Slate has been used as a building material for centuries. Look around at historic buildings in Montreal and you will probably see slate tiles on the roof. Usually, a slate roof will last the life of the building, but occasionally one or two tiles are damaged somehow and building owners were talked into replacing the entire roof with “modern” shingles. This generally leads to regret, because the modern shingles don’t have the lifespan of slate.
People also use slate on the ground as pavers for a patio or walkway. The natural texture of slate helps keep it from being slippery when wet. Indoors, slate is a popular flooring choice because the natural variations guarantee a unique floor like none other. It’s also used as a fireplace surround and in many other applications.
Mudrooms have a schizophrenic personality these days. You can find photographs of beautiful mudrooms designed with custom cabinetry, giving each family member a cubby for gear and a place for shoes under their own bench. You can find mudrooms designed for pet owners, with a spot for the dog’s leash and food along with a low tub for washing off dirty paws. Mudrooms are high-end back entries worthy of a magazine spread, but they remain a functional spot for the transition between the outdoor environment and the home inside.
Sealers are used on certain types of tiles, and many recommend using a penetrating sealant with slate. Many others insist it isn’t needed or desirable. A quick search on the Internet will have both opinions stated quite forcefully. Why is there such confusion about sealing slate?