Tap to Read ➤

Slate Tile Bathroom

Rutuja Jathar Mar 6, 2020
Elegant, naturally-textured, and durable, slate tiles are a popular choice when it comes to bathrooms. There are numerous benefits of installing them in your bathroom and maintain them to maximize their durability.
Since slate is a natural stone, no two slate tiles will look the same. The variations may range from minute to drastic, yet the underlying uniformity of the stone will be maintained.

Slate is a metamorphic rock formed due to compression of sediment at an extremely high temperature and pressure in the Earth's crust.
The tiles are made by slicing and cutting the rock into thin squares or rectangles. Characteristics of the stone such as its hardness, porosity, and appearance vary depending on where and at what depth the stone was mined from. Its appearance is also affected by the composition of sediment, often resulting in veining and color variations in the same batch.
Although many people associate slate with gray or silver, it is available in an astounding array of hues, from browns and greens, to blues and purples. Like all natural stones, slate tiles fall in the higher price-bracket, but are an excellent investment, as their durability and looks are known to add value to any house.
Uniform slate tiles with simple patterns can give a bathroom a sophisticated and minimalist look, while varying colors with alternating warm and cool hues will give your bathroom an outdoorsy feel.

Contemporary slate tile bathroom

Slate is not only rustic. A bathroom with slate tiles can easily be made to look contemporary simply by using sleek, contemporary fittings.

Modern Slate Bathroom

Combine slate with a strip of a different tile to break the monotony of color and texture of this tile. This works well if you are aiming for a modern look.

Modern slate tile bathroom

To find evenness in the unevenness of slate tiles, have them cut in the same size and have them laid as shown above. Alternate each strip with tiles of a different height to create a striking pattern.

Rustic slate tile bathroom

Another great way to break the monotony of slate is to use different patterns in the same layout.
Highlight one part of your bathroom with a different pattern using the same tile. Use elegant borders or combine slate with mosaic tiles for a rich, classy look.

Advantages of Slate Tiles

Has a Unique Look- Slate tiles come in a huge variation of geometric pieces and irregular shapes, each featuring a distinct color and texture. The colors may range from warm red to cool blue and can be arranged in simple patterns or colorful mosaics.
Is Extremely Durable- When thoroughly sealed, high-quality slate tiles have low water absorption, thus making them perfect for use in bathrooms. This also makes them durable and longer lasting. Even when a tile cracks, it can be replaced easily without damaging the others.
Is Very Slip-resistant- The natural cleft-pattern of slate makes it slip-resistant, even if the floor is wet.

Conceals Imperfections- The unique color, pattern, and texture mean that scratches, stains, or dust-speckles blend in and are hard to see, making your bathroom look brand new for longer.
Is Easy to Clean - The very high density and low porosity of slate tiles keeps most stains on the surface. The surface of slate also does not allow for much mold or bacteria to grow, so cleaning it is a breeze. Just mopping with a mild solution of soap and water is enough to clean the usual dirt, germs, and stains.
Is Weather-resistant- Slate tiles are a great flooring option for warm climate, as they are very cool and soothing to touch. Slate also resists frost well and endures frequent temperature changes.


- Slate tiles must be laid and thoroughly sealed by a professional. The sealing is an imperative process, particularly if the tiles are used in the shower area. Usually, slate tiles need to be stripped and resealed once a year. Other basic maintenance may include occasional replacement of any cracked tiles.
- As mentioned earlier, slate tiles are best cleaned with a mild solution of soap water. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or oil-based products as they might damage the tiles permanently.

- Though dense, they are susceptible to breakage if heavy objects are dragged or dropped on them.
- Use soft-bristled brushes to remove soap scum with warm or hot water and an all-purpose detergent; anything harsher might leave scratches on the tiles. Do this regularly to have the tiles last longer.

Points to consider

- All slate tiles are unique with varying thickness, texture, edges, and even shapes, so look for a professional installer. These are one of the hardest tiles to install and it is highly recommended that you hire a professional with 10+ years of experience for the job.
- Slate tiles must be installed on a smooth, hard (inflexible) sub-floor-tiles might crack on an uneven or flexible base.
- Slate is a natural stone formed by sediment-it is highly unlikely to find the same tiles; so keep a few extra tiles handy.
- Some distributors, particularly discount stores, sell shale or soft slate mined from the shallow parts of a mine. These tiles are not as durable or impervious as the harder slate, and will require much more delicate handling.
- Dark blue, gray, or black slate tiles will lend your bathroom an elegant, calm vibe; but make sure the room has plenty of light. Accentuate it with bright colors to add some warmth.
- Plain flooring will add depth to any space, so if you have a small bathroom, go for uniformly colored tiles with little variation. A mosaic pattern, on the other hand, will give a unique, rustic charm, but is best suited for rooms with plenty of open space.
- Although the chances of slipping on slate are pretty low, it is a good idea to have bath mats near the wet areas, as spilled shampoos or gels can make the floor extremely slippery.
- Slate tiles are also environmentally-friendly and cheaper than granite or marble.
- Slate tiles may chip away over time because they are natural stones. This chipping can prove dangerous, which reiterates the necessity of sealing the floor and walls thoroughly before putting the bathroom to use.
The price of slate tiles depends on the quality of the stone. If it has been mined closer to the Earth's surface, it is cheaper, and if mined deeper, it is more expensive. For longer-lasting beauty lent by this versatile stone, it is always a good idea to invest in the higher-quality product.