Here’s our slate bathroom floor tiles guide including the different options, pros and cons, cost, longevity, maintenance, and slate tile flooring designs.
Good quality bathroom floor tiles are known to be super strong with incredible stain resistance, which is primarily the reason why slate tiles are regarded as a good option for them. But of course, the tiles would need to match your expectations when it comes their beauty, durability and price.
One of the considerations you can use for slate tiles is for flooring. Slate is a good choice to check out if you’re looking for a natural material to use for your flooring that offers some real benefits.
Slate Flooring Options
Slate tiles have a sleek natural stone look that many love, which is why they are a popular choice for flooring. These tiles are also considerably durable, making them a good option in this case. However, there are also different options with slate flooring, including the following:
Low-Quality (Soft) Slate
A low-quality slate is more affordable because it is less expensive to extract from the ground’s surface. It has lower quality because it is found on the surface and has been subjected to elements for years leading to weathering. This is the reason why it is flawed, softer and more porous and can be subject to stains.
High-Quality (Hard) Slate
Compared to low-quality slate, a high-quality slate has better quality since it is mined underground and free from elements that can affect it.
While a low-quality slate is porous, a high-quality slate is non-porous, harder and resistant to stain and water, making it an excellent option for house flooring.
It is also resistant to fire, which is why if you choose this for your home, it will make the interior safer.
Slate Floor Pros And Cons
Slate flooring is among the best bathroom floor tile ideas you can choose from. But before you can install it, explore first everything about this material to know what you are dealing with.
Decide if slate bathroom floor tiles are what you are looking for by weighing their merits and the possible drawbacks you will face in installing one. Here are the different pros and cons you need to learn about.
Slate Bathroom Floor Pros
Slate tile flooring is gaining popularity. Why? Because of several benefits that you can take advantage of once you install it in your bathroom. Here are some notable ones:
Unique Aesthetic Appearance: Slate has a unique aesthetic that makes it stand out among other materials you can use for flooring. Quarried all over the world, slate has a varied appearance depending on where it is quarried and the mineral composition in the soil.
With a textured surface, slate delivers a rustic look that many would want to make the most of. It can also range from light color shades like red, purple, and gold to dark colors like black and gray.
It’s most often found in different shades of gray, which perfectly complements white kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities.
Hard & Incredibly Durable: Slate bathroom floor tiles are hard and durable, with a rough texture that can be considered a forgiving floor material.
It is incredibly durable primarily because it is a metamorphic rock built with heat and pressure inside the earth for a long period of time.
Slate is very hard that it is resistant to scraping and scratches, and can be installed indoors and outdoors without having to worry about easily degrading the material. See our gallery of slate patio ideas here.
Easily Hides Dirt: Slate, with its unique appearance and texture, hides dirt and imperfections well that you won’t even notice them.
Natural and Not Synthetic: Different from synthetic nylon carpeting or laminate flooring, slate flooring is a natural material. This means that slate does not give off harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), making the air at home healthier.
Water-resistant: High-quality slate flooring is non-porous, which makes it water-resistant and a great option for wet areas with high moisture levels and a high tendency of contact with water according to this report by the Building and Construction Authority. Some of these areas include bathrooms and kitchens. Read more about slate kitchen floors here.
Fire-resistant: Slate is fire-resistant, which is a good quality to have when used at home. This means that choosing this material will make the home safer.
Resistant to Chemical Attack: Slate tile flooring is chemical-resistant. This will help you feel more at ease when working with chemicals that may usually be harmful to other types of flooring.
Resistant to Harmful Allergens: Besides chemicals, slate tile flooring is also resistant to harmful allergens. This makes it a great material in homes where people with allergies are living.
Can Be Polished/Honed: Slate tile flooring can be polished and honed so if you don’t prefer a rugged look and want to go more towards modern and minimalist style, a sleek slate flooring is possible.
Low-maintenance: If you want flooring that won’t require high maintenance and frequent cleaning, slate tile flooring is the way to go. You just need to sweep on the flooring and mop it with a mild detergent to keep it clean, which is totally low maintenance.
Slate Bathroom Floor Cons
More than just focusing on the positive side of choosing slate bathroom flooring, you also need to take into account the possible drawbacks you might experience when choosing this account.
Here are some of these disadvantages.
On the Pricier Side: Slate bathroom floor tiles can be an expensive choice if you are considering options like vinyl, laminate, and carpet. It is an affordable choice though is you will look at the prices of other natural stone flooring options offered in the market today.
Tendency to Break: Slate is incredibly durable but it can also be quite brittle in certain circumstances. Once you drop something heavy on it, the flooring is likely to break.
Uncomfortable & Painful to Stand & Walk On: Slate tile flooring can be hard and durable but it is also quite uncomfortable to walk on because of its rough and cleft surface. This also makes it painful to stand on for a period of time.
Besides that, the flooring can be cold to your feet, especially during the winter, unlike when you use other flooring options, like carpet and matching hardwood floors. In dealing with the cold, partnering it with radiant heating systems is the best way to go.
Can Be Difficult to Install: Slate can also be quite difficult to install depending on how it’s cut. But of course, there are also slate cuts that are installed similar to that of a ceramic tile.
How Much Does Slate Cost?
Slate tile flooring is a natural stone flooring, which immediately means that it can be on the pricier side. The price depends on how difficult it was to quarry the material since cheaper slate tiles are mined near the earth’s surface while more expensive and high-quality slate tiles are quarried underground, requiring more effort in the process.
For low quality soft slate tile flooring you will pay about $10 to $20 per square foot. For higher quality hard slate you will pay about $20 to $30 per square foot.
Installation is also a consideration in the slate cost, which runs twice to thrice of the price of the slate tiles if you have it done by a professional. The contractor prepares multiple layers of substrate, which is why the price is as-is.
If you want to save money on the installation of slate bathroom floor tiles, DIY is also an option but you need to be sure you know what you’re doing.
Is Slate More Expensive Than Tile?
Slate, being a natural stone flooring, is considerably pricier compared to flooring options like carpet and vinyl. But is it more expensive than tile? This depends on what particular tile you are comparing it to.
If you’re considering low-end ceramic tile flooring, slate is definitely more expensive than that. If you compare it with high-end porcelain tile flooring, slate tiles are actually more affordable.
In addition to that, it is guaranteed to be the most affordable natural stone tile flooring option you will encounter, including granite and marble.
How Long Does Slate Tiles For Floors Last?
Before you go ahead and install that slate tile flooring in your bathroom, you need to learn first how long they last so that you won’t regret choosing them in the first place.
When choosing the best material for bathroom flooring, slate can be considered because it can last for decades as long as you properly maintain it. This means sweeping and mopping regularly.
Since high-end slate tiles are non-porous and less exposed to elements, they are pretty durable and resistant to water and fire. It also means you need to make sure you avoid dropping anything heavy on it that can result in tile damage.
Is Slate On The Floor Hard To Maintain?
Just like with slate countertops, the difficulty in maintaining your flooring lies in the quality of the slate you’ve installed. High-end slate tile flooring is not high maintenance and won’t take so much to keep it clean.
Low-end slate tile flooring though is a big challenge to care for. With high-end slate tiles, you only need the usual cleaning methods for your slate flooring. This means regular sweeping and mopping, as well as using mild detergent to clean the surface. Sweep every day and mop the floor every week to get the best result.
And finally, apply sealer every 3 to 5 years or whatever may be on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
With low-end slate tiles, you should also make sure that the slate floor is free from small particles, dirt, and debris so that the sealer won’t wear down. Maintenance will demand regular meticulous sealing to make sure that the surface remains unscathed.
Does Flooring Made From Slate Need To Be Sealed?
Low-end slate floors are made from material mined near the earth’s surface, exposing it to elements that can affect its quality. This leads to the material being porous, needing meticulous sealing in the process.
Without the sealing, this type of slate floor is subjected to dirt, debris, and moisture which can get in the pores of the materials and add to its brittleness. Seal all available holes in the stone to make sure that the issue of brittleness is covered.
High-end slate floors are made from material quarried deep underground, free from any element that can affect its quality. This makes the material more durable and non-porous, way better than its low-end version.
Despite being non-porous, a high-end slate flooring will also need to be sealed using a barrier sealer in order to empower and protect the flooring’s surface better.
Is Slate Out Of Style?
Trends come and go and while predicting them can be possible, you wouldn’t really want to try out a trend just for it to go away after a few years. Buying into the latest trends is not a good way to spend your money, especially when it comes to home interior designing and renovation.
Slate is a classic, which means that it doesn’t really go out of style. Depending on the look and appeal you are going for at home, slate tile flooring can work as one of your options. It offers a variety of colors, giving you the more creative freedom to mix and match.
The finish can also be hone to either be smooth satin or matte finish so that you can choose the look you want to have. Slate tiles have also improved throughout the years and the new offerings have a more refined aesthetic, showing with fewer grout lines.
If you want your slate tile flooring to never go out of style, choose classic colors like neutral colors beige and tan or popping bold colors like black and dark gray.
Is Natural Slate Good For Flooring?
When considering natural slate as a good material for your flooring, weigh the pros and cons you will experience in choosing this material. Check out if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Generally speaking though, high-end slate tile flooring is hard, incredibly durable, and resistant to moisture, fire, and stain. It even has a variety of color blends you can choose from. To make it a worth it choice for flooring, make sure that it’s sealed properly.
It is made from natural minerals processed in extreme heat and pressure, making it incredibly durable that it can withstand everyday wear and tear. Testing done on different forms of slate shows impressive amounts of abrasion resistance, according to this report from the NIST. So yes, this means you can walk on it every day and not wear it out.
The downside, though is that if you stick with the rough surface, it can be uncomfortable to walk on and can get really cold so you might want to make use of your heater during the winter season.
See more related content in our article about engineered wood flooring in the bathroom on this page.