Slate

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Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock with a dull lustre created by the alteration of shale or mudstone by low-grade regional metamorphism under relatively low temperature and pressure. It is mined and quarried in different parts of the world predominately in Brazil and Spain to be used as premium construction stones. These slate rocks easily cleave or split into thin slabs with high tensile strength and endurance. The most prevalent colour of a Slate is grey, although they can be found in black, green, red and even purple shades. They are available in honed and polished finishes, within a thickness range of 30mm, 40mm and 5o mm, and are suitable to be used for purposes like roofing, internal and external flooring, wall cladding etc. Learn more

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Introduction

Slate is a fine grained, clayey metamorphic rock created by modification of shale or mudstone, under low grade metamorphic conditions which means under relatively low pressure and temperature. They split easily into thinner slabs having high tensile strength and durability. Their sturdiness and attractive appearance makes them a popular choice for roofing, kitchen floors, bathroom floors, etc.

Composition

Slate is mainly composed of micas or clay minerals, like quartz, muscovite, illite, often together with biotite, chlorite, hematite and pyrite, and less frequently with apatite, graphite, kaolinite, magnetite, tourmaline, or zircon as well as feldspar. This depends upon the level of metamorphism it has been exposed to. 

Uses

Natural slate is energy efficient and fire resistant. Because of its good electrical insulation and fireproof nature, it was used in the early 20th century for designing electric switchboards and relay controls for large electric motors. 

They are suitable to be used as a roofing material because of its extremely low water absorption quality; 0.4% index, making the material almost waterproof, and they can be cut into thin sheets.

This low water absorption property also makes them resistant to frost damage and breakage by freezing.

Their durable nature makes them suitable for use as flooring, stair treads, sidewalk slabs, paving stones, kitchen worktops. Hard wearing ensures a greater life cycle of slate countertops.

They are also used for manufacturing bench tops in laboratory and billiard table tops because of their thermal stability and chemical inert nature.

High quality slates are used for building tombstones and commemorative structures. The ancient Maya Civilisation showed evidences of slates being used for monuments, historical pillars, etc

In Japan, they were traditionally used for black Go stones and are now counted under luxurious possession.

Fine slate is used for making sharpeners to correct blunt knives.

Natural slate is admired by building professionals for its durability and elegant look.

Natural characteristics

Durability:

Due to the metamorphic production process, they are highly durable and best suited for making kitchen flooring and bathroom flooring. This makes it resistant to cracks, chipping, breaks and scratches.

Heat resistance:

Slates are good choices for kitchen worktops because of its property to be unaffected by heat. They are good insulators; both heat and fire proof. Placing hot pans on the surface won't create as many

 problems as in the case of other natural stones.


Affordability

In comparison to other natural stones, slate worktops are cost friendly.

Color

20-60% of Slates, upon being exposed to the atmosphere change into different color gradients, often softer tones of orange-brown or gray. This color instability is not related to durability of stone in any way. Specific slabs designated as unfading are the ones that maintain their original color throughout.

Slate occurs in a variety of colors like green, grey, black, mottle purple, red, and brown hues. These varieties of colors are formed as a result of carbonaceous matter present in it.

The decay of marine organisms on ancient sea floors gives rise to black slabs suitable for black worktops.

Presence of iron compounds generates purple, green and in rare cases,  red slates.

Deep blue-black colored ones are seen in The slate of Maine, Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania. High mica content in Virginia slates gives them a lustrous appearance.

The region in New York; Vermont is important for traces of one of the few commercial deposits in the world; red slate. Along with this, Green, red, purple, and mottled ones can also be derived from this place.

Finishes

The popular types of finishes given to slate worktops are honed and riven/cleft finish

Honed finish: Also called finished look, this is achieved by smooth polishing of the surface, giving it a glossy appearance. A honed slate has a random cloud-like appearance when all the ruggedness is smoothed out. Though this process dulls out the natural brilliance of the color variations, it can be created to suit a modern and contemporary look. 


Riven finish: The term riven comes from the word rive, which means to split or tear apart. This is what happens to a  slab when it is removed from the quarry and cut into slabs. 

Riven slate tiles have depths within the surface providing excellent slip resistance. This, and high resistance to wear and tear makes them suitable for entrances, utilities, kitchens and conservatories. Natural slates are however not recommended for barefoot pavements because their rustic nature could feel quite structured underfoot.

Fabrication and Installation 

We as work-tops help homeowners get quotes for Kitchen worktops UK, bathroom worktops, and with fabrication & installations for any selected product through our registered KBB network of fabricators who have the experience of installation and knowledge of the product to give the best results. Our KBB network can offer planning, designing, and implementation of the design that perfectly suits to create your dream home.

Remodeling project

Remodel your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom by choosing a stylish contemporary-looking slate or traditional classic countertops surface. Each slate slab may differ from one another in colour and veining. This is because various minerals are deposited in the natural stone. One cannot find two similar looking slabs as their colour scheme and patterns are never monotonous. They are decided at the discretion of nature. ITALIAN BLACK SLATE, SAVERNAKE GREEN SLATE, and OCEAN BLACK SLATE schemes are perfect from our collection.

Cleaning and maintenance

Slates make an attractive choice for your kitchen worktop. They are versatile and do not harbour bacteria.

Mild detergents and light sponge can be used to maintain white sparkle worktop surfaces. Acid based cleaners, vinegar, lemon, etc could discolor the material, hence must be avoided. 

Non-abrasive clothes are to be used for regular dusting. Steel, wool, and abrasive cleaners are to be avoided as they may scratch the surface.

Though being a non-porous material, periodic sealing is always advantageous. Spilled water droplets not appearing as beads is an indication to reseal your worktop.

Brittle nature of slate makes it prone to breaking. Dropping heavy pots and pans onto the surface may cause cracks, almost impossible to repair. Therefore, good handling of materials is important to avoid huge losses.

It is always better to prevent the circumstances rather than fixing them, so be thoughtful of how you are using and what you are placing on the worktop. With time and attention, your white sparkle worktop will not only last for a longer period of time but also remain new and shimmery.