Natural Stone Information - Slate
A fine-grained metamorphic rock that is characterised by its ability to be split into broad sheets, Slate is a durable stone which presents a diverse range of colours and textures. We offer Riven Slate, which has a naturally cleft surface and is rustic by its nature, with chips and chisel marks present on some surfaces and can be used both internally and externally. Some of our Riven Slate varies in thickness or is ‘uncalibrated’ and therefore requires ‘bedding up’ with the appropriate thick bed adhesive during installation. We also offer a range of Honed slates that are machined to create a smoother, more even surface. Highly textured Splitface panels are stocked in various colours.
Riven flooring slate – This product has a natural riven surface, these vary from very lightly riven Brazilian slates with the least texture, through to the rustic slates which are very heavily riven, creating a rustic farmhouse characteristic. Click here to go to the riven flooring slate section.
Honed slate – This is when the surface of the slate has been machined to be completely flat and smooth. The surface can be further polished to create a shiny finish. Honed slates generally do not have a shiny appearance. Click here to go to the hined flooring slate section.
Chipped edged slate – This is when the slates have hand cut chipped edges, rather than diamond sawn straight edges, this instantly creates an aged antiqued appearance when laid. Click here to go to the chipped edge flooring slate section.
Tumbled Slate – This slate has been sawn to size, and then put into a rotating drum rounding off the sharp edges, giving the tiles a softer almost worn appearance. Click here to go to the tumbled flooring slate section.
Slate floor cleaning
The actual care and maintenance of slate flooring is not a complicated subject. In fact, the main reason slate flooring gets dirty or ruined can be traced to simple neglect.
Let's suppose you've just purchased a brand-new car -- and you never wash it. Soon enough the paint will fade, the body will rust, and the car will cost you a small fortune to restore. On the other hand, if you make the effort to wash it on a regular basis and throw a coat of wax on it every now and then, it will look as good as new for years. This is exactly what you need to do for slate flooring. Keep it clean and protected, and it will last until the kids move out -- and may even be around when they move back in. To keep your slate flooring in tip-top condition, a few simple maintenance procedures are necessary. For best results, they should be followed very closely.
Dust-mopping -- Of all the procedures used to maintain slate flooring, dust mopping is probably the most important. Dust, dirt and grit are what cause most surfaces to scratch and mar. If we could somehow eliminate them, this would cease to be a problem. Several studies have indicated that floors, which are dust-mopped often, stay cleaner and shinier longer. Dust mop your floor daily. If traffic is heavy, or the floor is located in a commercial building, do it several times a day. Remember, do not use oil-treated dust mops on slate flooring.
When dust mopping, be sure to run the dust mop in one direction only. Do not move it back and forth. Think of it as pushing the dirt in only one direction. When you have accumulated enough dirt and debris, pick it up with a dustpan and brush and take the dust mop outside to shake any remaining dust. When storing the dust mop, be sure to keep its head off the ground. Hardware stores sell various hangers, which are excellent for storing mops and brooms.
Designate only one dust mop for each type of surface. For example, you should use one dust mop for your slate flooring and a separate one for other tile or wood floors. Do not get the dust mop wet; if the floor is wet, be sure to dry it before dust mopping. Purchase a good-quality machine-washable mop and keep it clean. Wash it in cold water with laundry detergent and machine-dry.
Welcome mats, rugs and walk-off mats -- Another important tool necessary for keeping dirt and debris off your slate floors is some type of mat, rug or what is commonly called a walk-off mat. A good-quality mat will capture dirt before someone walks on the floor. If it is placed outside your door, it is only human nature and common courtesy for people to wipe their feet before entering the house. Studies have shown that it takes approximately seven steps to remove most loose dirt from one's shoes. For this reason, I would recommend placing mats both inside and outside.
There are hundreds of mats and rugs on the market today. Be sure to purchase one of good quality. Be careful about using rubber- or jute-backed mats or rugs on slate flooring; either kind of backing can bleed into the slate, causing a stain that may be difficult or impossible to remove. A mat should be at least as wide as the doorway it serves.
Clean your mats often, daily if possible. Take them up and clean under them when you dust mop. Be sure the floor is dry before returning them to the floor. Never place a mat down on a wet surface or put a wet mat on any surface.
Damp or wet mopping -- All slate flooring needs to be cleaned. How often you will need to damp or wet mop will depend on the amount of traffic and the finish (honed, coated, textured). The following frequencies are recommended:
• Residential: Once a week
• Light commercial: Twice a week
• Heavy commercial: Daily
These are only recommendations; you will need to adjust the frequencies to suit your own conditions. For example, during a heavy rainstorm, dirt is tracked onto the floor more frequently and should be mopped up as quickly as possible.