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Slate Countertops

Leena Palande
If you are looking for kitchen countertops, you may come across a number of materials. Read the following story as it provides information on what are the advantages and disadvantages of using slate for kitchen countertops. Here, slate is compared with granite, marble and limestone. Tap through, to know slate countertops pros and cons....
Choosing nice and durable material for kitchen coutertops can really be a tough job as various attractive materials are available in the market. Each material performs well in one or other specific areas. Before taking the final decision about slate countertops, do not forget to ask about its maintenance cost to the supplier.
While selecting the material for kitchen countertops, toughness, durability, quality, beauty, cost of installation and maintenance cost are to be taken into consideration. Marble is soft and cool, good for rolling out pastry dough while granite is very hard, long-lasting, good for placing hot pans directly on the surface, being extremely heat and scratch resistant.
Marble is a porous material which stains and scratches easily. Limestone comes in too many varieties, some are harder while some are softer. Harder varieties of limestone are heat and scratch resistant but they require proper periodic resealing with a penetrating sealer to avoid staining. Many people like and prefer slate for kitchen countertops and bathroom countertops, as slate is a natural stone which is nonporous and heat resistant.
Slate for Kitchen Countertops
  • Slate is softer than granite and harder than marble.
  • Some high quality varieties of slate do not require sealing. For instance, slates mined in Vermont.
  • Scratches on slate can be easily removed with a damp sponge.
  • Deeper scratches on slate can be removed with a steel wool pad.
  • Slate has edges which need to be rounded to avoid chipping.
  • No harm is done to slate by acidic substances.
  • Black slate is the most expensive one. Red slate is a little bit less expensive than black slate.
  • Granite countertops look more elegant than those comprising slate; as granite has a unique beauty of its own.
  • Kitchen cleaning is never a Herculean task if slate is used for countertops. Cleaning slate is easier than cleaning marble.
  • Standard square tile format, tumbled, guillotine cut, mosaic and random flagging are the different available types and shapes of slate stone.
  • Various surface finishes and textures contribute to the high versatility of slate stone. It is available in natural cleft, honed, calibrated, and polished varieties.
  • Slate is exceptionally dense and strong and is therefore the perfect material for kitchen countertops. Once sealed, you don't even have to think about its maintenance as it remains virtually maintenance free.
  • In slate tile countertops, the size of the tiles ranges from the smallest mosaic to enormous 2-foot tiles and they are often less expensive than many ceramic tile countertops.
  • Sometimes plant fossils are found on slate surfaces. Such pieces can be used as focal point of your design while implementing innovative kitchen countertop ideas.
  • Granite countertops prices range from $140-$200, marble and limestone countertops prices range from $50-$75. Slate countertops cost less than granite as slate prices range from $65-$80.
  • Slate surface is not affected by penetrating sealers. Sometimes an additional topcoat sealer or color enhancer is used to bring out deeper tones from within the stone. Topcoat finishes are available in matte, low sheen and high gloss. If you wish to maintain the stone's natural appearance, you should choose the matte finish.
  • Other stones like limestone and granite come in varieties of colors and complexions but in case of slate, you have limited color choices. Slate is available in shades of green, gray, purple and black which are also named as Indian Autumn, California Gold, China Lotus, Violet Garden, Sea Green, Copper, Rust, and Earth.
The countries which produce some of the most striking and spectacular colors of slate stone are India, Africa, China and South America.

You can compare the above 'slate pros and cons' with granite countertops pros and cons.
Slate countertops look great and they also offer you much more than other solid stones like granite or marble, which you may be considering for kitchen countertops. Slate can give your kitchen a warm look that is unbeatable. The awesome texture of slate can bring drama and beauty into your home.