How Much Does Slate Flooring Cost?

Typical Range:

$7,200 - $32,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 18, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing slate flooring in an 800-square-foot space typically costs between $8,000 and $12,800, or $10,400 on average. Depending on the tile type and amount of prep work, such as preparing the subfloor, slate flooring costs could run as low as $7,200 and as high as $32,000 for a space of the same size.

Average Cost of Slate Floors

Average CostHigh CostLow Cost
$10,400 $32,000 $7,200

Cost of Slate Tile per Square Foot

How much does slate tile cost? The average price of slate tiles is roughly $4 per square foot, and more expensive materials cost up to $10 per square foot. If money isn't an object for your project, you can buy high-end slate flooring materials at around $15 to $28 per square foot.

A professional installation costs between $10 and $16 per square foot. However, you could pay upwards of $40 per square foot if you opt for high-end materials. On the low end, you might only pay $9 per square foot if choosing more basic materials.

Outside Slate Tile Cost per Square Foot

For both materials and labor, you can expect to pay anywhere from $9 to $40 per square foot to install slate tiles outside. Several projects could influence or increase your total costs:

Another thing to note is that outdoor slate tiles need extra reinforcements, such as a veneer underlayer or an existing patio.

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Slate Pricing

Pricing for slate tiles varies by vendor and fluctuates depending on your location, but they usually range between $4 to $10 per square foot. Some tiles can cost upwards of $28 per square foot or more. Sizing is a major factor to consider since you'll pay more for larger pieces of material.

Slate Floor Prices by Brand

Slate floor costs can also vary depending on the brand you choose. Read our table below to discover some popular brands on the market, their average price range per square foot, and other information.

Brand Price per Square Foot Notes
Cabot$3 – $5Rigid and durable tiles
Emser$3 – $6Made from natural stone; several color options to choose from
Rustique Earth$23 – $28Good for indoor or outdoor use

Slate Slabs

Slate slabs are expensive because mining them is more challenging and the slabs are heavier, so they're more costly to transport. Slate slabs are thicker than tile and are extremely durable. They’re generally used outdoors because of their slightly rougher, more organic appearance. 

However, their weight makes them unsuitable for use above the ground floor unless you reinforce the floor. Walkways, patios, and outdoor kitchens are all common places to use slate slab flooring. The cost to lay slate slabs outside for any purpose is the same as the cost to build a stone patio from slate slabs, at approximately $15 to $40 per square foot.

Slate Flooring Cost Factors

Whether you're installing slate tile inside or outdoors, several factors impact the total project price. Some of the most significant cost factors include the slate size and thickness, color, and substrate. We cover these factors below.  

Size and Thickness

Slate tile ranges from $2 to $28 per square foot. The larger the tile you choose, the more you'll pay per square foot. Larger tiles are heavier and more difficult to quarry, cut, and transport. There's a greater risk of them breaking, so this breakage allowance is worked into the cost per square foot. While larger tiles make more of a visual impact and can look stunning on walls, smaller tiles provide better traction because there are more grout lines to add grip. 

Additionally, thicker tiles use more material per square foot, naturally costing more. They also cost more to transport per square foot because of their increased weight. Thicker tiles are more durable and are a good choice for flooring in heavily trafficked areas and outside, while thinner tiles are lighter and better for use upstairs. 

Color

Standard grays and blacks tend to be the least expensive slate tiles. Rarer coloration—such as greens, reds, purples, golds, and blues—costs more toward the higher end of the range because they're harder to get hold of. Some homeowners choose to have a color-enhancing sealant added after their new floors are grouted and sealed. This costs an additional $2 to $4 per square foot, but it makes the color variations within the tiles more vibrant, with a similar look to that of wet stone.

Substrate

Adding and leveling new underlayment costs around $2 to $6 per square foot. For tile, the substrate must be hard-wearing, heavy-duty, and level. It's usually either poured cement or backer board and sits on top of the subfloor. For slate and all stone tiles, the underlayment has to be level and firm enough to withstand the weight and added stress of foot traffic long-term to avoid the tiles cracking or breaking and water damage.

DIY Slate Tile Floor vs. Hiring a Professional

Installing slate tile is something you can do on your own, particularly for smaller projects or if you're a DIY enthusiast who's comfortable installing flooring. However, if you're looking for patterns, need to cover a wide area, or have narrow spaces that require extra cutting, hiring a professional slate tile installer near you is your best bet.

If you hire a professional, ask about all the specifics when you get a quote. In addition to the cost of installing the tile, you'll want to make sure the estimate includes grouting and sealing the tiles. Most professionals include this in the price, but get the quote in writing to protect yourself from hidden charges.

FAQs

Is slate more expensive than tile?

Slate tiles can run anywhere from $4 to $28 per square foot, but most cost between $4 and $10 per square foot. They're comparable in price to the cost of ceramic or porcelain tiles, which range from $5 to $10 per square foot, and the cost of natural stone tiles. Depending on the tile type, slate tile prices can vary from affordable to pricey. 

How do you install slate tile?

Local floor tile installers do the following when installing slate tile:

  • Remove the previous flooring, ensuring the tiling region is flat and clean.

  • Apply mortar on the subfloor as an adhesive element.

  • Employ spacers to create the requisite gaps between the pieces.

  • Cut the edge tiles accordingly.

  • Place the tile and push down each piece when it's in the correct spot.

  • Clean off any adhesive mortar that leaked onto the tile pieces.

  • Remove the spacers and wait for the adhesive to dry.

  • Use a water sealant on the outer edges of all the connecting tile pieces before adding grout.

Is a slate floor hard to maintain?

A slate floor isn't particularly hard to maintain as long as you seal the tiles to close any pores in the stone and apply a barrier sealer to create a protective surface. You should reapply the sealer about once a year, which will also help prevent grout lines from cracking and mold and mildew from forming. In addition, sweep your slate flooring daily and mop with an alkaline pH-neutral floor cleaner. 

Does slate flooring scratch easily?

Yes, slate scratches fairly easily compared to other stone tiles. Slate is a comparatively soft stone and—although exceptionally durable—is prone to scratches and scuffs. However, many people consider these marks welcome as they add character and a certain rustic flair. For those who want to hide these marks, a little mineral oil rubbed into the spot can help. 

Is slate flooring slippery when wet?

No, slate tile isn't particularly slippery when wet. Slate is a naturally rough-textured, slightly uneven surface, providing plenty of traction even when wet. This, along with its affordability and modern-rustic appearance, makes slate a popular option for kitchen and bathroom walls and floors. Because of the textured surface, slate slabs are also an excellent choice for patios and other outdoor flooring projects.

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