Slate floor tiles…. anyone know much about this material ?

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  • Slate floor tiles…. anyone know much about this material ?
  • brack

    He’s not welsh though his head is silvery and shiny


    bloody cold under foot. Bewary of accidentally dropping stuff on them they chip.

    under floor heating. Electric pretty cheap but you’ll need to use a flexible screed


    Right…I am in the throws of renovating a house on my own, it’s taken me long enough to get back on the market and I am trying to keep the cost down as much as possible without compromising the overall finish…

    So when someone offers me a seriously huge pile of 9” by 18” slate floor tiles for £150 I have been thinking if I should go for it or not.

    The tiles were described as being welsh slate though the colour did appear to be a rather silvery grey….

    When I remarked about their shinyness not being to my taste the blokey said that I would be able to dampen that with a wax or a varnish…

    Is this possible and should I be wary of crappy slate???

    You’d need to seal them with something slate-specific once they go down, otherwise anything you spill on them (especially anything fatty) will stain. This is what they guy means – whatever sealant you put on them will darken them a bit and take away the silvery-grey look.

    In a kitchen, they’ll be a nightmare – anything dropping will chip them as well as breaking itself. Crumbs etc show up really easily (a friend swears she sweeps twice daily because of this) and it always looks grubby.

    However, in the right setting it can look lovely – consider in a small entrance hallway? Or a bathroom with UFH?

    As with all things…if they’re going for a song, there’s usually a reason.

    I make my living from fitting kitchens and tiling and have fitted thousands of meters of slate.

    Slate is a natural stone and takes it’s colour from where it’s dug up from, Welsh slate by it’s nature is silver grey.

    If they’re waxy it sounds to me like they’ve already got some sort of sealant on them as slate when it’s delivered is very dusty and matt. If not I use HG/Lithofin slate seal, it’s the best on the market but quite expensive. I don’t know of anything that will take the seal off already treated tiles other than wet n dry sandpaper (it’s been done)

    As for them being a nightmare if you drop anything etc that’s a bit harsh what are you going to fit in a kitchen that doesn’t break cups if you chuck them on the floor, carpet? and as for the chipping, the beauty of slate is that if it does get scratched or chipped you can just add a dab of sealant to the surface in that area and you’re good to go again. Slate like any natural stone has marks and variations and will never be 100% perfect, that’s why people buy it, if you want regular and same colour get ceramic or laminate.

    It will be cold however and being as you’re on a budget the underfloor heating idea is probably out as it will add £20+ per m2, oh btw if you go this route, you need flexible adhesive (not screed) and grout.

    Slate tiling is quite difficult, not for novices. You will need to grade the tiles as they’ll be different thicknesses, start with the thick ones and then build the thin ones up to meet them, this will also leave the thin ones for cuts. Give a 10mm grout space and you’ll need a diamond wheel wet cutter to cut them (hire a good one rather than buying some plasplugs shi*e from B+Q, it’ll get a lot of hammer)

    silver grey slate is usually about £15pm2 so if it’s cheaper than that it’s a good deal.

    A nice slate tiling job if it fits the decor of the house will last for many years and look the business, done badly or in the wrong setting will look a mess.

    Good luck.


    I’ve got black floors downstairs, they look great when clean – which is almost never. Like deadlydarcy says, the smallest crumb or speck of dust shows up instantly… Which is great with two small kids, a dog and a cat.

    In the kitchen, no way. Some kind of upstairs bathroom / sauna thing, go for it.


    Blazin you should charge for that kind of advice/consultation!

    Blazin is spot on.
    Laid multi-hued slate in the kitchen 12 years ago and it looks like new – re treatment every 2/3 years with sealant keeps it looking like new. Hides a multitude of spills/stains/dirt from our 2 boys.
    Cost a small fortune but worth every penny, try to look on its impact properties as a way of getting rid of those tasteless bits of tableware bought for you by that mad aunt – oops, slipped whilst I was drying it!!
    We don’t have underfloor heating and you can only walk on it in bare feet in summer – serious frostbite in winter, so knock off the price of a decent pair of slippers!


    you’ll be able to prepare them with a rather stinkish product (cant remember).

    Basically the slate will absorb it and became resistant to stains.

    They are very nice much easier to clean than bloody carpet and if you complain of cold feet well just use sleepers

    Premier Icon bruneep

    They are very nice much easier to clean than bloody carpet and if you complain of cold feet well just use sleepers

    A bit heavy on the feet me thinks 😉


    Thanks guys…great advice…they are an unbelievable bargaiun so will probably bite his hand off for them….the gut selling them has gone bankrupt and reckons they would sell for £1500 if they were retail.


    Don’t know if they were woth that much but hey ho still cheap.

    Cold feet….just put some socks on??

    Nice one blazin….top advice!

    i’ve laid slate floors in two of our houses, the current house it is all the way through downstairs. i find it relatively easy to lay provided you take your time.

    as blazin-saddles suggests, definitely grade your tiles beforehand. makes a huge difference when laying, and i also do a dry run to further help me get tiles of a similar thickness. it also helps to get tiles that have been planed on one side (so the thickness is more uniform) rather than riven on both. i’ve laid both, the latter is harder.

    to seal we use hg impregnator, i think its medium priced. always found it good.

    to cut i do not use a tile cutter, i prefer a large angle grinder with a decent and new stone cutting blade. maybe a pro tile cutter would be ok, but as per blazin-saddles the cheapos from b&q are not that good.

    if you are laying tiles around door frames, its easier to rake a slice out of the bottom of the frame and slide the tile under than faff about trying to cut the frame outline into the tile.

    slate itself varies hugely, its worth finding a proper stone supplier and having a look. the quality also varies between suppliers, for instance i looked at brazilian at two places a few miles apart and one was vastly superior to the other. i know some great ones in the west country if thats any use. for the ones you’ve been offered i would try and work out the m2 cost, thats the only way i can see that you may or may not be getting a deal.

    for what its worth, i paid £21m2 for 50m2 of 900 x 1200 and 900 x 600. the slate is, i think, brazilian but its teh same stuff the national trust ‘allegedly’ use in cornish properties because it is identical to local slate – ironic really that its £20m2 from the other side of the world yet if i’d bought it from a quarry an hour away it would have been £200m2 at least.

    one thing all those naysayers who don’t like getting their little toes cold seem not to mention is that slate has an incredible wow factor when selling the house, in all the properties i’ve dealt with its been a real deal clincher.

    re blazin’s post

    isn’t stw great?

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