Natural slate is a very durable and functional option for home flooring installation. Slate carries the splendid essence and beauty of natural stone, which make your home flooring both unique and remarkable. However, just like any other flooring material that residential remodeling services offer, slate also has its own pros and cons. With that in mind, you should be well aware of all its benefits and drawbacks before choosing natural slate for home flooring.
The most prominent benefit of going for slate flooring is that it is a very strong and durable material. In fact, it is one of the strongest standard natural stones that are used for home flooring. Slate can resist cracks, chips, scratches, and breaks to a great extent. However, in some cases it may be needed to seal the flooring in order to make it stain resistant. In any case, slate flooring can last for decades with proper maintenance and care which adds to its cost-effectiveness in the long term. With adequate sealing, slate can be an excellent choice for both bathrooms and kitchens that experience heavy traffic every day.
Slate also comes in numerous solid colors and unique color combinations which can give an impressive look to your home flooring. Its natural beauty can manifest in a lot of different ways in the final product, meaning that every room with slate flooring can feature a unique look. You can also match a solid color or multicolor slate material with the overall décor and design of the room. The options range from wildly contrasting colors to more subdued hues, making picking one as per your needs very simple.
Another key advantage of opting for slate flooring is that it boosts the real estate value. As slate is considered a relatively fashionable and expensive flooring material, it can significantly increase the overall value of your property. This is especially the case when you install slate flooring in the bathroom and kitchen, or the entryway, leaving a striking first impression on the buyers. What’s more, repairing and remodeling is also possible in case the slate flooring gets damaged due to a heavy impact or due to the effects of weathering or flaking. It is for this reason that slate can make a better option for home flooring when compared to other natural stone alternatives.
The most commonly cited disadvantage of going for natural slate flooring is that it can be a bit expensive. While buying top-quality materials should always be your goal, it often comes with a high price that can go anywhere from $4 to $10 per sq. ft. Besides, you would also need to hire residential remodeling services to install the flooring, which can further add to the total costs. That is why slate flooring is often installed only in rooms that are commonly accessed by visitors.
Note that the installation process of slate flooring involves using specialized tools and equipment. Since it is a natural stone, slate tiles are difficult to cut as per the desired size and shape, and only professional residential remodeling services that are experienced in installing slate flooring can do the job perfectly. Besides, it is also required to prepare the subfloor and underlayment carefully before installing slate tiles. This is to make sure that there is no flexing that can lead to future cracking of the tiles or grout joints.
Slate is a lot heavier than other flooring materials as well. This can increase the risk of structural issues when installing slate in the upstairs rooms. Sometimes, reinforcing the floor structure might also be required to support newly installed slate flooring. What’s more, it is always necessary to maintain slate flooring to make sure that they look attractive and appealing. During the installation, the tiny pores in the stone are closed using a penetrating sealer, which is then topped with a barrier sealer to give the flooring a protective surface. You might need to reapply these sealers depending upon how heavily the slate flooring is used.
Another thing to note is that the grout lines on slate flooring are also prone to cracking as well as staining. In the case of slate flooring in the bathrooms, the grout lines can be susceptible to mold and mildew growth too because of the damp surface. On the other hand, the cleft surfaces on slate flooring can also be uncomfortable to walk on, especially if they are not polished well to get an even and smooth surface. While this can be good in bathrooms to avoid slipping, it can be a nuisance in other areas of the home.
Lack of consistency is also one of the main drawbacks of slate flooring. Although the same virtue can be an advantage in terms of getting a unique design and appeal, it can be a bit difficult to find the precise look you want with slate flooring because of the high variability of the material. Moreover, you would also need to keep a few extra tiles at hand, so that you can repair any damaged tile easily and get the same original appeal.
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