Slate Kitchen Floors (Pros & Cons)

Functional kitchen flooring needs to be long-lasting, durable, and relatively easy to maintain. It is an excellent choice and offers an extensive range of styles, colors, and designs. A slate kitchen floor provides a luxurious and sturdy option without compromising the look you want.

Large kitchen with dark walnut cabinets slate floor curved design kitchen island with three black leather stools and a large skylight window

This guide will discuss the pros and cons of slate flooring in the kitchen, design options, and durability. Armed with the information you need, you can then shop for slate kitchen flooring, confident it’s the right choice for your home.[toc]

Slate Kitchen Floor Tiles

Kitchen with wood cabinets granite countertops grey tile backsplash slate floor pendant lights and an island with wood breakfast counter and stools with arm rest

Slate floor tiles are natural stones harvested from mountainsides and other geographical areas. It is a metamorphic rock; metamorphic meaning modified by heat, pressure and other molecular alterations that happen below ground.

It’s categorized as foliated because it appears banded or layered. This material includes numerous looks and characteristics, offering a wide array of colors and textures, including charcoal black, rust, brown, and tan in varying shades.

There are two textures offered: the natural surface texture of slate, which is rustic, and naturally occurring when the stone splits or a smooth surface that has been sanded down.

Its natural surface provides better traction, and a sanded surface can prove to be slippery, especially in the kitchen where liquids are apt to spill. 

These kitchen tiles are typically rectangular or square in various sizes and have a wide array of solid colors and multicolored tiles. At times, these tiles may even have variegated colors, and all tiles have unique patterns.

These colors and textures allow homeowners to choose the type of natural stone floors that work perfectly with any interior design scheme they choose.

When the tile is installed, grout is laid down between each tile and comes in almost any color needed to either blend or contrast with the color of the tile.

The grout can be sealed to prevent staining from liquids and spills and prevent mold and should be sealed regularly. The tile may outlive the life of the grout, but grout can be removed and redone. Visit this page for more types of kitchen flooring.

Slate Floor Pros and Cons

Apartment kitchen with slate tiling floor green walls rattan armchairs black granite countertops pendant lights light wooden cabinets and view of the dining area

Many homeowners really love the look and feel of natural stone floors. The organic makeup of the stone is as revered as the premium style and makes it a popular choice for kitchen flooring ideas.

There are pros and cons to consider before committing to installing them in your kitchen.

Slate Floor Pros

• This is a unique, attractive, and versatile material

• Especially for a kitchen setting, this tile variety is durable, strong and lasts as long as your home is standing

• These iles are a great option when installing radiant heat systems below the flooring

• These are very low-maintenance

• It offers a wide variety of colors and textures

Slate Floor Cons

• It is expensive to purchase and install

• The installation is not typically a DIY project

• Having to replace or repair these tiles is difficult

• Must be sealed or will stain

• These tiles get very cold when outside temperatures drop

Slate Flooring Options

Kitchen interior with white backsplash wood grain cabinets white countertops stainless steel appliance and slate flooring

Terminology and options for this tile can often be confusing. If you know the colors and shades you need for your kitchen, the easy part is done. Still, there are additional items to know before you buy, such as industry terminology and tile sizes.

Slate Tile Sizes

White kitchen with butcher block countertops subway tile backsplash black slate floors open shelves with kitchen essentials and island with stools

Rectangular floor tiles come in several standard sizes. Large sizes allow culinary spaces to look roomier, and smaller tiles create a cozy, intimate feel.

Tile strips are used to create mosaic designs. Square tiles also work well in kitchens using the same concept as a rectangle; larger dimensions make the area look more prominent, and smaller tiles, are more comfortable. 

Rectangular Slate Tile Standard Sizes
Small Medium Large
3” x 6”

6” x 9”

9” x 12”

9” x 18”

9” x 24”

12” x 18”

12” x 24”

18” x 24”

Rectangular Slate Tile Strips Standard Sizes
Small Medium Large
3” x 6”

6” x 9”

6” x 12”

6” x 18”

6” x 24”
Square Slate Tile Standard Sizes
Small Medium Large
6” x 6”

9” x 9”

12” x 12”

18” x 18”

24” x 24”

These floor tiles for culinary spaces can have straight edges as squares and rectangles and can be intermixed by shapes and sizes to create patterns. Installation may be random or a pattern planned out on paper.

