We have slate floors in both the kitchen and entryway of our cottage style home. In this post, I am going to share everything about slate flooring – its beauty, benefits and challenges.
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When we first moved into our home, it needed so much DIY work. If you haven’t visited the Before and After page of my blog, I encourage you to do so! The kitchen was one area that had recently been refinished top to bottom and the previous owner installed slate floors.
To be honest with you, I am not sure if this type of flooring would have been my original choice for this space. I especially wasn’t in love with the orange and red tones throughout it. However, after living in our home for a few years I did come to love slate floors for many reasons. So much so we also added them to our entryway!
Understanding Slate Floors – What is Slate?
Slate according to Google is “a fine-grained gray, green, or bluish metamorphic rock easily split into smooth, flat pieces”. These natural stones can be split into even tiles and used as flooring in both indoor and outdoor spaces. They are installed quite similar to any other type of tile, by laying it into a bed of mortar on top of the subfloor, and using grout between each slate floor tile.
Because of their composite, these natural stone floors are incredibly durable, free from scratches and known for their longevity making them a perfect choice for a high traffic area, or an area that experiences water such as an entryway, kitchen or bathroom.
The different tones in the rock create a beautiful, yet neutral colorful palette to choose from which also helps to hide crumbs, dirt and other items between routine cleaning.
Advantages of Slate Flooring: Beauty and Beyond
After living in our home for a few years and realizing how durable the slate flooring in our kitchen really was, I knew it would make the perfect floor choice for our entryway. We live in the Midwest, and even with an entryway mat and rugs, snow, dust, rain and other outdoor elements are bound to make their way inside.
In the kitchen, where spills and other food items are often dropped, our floors withstood it all. While we did experience chips now and again, their natural hardness and resistance to wear helped show me what a long-lasting type of flooring they really were.
You can find so many examples of historic buildings with slate flooring that still is in perfect condition – just as durable as granite, marble and porcelain tile. This proves slate is not only beautiful, but a material that can also increase the real estate value of your home.
In these photos I am sharing of our own home, you can see that as a whole, the slate tiles appear very neutral, but they are so unique and each one full of it’s own characteristics in texture and color.
I love how they seamlessly blend into our hardwood floors as well, complimenting each other and the other home decor surrounding them. A simple, yet beautiful floor choice for each space.
These floors have also proven to be so easy to maintain, and with having four boys, there are plenty of moments they have proven their durability to me. From extreme messes to items dropped or thrown – they have withstood it all.
I know you are supposed to seal your slate floors annually with a penetrating sealer, but to be honest we never have. I do believe you should always do the best you can to protect the touches in your home, including flooring, but as a mother in a very busy season of life, we just haven’t found the time for this project yet.
I still love how durable they prove to be though, and can’t imagine how much better they will be once we are able to seal them properly. I am sure it will refresh them, and help bring out the natural tones of each tile in a beautiful way.
Design Inspiration: Slate Floors for Every Space
I really love the transition between our red oak floors and the slate floors. They compliment each other, but the slate flooring brings such a gorgeous old world rustic element to the soft warm shades of the wood.
You know I love to mix different textures and colors in a home to really help pull everything together in a cozy space that makes the perfect home retreat. The versatility of slate makes it the perfect choice for our cottage-style home, but slate is such a timeless option for flooring and would go beautifully in any style home, modern or rustic.
Choosing the Right Slate Flooring for Indoor Use
As I mentioned, when we moved into our cottage-inspired home, there was already slate tile installed in our kitchen space. I really did not like all of the warm red and orange tones in it though. When we decided to install it in our entryway, we wanted the overall style to match our kitchen, but we also were careful to hand select the colors.
When choosing the right slate flooring for your space, simply shop for options that compliment the decor style of your home. Consider that some options may come at a high cost, but take care to look at the natural hues of the stone and select the colors and textures that will blend beautifully with whatever room you are looking to install them in.
When we shopped for our entryway style, I loved the natural colors, but made sure to select slate in a color that was as close to the grey family as possible.
Slate flooring can be more expensive than other flooring options like carpet, but this is based on all of the amazing qualities we have already discussed. Having a durable, fire, mold & stain resistant floor is worth the cost in my opinion, and installing the flooring ourselves saved us a lot of money.
There are of course professional installation options as well – but be sure to be aware of the color choices your contractor chooses, especially if you are like me and wanted to avoid the red tones.
Keep in mind, installing tile flooring yourself isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and there are so many helpful resources that can guide you through the process. You can also rent special tools that will help make installation easier.
Maintaining the Beauty of Slate Floors
Once again, I am not pretending that we follow each recommended step on the maintenance of our beautiful slate floors. They need to be sealed, but I can say they are kept clean.
We clean our floors with a broom or vacuum cleaner and our mop system from Norwex – and the beauty is, we just use water. With heavier spills or stains, a little dish soap goes a long way for an extra clean. I never use harsh chemicals or acidic based cleaners that could damage the tile such as lemon, vinegar or bleach. We sweep and vacuum several times a week, helping to keep the grout lines and entire slab clean and free of debris.
Once we are able to take on the task of sealing our slate floors, I will update this post on our findings, tips and tricks!
Conclusion: Elevate Your Home with Timeless Slate Floors
In conclusion, slate floors have been the perfect choice for our cottage style home and I am confident it would be a timeless choice for any other home decor style as well. They are remarkably durable, versatile, and easy to maintain. Whether your home style is modern, rustic, cottage inspired or anything in between – I am confident the investment of slate floors would be a beautiful and enduring decision for your space. What are your thoughts on slate flooring? I would love to know in the comments!