A Quick Guide To Slate Kitchen Worktops

slate kitchen counter

Slate worktops are affordable, versatile, durable and attractive. They are easily recognizable and add style to any modern kitchen. Therefore, these are one of the most popular countertop materials for both residential and commercial properties. 

It is easy to recognize a slate worktop due to its cleft texture that offers a unique touch to any home setting. Apart from its exquisite surface texture, there are so many amazing characteristics that make stale quite difficult to repair or maintain. However, it is still considered as one of the good kitchen worktop materials for some installations.

Choosing Slate Tiles

kitchen working surface
Image credit: MKW Surfaces

In the past, slate was used in roofing, walls, sidewalks, pool tables or chalkboards. But now this material is also widely used for making beautiful kitchen worktops.

However, when selecting a slate worktop, many people only think of dark domestic variety that we all are aware of. It is usually available in drab green or grey hues.

There is a reason why darker slates are preferred. This is because these are considered more durable and least problematic.

But of course the problem is that dark grey slate kitchen worktops won’t complement every kitchen theme, style, or design.

Sealing Slate

slate countertop
Image credit: MKW Surfaces

This question often arises when consumers get to know about its problems but still want to install it for its texture and finish. 

Well, sealing slate worktops won’t prevent it from scratching, flaking or etching. On top of that, certain slates are so porous that there is no point sealing them.

But there is a solution to this problem, a strong topical sealer can be applied that creates a hard film-like appearance over its surface. This will be a good way to prevent slate from staining and etching. However, you can’t be sure about protection against crumbling or scratching.

Reasons to Consider Slate Countertops

Now that we have discussed some of the drawbacks and solutions to the problems, let’s talk about why it’s good to consider slate for kitchen countertops.

Firstly, slate is a gorgeous material with subtle colouration, which is less bold than other natural stones like granite and marble. This makes slate to create minimalist and uniform countertop appearance. You get slate in many lovely shades of charcoal, black, grey, brown, blue, green and red. Such distinct colour variation enables homeowners to use slate for creating a statement in their modern kitchen.

When sealed properly, it tends to get non-porous than marble and granite. This makes it stronger to resist bacteria growth. Since it doesn’t absorb moisture after sealing, there won’t be any chance of staining from juices, oils, cleaners or tomato products. Even the hardness and durability of slate make it an ideal product for busy kitchens. Finally, slate worktops are reasonably priced than expensive alternatives like marble and granite. Slate even costs much lesser than some of the non-natural surfaces like crushed glass or concrete.

Do You Know Slate Has Colours Too?

slate counter
Image credit: MKW Surfaces

You will be surprised to know that various slate varieties that come from South America, Asia, Africa and other countries are available in vivid colours, such as green, purple, copper and gold. With such additional range or colours, slate also provides you with many design possibilities. Slate countertops – be lit tile or slab – can be a great option for any traditional or modern home design. 

Slate Tile Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, slate is quite troublesome when it comes to maintenance. You need to be careful of certain things when maintaining slate worktops in the UK.

First, you must know that all slates are not the same. There is a big difference in their physical characteristics, as well as performance. While some slates are very dense and unaffected by cleaning agents or acidic foods, certain slates can be your worst nightmare because they can easily absorb moisture from citrus fruits. These huge differences in characteristics are due to their broad mineral composition range that’s found in the slate family itself.

Secondly, you must know that the cleft surface finish of slate worktops is problematic too. This issue surpasses all the other qualities that this material has. The clefts can naturally collect dirt and dust. Even the higher points on its surface are likely to be worn out quickly due to heavy traffic or another usage. The only solution to all these problems is to grind its surface flat and get it installed with a honed finish.

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