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Slate: A Natural Look, Easy To Maintain

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slate tilesSlate is a type of metamorphic rock that is formed naturally from clay or volcanic ash. It’s a finely-grained rock, unlike granite, which tends to be hard and course.

Whereas granite is composed of 20% quartz, slate is primarily composed of quartz and muscovite.

It tends to be darker in color, which makes slate a great material for construction. You’ll often see roofs made of slate tile because it is able to withstand harsh weather conditions and doesn’t absorb water. Slate as a roofing material is very popular in Europe, especially Spain.

Slate tiles can be cut into different sizes. You’ll often hear them referred to as

  • Countess
  • Duchess
  • Princess
  • Narrow Countess
  • Wide Lady
  • Broad Lady
  • Narrow Lady
  • Drain

Drains come in a variety of sizes. There are also 14 X 10s, a reference to inches.

U.S. states where slate is produced include Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and New York.

As a patio tile, slate can be slippery. This quality is useful for letting rain water drain from a roof, but it can be a hazard around a swimming pool. Indoors, however, it can look very nice and is easy to maintain. You’ll often see stairs, hallways, and even walls, made of slate.

While cleaning, be sure to sweep your slate floor on a regular basis to remove unwanted dirt and debris. A dust mop works well, but you’ll want to move it in a forward-back motion, not in a sweeping motion. For mopping, use a damp (not an overly wet) mop and go over the floor with slow, smooth strokes. Let the floor air dry and keep people from walking on the slate while it dries. Most importantly, enjoy your slate floor. If you take care of it, it will be long-lasting.