Slate – A Distinctive Stone’s Characteristics

Slate’s Appearance, Applications, and Uses

Perhaps the best word to use when describing slate is the term “rustic”. This natural stone is very distinctive in appearance and may come in a few different colors. Once you see a few samples of slate, it becomes obvious as to why many people choose this durable stone for rustic architectural and design projects.
Black Slate Natural Stone

The Characteristics of Slate

Since slate is a natural stone, the properties and characteristics of slate are derived from the substances that make it up. This means that slate can vary in density, hardness, and porosity. Therefore, you should always verify that your slate choice is appropriate for the application you are considering. Reliable guidance on which slate to select can be obtained through a stone test.

Slate is a metamorphic deposit that comes from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. Slate may contian many minerals but the main components are quartz and muscovite or illite.

Various Visual Characteristics

The visual appearance of slate can vary based upon the materials it consists of. The result of these substances being present in slate results in color variations containing a mixture of colors in varying degrees. In fact slate can be found in variations containing the following colors:

  • Gray
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Yellow

Slate has some very notable traits that make it a widely recognizable stone that are appealing to many. One such visual trait that marks slate is the appearance of thin sheets in apparent layers compressed together.

Uses in Construction

slate can have many different looks when used in building projects. Smooth finishes include sanded, honed, and polished. Additionally, textured finishes are available as well, including:

  • Bush Hammered
  • Machine Tooled
  • Chat-sawn
  • Split Face
  • Shot-sawn
  • Rock Face
  • Sandblasted
  • Waterblasted

The distinctive look of slate makes it a popular choice for construction for many uses. Whether it is used as flooring in a home or shingles on a prominent building, slate is a distinct choice for many creators of noteworthy structures. Here is a list of building applications in which slate is used:

  • Flooring
  • Roofing Tiles
  • Landscaping
  • Counter Tops
  • Paving
  • Interior Cladding
  • Exterior Cladding
  • Coping

Slate is a durable stone material that provides engineers, builders, and home owners with a diverse and distinctive material for getting a unique and memorable product that will stand out.

Images courtesy of:
Roasted gold ore (Cripple Creek Diatreme, Early Oligocene, 32 Ma; Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA) 8
Under the following license:

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