AdviceInterior design

Home Trend: Natural Slate Tile

Natural slate tile is one of those materials that creates drama in the home. Brooding, dark and mysterious, this rock isn’t for the faint-hearted; it definitely makes a statement.

That said, it’s a popular choice due to its interesting texture, its durability and – let’s face it – because it looks expensive. Careful though, overdo it and your room could look like a crypt. Fortunately, there are ways to incorporate this stone into your décor so that you’re adding a touch of class and not a sense of gothic doom. Here are five stylish uses for natural slate tile in the home:

Totally floored

slate floor tiles

Let’s start with the obvious. With a colour that hides a multitude of sins, rustic undulations and unique character, slate floor tiles look spectacular. Understated and muted, they add an unobtrusive elegance to any kitchen or hallway. They don’t just look good either; they’re hardwearing enough to endure years of heavy traffic. Better still, they boast heat-retaining properties which should help keep your home warmer in the winter.

The tiles are perfectly suitable for external use too, so you could extend the look out into a patio area for stylish continuity.

Work(top)ing it out

Natural stone is one of the most desirable materials for kitchen worktops. Practical and beautiful, slate is able to withstand extreme temperatures and spills. The smooth surface is perfect for rolling bread dough, pastry or icing and you know it will last for years. It can scratch but whether you see it as a bad thing or as adding character depends on you!

Revamping the kitchen is an expensive and time-consuming task, not something you want to repeat very often. So, it’s important to choose a material which will remain timeless and that will work with different colour themes – it’s likely you’ll paint the walls before you change the worktops again, after all. Typically installed in a matte finish, slate worktops solve all these problems, leaving you to be the envy of all your friends.

Slating the bathroom

slate wall tiles

There’s something soothing about slate, which is why it often features in posh spas. The misty grey shade possesses calming properties and where better to use it than the bathroom, where you can create your own sanctuary of serenity? Here you might see slate tiles on the wall in addition to the floor. The rock works well with chrome fixings and white sanitary ware, producing a peaceful effect.

If you have a lot of light in the bathroom, whether natural or not, you could even create a wall of rough slate, perfect for a wet room. Otherwise, restrict your use to just one or two walls, keeping the remaining ones white.

Hearth of stone

Increasing numbers of people are installing log burners into their homes as a way to more responsibly and cheaply heat their rooms. These heavy-duty, black burners aren’t just functional, they serve as aesthetic additions to the home and a slate hearth provides the perfect finishing touch.

They come in many different designs: from uniform tiles to uneven, raw-edged slabs – far superior to red brick alternatives. No two slate hearths are the same, they’re easy to clean (providing you do it correctly and use the right products) and any ash is more easily disguised before you can get to it with the dustpan and brush.

Paint it slate

natural slate tile

Okay, so it’s not quite slate the rock but you can easily incorporate slate into your home by painting your walls a warming shade of slate grey. This neutral hue is extremely fashionable at the moment and it needn’t be restricted to older properties; it can offer a totally contemporary feel. It’s been hailed by interior designers as sophisticated, clean and grown-up with an ability to ‘retain a coolness that makes it modern’.

Slate grey provides a great canvas for furniture and pairing it with lighter grey or hot pink accents will create a vibrant look.

To complement your newly painted room, you could add slate accessories: mats and coasters, vases and pots, art ‘installations’ on the wall, picture frames, cake stands, cheeseboards and pretty slate hearts strung with twine.

As you can see, slate isn’t just for your roof – there are numerous ways you can use it in your home; whether you want a breath-taking new look or you’re just searching for a colour scheme which isn’t based around boring magnolia. Why not be a little bit daring?

Elizabeth Smythe is a content specialist writing on behalf of Shaw Stone, one of the largest suppliers of granite worktops in the UK.

Want to incorporate stylish slate tiling into your home? Get quotes from our trusted tilers when you post a job on Rated People to make an informed decision about which tradesman you choose.

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  1. Slate is easily chipped and naturally delaminates;not good at kitchen sink edges especially when the sink is under mounted.

  2. I agree, I’ve gone slate gray on my living room feature wall with the remainder all white, I’ve used two sofa workshop pale gray dillon sofas with silver gray carpet and I used bright green cushions and lampshades as an accent colour. I think it looks really cool.

  3. Thanks for this very informative post! I learned a lot just by reading this. However, you forgot to mention that a slate can be an excellent outdoor decoration too! For example, an engraved slate house sign can certainly make one’s home look elegant.

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