rough and uneven on both sides. These are “tiles” in their most natural state. They remain non-uniform in both size and thickness. These are usually used outdoors.
- Calibrated – Calibrated slate tiles are ground on the top and bottom to present a more unified style. These have a smoother appearance which is often used in more modern or contemporary kitchens.
Slate kitchen tile finishes
Slate tile manufacturers have a variety of tile finishes for you to choose from. The most popular finishes are polished, honed, tumbled and split.
- Polished Slate – Manufacturers sand polished slate tiles to create a smooth and tightly textured surface. This makes for a smoother surface, so this finish won’t work well if you have small children who are more likely to get into accidents.
- Honed Slate Tile – Honed slate tiles are also finished to create a smooth surface, but not enough to create a shine. These slate tiles have more grip, making them work better in busy areas such as kitchens.
- Tumbled Slate Tile – The surface of tumbled slate tile has some texture and variation, but the edges and surface have been softened.
- Split Slate Tile – Split slate tiles are the roughest and most textured of these four types. Also known as natural slate, it is used in rustic and traditional kitchen settings.
Cleaning a slate floor and other maintenance
In a busy and active space such as a kitchen, understanding how to maintain and keep the floor clean is vital.
- Clean Every Day – It’s important to keep your slate tiles free of dust and grime that can build up on a slate floor and scratch the road. Sweep or dry the floor every day.
- Wet Mopping – Every month or so, or whenever you’ve been extra messy with food preparation, mop the slate floors with a natural pH cleaning solution. Do not use cleaners containing lemon or vinegar. Let them air dry or use a soft cloth to wipe them dry.
- Sealing a slate floor – It is best to keep to a regular schedule for sealing your slate floor tiles for kitchen areas. Choose a sealer with the type of finish you want, from matte to glossy. Clean the slate and allow it and the grout between the tiles to dry for 24 hours. Pour the sealer into a roll pan. Apply the sealer with a foam roller or sponge. Let the sealer dry for 24 hours before walking on it.
- Special Cases – If your slate floor scratches, apply white spirit that can hide the scratch. Use felt pads on the underside of furniture to minimize the risk of scratches. Clean up spills as soon as they occur to avoid staining. If stains do occur, use a stone poultice to remove the stain.
Slate Kitchen Floor Ideas For Design
A slate floor kitchen is most common in farmhouse and rustic design, but there are also modern kitchens that use slate. We’ve collected some examples of different types of kitchens that use slate floors.
Farmhouse Slate Kitchen Floor
A slate-floor farmhouse kitchen is a ubiquitous design feature, but it gets a twist in farmhouse space.
In this kitchen design, the design company Plain & Posh uses a multicolored square slate tile for the floor. The beautiful and varied tile complements the neutral cream and dark blue farmhouse kitchen cabinets.
Mid Century Modern Slate Kitchen Floor
This mid-century modern kitchen gets a style boost with a multi-tile slate floor. Not only does the floor elevate the look of the kitchen, it provides a different texture to offset the wooden cabinets and white walls.
Modern kitchen with slate floor tiles
In general, you might not think about combining slate floors with modern kitchens. But in this design, Partners 4 Design seamlessly combines the rectangular slate tiles with contemporary elements such as the white built-in wardrobes and the waterfall island.
This design highlights any smooth slate floor tile with contrasting white grout for a more modern look.
Rustic Slate Kitchen Design
Rustic and historic kitchens look great with slate tile floors. If you want the most rustic floor, use a split or tumbled slate. These have the most texture and offer the most “aged” look of all the tile options.
The slate tile floor in this rustic kitchen grounds the space, allowing the designers to use light-colored wood and white walls in the kitchen while still looking balanced.
Transitional kitchen with slate floor
The multicolored slate tile in this kitchen combines all the disparate basic elements in this transitional kitchen. It complements the wooden details, the white cabinetry and the black and copper accents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) FAQ
What is the cheapest type of kitchen slate floor?
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of the average slate tile floor ranges from $4-$10 per square foot. For high-end slate, you can pay from $15-$28 per square foot. Installation runs between $10-$16 per square foot. If you want to save money on your slate kitchen floor, try to find more slate mined closer to the surface, which is less expensive, and also consider ways to install the slate tile yourself. Be sure to build a solid subfloor surface that is level before installing your tile or else your tile may crack later.
Is slate a good choice for a kitchen floor?
Slate is a beautiful natural stone that works well in kitchens because it can withstand heavy foot traffic and is easy to keep clean. On the other hand, it is also hard and can cause your feet to hurt and cause more fractures from objects falling on them. If you like the look of slate floors, you can add thick rugs to help where you will have to stand for long periods of time.
What are the main dimensions of slate floor tiles?
Slate tiles come in both regular and irregular shapes. Square slate tiles come in sizes ranging from 6″ x 6″ all the way up to 24″ x 24″. Rectangular slate tiles also range in size from small sizes such as 3″ x 6″ to 18″ x 24″.
Are slate kitchen floors still in style?
Slate tiles are the type of floor that never goes out of style. While it may be more or less trendy at certain times, slate kitchen floors have always had a lot of fans and always will be.
What is the best kind of rustic slate floor tiles?
If you are looking for a rustic style slate floor, choose calibrated or ungrooved tiles with a split or tumbled finish.
Slate kitchen floors are a classic and elegant choice for any home kitchen. These floors have a timeless quality that can keep their look as other trends come and go.
Slate tiles are durable, water resistant and beautiful. Slate tiles in your kitchen also offer a great return on investment when you decide it’s time to move to another home.