Slate Tile Remains a Popular Choice
Where the public gets their ideas is anybody’s guess. But one common question many flooring experts get is a bit puzzling: “Is slate tile out of style?” How could slate tile ever go out of style? Maybe there was a period of time when it wasn’t as popular, but is it out of style? Absolutely not! If you need someone to help install slate tile in Pantego and Arlington, TX, call DFW Flooring Warehouse at 817.861.3737 to get an estimate .
The Facts on Slate Tile
Slate tile is back in vogue with a spin that tells the 21st-century, “I’m here to stay!” It has become a desirable stone flooring material that now offers some upgrades to the classic finish, such as matte or smooth satin, and can be installed with almost no grout. The qualities of slate tile are appreciated more now than ever before.
However, because it did fall low on the radar of many designers and home builders, there are homeowners out there that don’t know much about this wonderful, natural material. For those homeowners and for anyone that wasn’t too sure or may have forgotten about this material, we offer you some answers to common concerns and questions about slate tile.
Using Slate Tile in the Shower
You want slate tile bathroom flooring and walls, but you’re not sure if that’s possible. So can slate tile be used in a shower? Absolutely! Now for another question. Natural stone products such as slate are either really smooth or really rough, so which is better for the shower?
Conventional, old-school shower tiles can end up being a lot of work with their need for grout line cleaning and the task of keeping it mildew-free. Today, home builders and interior designers recommend going with a smooth, easy-to-clean natural stone with small grout lines, slate tile being a prime example. With slate tile, the grout is textured stone, and the grit helps hold the stone together.
Sealing Slate Tile
Of course, the key to minimal mildew is to have your slate tile sealed. So, can slate tile be sealed? Not only can it, but it is highly recommended that you have your slate tile sealed. After that, you may wonder if applying a sealant to slate tile takes away from the distinctive, gorgeous shades of brown, gray, and rusty reds that slate tile is known to offer.
It can, but it doesn’t have to. This is your choice! Change is desired by some homeowners and others want to keep their slate tile natural. To keep slate tile’s original appearance, you want to use a permeating clear sealer that is water-based and penetrates deeply into the porous slate stone before it disappears. In some cases, you’ll need multiple coats, but it is easy to apply and takes about ten minutes to penetrate into the stone. As it dries, it turns back to its natural color. Once your slate tile is properly sealed and so long as you keep it clean, your shower will look amazing.
So, can slate tile be painted?
Yes, slate tile can be painted, but you should know going into this project that it doesn’t come off if you decide this isn’t the look you desire. If you’re going to paint your slate tile, here are a few tips:
- Clean the Slate Tile
No matter what the paint or primer you have says, it is not going to stick to a dirty surface. Clean your slate tile and allow it to thoroughly dry before you start painting. Do this by scrubbing the stones and then rinsing away the dislodged dirt with a garden hose.
- Apply a Primer
There are paints out there with primer built in, but we recommend going old school with your slate tile painting project. Use a water-base latex primer first to give this surface something to grab onto and hold the paint, which will help make the surface even.
- Paint the Slate
Use a high-gloss, water-based latex exterior-grade paint made for masonry and stone. Roll this on with a thick-nap roller or a brush with stiff bristles. Be sure to apply a thick coat.
- Traction Texture
Painted slate tile will become a hazard in the ice, rain, or snow, so you need to give your slate tile some grit. Experienced painters will tell you to mix sand in the paint with the ratio of 1 pound:1 gallon before you brush or roll it onto your slate tile. This will keep it from wearing off as it becomes part of the paint.
Which is better? – Slate Tile vs. Ceramic Tile
Slate tile is from a natural stone, making it more durable than ceramic tile. Do note that slate tile installation will typically cost more, but the maintenance is minimal and it has great longevity so long as it is sealed and cleaned properly. However, if budget or ease of installation is a concern, ceramic tile is the better choice.
Maybe you’d like to add a bit of class and flair to a wall with slate tile edging. A detail-oriented individual shouldn’t have a problem with this. However, the steps to install slate tile must be followed because bad installation is a setup for failure.
The same tools used for installing ceramic tile can be used with slate tile, with the addition of a slate tile cutter. These can be rented at big box home improvement stores or flooring stores. Don’t try to take the same shortcuts with slate tiles you would with ceramic, or you’ll end up with shattered slate pieces you can’t use. Meanwhile, if you find you need a little help with installing your slate tile in Pantego and Arlington, TX, you can contact DFW Flooring Warehouse at 817.861.3737 to get things started.