Another option is to leave this natural stone material in its natural, irregular shape and place them in a design where they fit against each other. This leaves a very creative option to mix and match shapes, sizes, and colors with the kitchen’s design.

Keeping the tile uniform in shape, size, and color creates an understated flooring to highlight amenities.

By blending shapes, sizes, and colors, the floor becomes more of a statement, and using randomly shaped pieces provides the most artistic and attention-grabbing flooring. See our gallery of tile shapes here to get more design ideas.

Slate Tile Finishes

Open kitchen with grey cabinets quartz countertops mosaic backsplash grey slate brushed floors and view of the bright dining area

In its rawness, this flooring material has the feel and texture of the rock itself. When this metamorphic rock is quarried, it’s sorted and prepared for distribution.

Manufacturers either leave it in the rough or polished. There are basically three types of finishes, each having a specific application. 

Gauged Slate

Tile flooring must have an even, smooth surface underneath to lay completely flat against subflooring. The gauged finish is raw-cut and ground on the underside to create a flat surface, even if the top surface is left naturally rough.

This type of finish is typically more expensive than un-gauged ones left in their natural state. Un-gauged tiling is used outside for a patio or stepping stones and can be easily maneuvered to lay flat by adjusting the sand or soil under them.

Cleft or Natural Slate

Kitchen with white cabinets, stainless finish appliance, cleft slate textured floors and a kitchen island with white countertops and chairs

Cleft tiles are similar to gauged tiles, with the top surface of the tiles being left in its natural, rough form, but the bottom, like gauged tiles, is cut flat for indoor installation.

The rough surface provides textures so that if the tiles are chipped, it will blend with the rest of the tiles. When shopping for these flooring tiles, it’s typically cleft flooring.

Both gauged, and cleft finishes provide the textured surface that this tile material is known for, offering less chance of slipping on a wet floor in the cooking space. Because there is no grinding or polishing, the tile retains its original, vibrant color, making it an excellent option for traditional, vintage, and rustic interior design.

Honed Slate

Honed finish slates also have a flat bottom and a top that is cut and ground to create an even surface. Once finished, the top is then polished and sealed. Honed tiles have diminished color due to the processing but do offer pastel shades for country, nautical, or southwest décor styles.

The honed finish can have a slightly rough texture to a glossy, high-polished finish. On the other hand, flooring with a shiny surface does make kitchen floors very slippery. 

Slate Flooring Durability

Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliance, brick oven, slate light color floor and island with wood counter, stools and pendent light hanging above

This material is a metamorphic rock and is extremely strong. As mentioned previously, metamorphic means rock that has been under extreme heat and pressure deep inside the earth for many years.

This flooring is hard and very resistant to scratches, scrapes, dents, and chipping and can go decades without needing repair or replacement.

Besides being durable and sturdy, this flooring for kitchens does not show wear even after years of high-traffic use.

Sealing it on a regular schedule prevents moisture from entering the pores in the rock to avoid damage. This natural stone left in the raw may exhibit some scratches from rough wear, making cleaning and sealing more important. 

Is Slate a Good Choice for the Floor?

Empty kitchen with stained cabinets stainless appliances, brick backsplash and slate brown-toned floor

Its natural beauty, along with all the variations of color and texture, make this earthy material a classy way to bring the outdoors inside.

Homeowners enjoy the low maintenance and impermeability of these flooring tiles, alleviating damage from spills and foot traffic.

Since these tiles are heavy, there are considerations on the weight-bearing ability of your culinary flooring. The subfloor and its framing must be structurally sound, or the weight of the tiling may cause movement of the frame and base. Any movement under the tiles will likely cause cracks or breaks in the material, and the tiling may have to be replaced. 

This flooring material is not as expensive as granite and offers similar aesthetic colors and textures. Because of its excellent qualities and flexible design applications, it makes a very good choice for flooring for the culinary area. 

If you’re having a new home built or simply updating your kitchen, flooring is likely on your list. When shopping for ideas, some of the flooring characteristics to consider have a practical application and some an aesthetic purpose. The kitchen is often the most used room in a home, with a lot of foot traffic and slates makes an interesting and attractive choice.

Visit our gallery of slate kitchen countertops for more related content.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *