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Jenn
Slate Floor Help

I'd love some expert advice...

We're planning on installing black Vermont slate floors in our kitchen, entranceway and bathrooms (including on the walls and ceiling of a shower). I've found a lot of conflicting opinions regarding sealing the slate (including "In my estimation, most slate floors are better left without a finish on them." from Tom Silva on this site).

Can any one give me a more detailed discussion of the pros and cons of sealing? And how will grouting affect the slate?

Finally, is it possible to maintain the floors (and natural wear and tear) with mineral oil or something natural? We're also installing soapstone countertops and I'm quite comfortable with their maintenance and how they develop a patina of wear over the years. I was hoping slate would be a natural compliment in that regard.

Any help would be appreciated!

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Slate Floor Help

Slate is a beautiful choice. I've installed it in my bathrooms and a bedroom. There are two looks you can get with slate. The flat color or a shiny wet look. If you want the shiny wet look (and probably the best seal), go with a commercial grade sealant. A normal tile sealer will usually give the flat look once it is dry.

When grouting, remember slate is very porous. Get the grout off the tile its self as fast as you can. Or leave a little throughout to even out the color of the floor.

The most important thing to focus on to get a great floor is to try to sort the slate a little keeping the thicker pieces together using less thin set and work your way into thinner using more thin set. Even gaged slate can have a lot of variance. However lippage can always be grated down later, so don't go overboard.

My slate floors are my favorite floors!

havanagranite
Re: Slate Floor Help

I went and checked where tom said this, he was talking about polyurethane not about sealers. these are two completly different products and polyurethane creates a hard surface across the whole complete floor. what you want is a water based sealer that would be available through many different companies. I buy the majority of my natural stone supplies for my business through granquartz.com you may wish to call them to find what their reccomendation is for your particular application

glam_bert
Re: Slate Floor Help
CamiJo wrote:

Slate is a beautiful choice. I've installed it in my bathrooms and a bedroom. There are two looks you can get with slate. The flat color or a shiny wet look. If you want the shiny wet look (and probably the best seal), go with a commercial grade sealant. A normal tile sealer will usually give the flat look once it is dry.

When grouting, remember slate is very porous. Get the grout off the tile its self as fast as you can. Or leave a little throughout to even out the color of the floor.

The most important thing to focus on to get a great floor is to try to sort the slate a little keeping the thicker pieces together using less thin set and work your way into thinner using more thin set. Even gaged slate can have a lot of variance. However lippage can always be grated down later, so don't go overboard.

My slate floors are my favorite floors!

How can lippage be grated down later?

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