Slate tiles are still very popular, especially for indoor-outdoor flooring. Slate tiles have a real rustic and earthy look, and the color variations from dark reds through yellow to green. The most common color is gray, often with streaks of color producing a great finish. Whilst flooring is a popular destination for slate tiles, there are many others uses.
You can produce a stunning feature wall using slate tiles, and when used outdoors it can be combined with other decorative finishes such as water features and garden beds. Slate can also be a good choice for fireplaces, patios, entryways and stair treads. Its natural anti-slip properties also make it an ideal choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
There’s a certain charm and elegance that is attached to natural stone tile floors. However, there are a lot of people who don’t like the inconsistent finish that natural stone tiles create – after all, part of the charm and elegance is the fact that every tile is unique. For those who like a consistent finish to their residential tile flooring – choose porcelain, ceramic or glass mosaic. If you buy from the same batch lot, you will find that every tile is almost a perfect duplicate, and when laid, it delivers a very consistent look across the whole floor.
Having a consistent finish has been a popular option for commercial flooring, particularly on retail and office floors. In the home, consistent finishes have been popular in dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. The inconsistent finish provided by natural stone often left to patios, or rooms where charm and elegance are more important than a consistent finish. If you do want to break up that consistent finish, then you can mix and match different color and/or textures, often with brilliant effect.
One complaint that is often voiced concerning floor tiles is the noise factor. Tiles can be noisy. High heel shoes walking across a hard tile floor, especially in an empty room like a hallway or lobby, can echo and can be very noisy – often to the point of making the walker self conscious and uncomfortable. Commercial floor tiles don’t have to be noisy although it is difficult to totally deaden any sound.
The solution to noisy tiles lies in the underlay used. There are special acoustic underlays available that will deaden a lot of the noise that is produced on tiles. These are very useful in open areas like lobbies and hallways. They are also useful in apartment buildings where noise from one level can echo down to the level below. Acoustic underlays can also be used in residential flooring to reduce the amount of noise a floor tile produces.