Stone Solid Slate Flooring

by Jon Nunan

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Slate flooring is one of the most desirable types of stone flooring available today. As a building material, slate has many good qualities, not the least of which is its incredible durability. In flooring, it is most effective in places that will receive a lot of traffic or will be subject to a significant amount of moisture.

Benefits of Stone Flooring
Stone flooring is extremely durable. When compared to wood, tile, or linoleum, stone flooring requires less maintenance to look good and lasts longer in almost any condition. Installing stone flooring in your home will enhance any room's beauty and raise the value of the property, as well.

Slate Flooring Characteristics
Slate flooring, like anything else, will have different grades of quality. The finest slate is found underground and must be mined. Lower quality slate is located on the ground's surface; it costs less because it is less expensive to extract. Surface slate has been subjected to the elements for hundreds of years. This kind of weathering makes it porous and flawed, and therefore a less desirable material for construction.

High quality slate flooring has many good characteristics. It is naturally slip and stain resistant. Though lower quality slate can, in some cases, be subject to stains, high-end slate will remain non-porous and stain resistant for the life of a house (and, most likely, many subsequent decades). Slate and other stone flooring is resistant to fire as well as water. Building with natural stone is a good way to make your home safer. Slate flooring is also very easy to care for. Other than regular sweeping and mopping with mild detergent, a slate floor will require close to no maintenance.

The difficulty of slate flooring installation can vary depending on the cut of stone you want to put in. Some slate floors are installed in much the same way as ceramic tile. Other floors require a more involved installation.

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Slate Flooring Drawbacks
Though it takes a significant amount of impact, it is possible to crack or chip slate. These occurrences are rare, however, because the material is generally harder than those that might fall onto it.

Slate flooring comes in a few different colors, but the variety you have to choose from is far less than that of other types of flooring. The color variation comes from the various minerals that are naturally present in the area where the slate was mined. Some companies may not keep slate mined in one area separate from that mined in another area, which creates a floor that contains many different colors. Those concerned with this should ask if the slate you purchase will all come from the same quarry.

The biggest drawback of slate flooring for most people is the price. Slate is one of the most expensive materials on the market. Purchasing good quality slate is costly, but its performance is, without a doubt, a worthy investment.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.