When creating an outdoor space, such as a patio, garden, pool area, or paved walkways, you’ll have to decide what materials to use.
One favorite material for homeowners and designers is slate. Slate is natural stone that has a unique look and texture and can be used in a variety of ways, most commonly as interior flooring in kitchens and bathrooms.
Slate tile also works very well in outdoor spaces, to the surprise of some, and can add a strong and unique aesthetic to your yard.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Slate Tile Is Commonly Used
Slate tile comes in an array of colors and designs and is often used for interior flooring. The higher-quality grades of slate tile are used as flooring because they’re stain-resistant and non-porous. It’s also hard to damage.
All of these qualities make slate tile ideal for outside use as well. The main use of slate outdoors is to create walkways, especially when you use unshaped natural slate as paver stones. When placing slate, you can embed it in sand or earth, or you can place it on a concrete walkway and lay the slate with thinset mortar and grout (just like you would ceramic tile).
You can also use slate tile as flagstones for a patio. Indeed, a patio made of slate can be very striking, adding a strength to the aesthetic of your outdoor space. Some slates can flake off slightly when first installed, but this will stop and the slate will last. Sealing is recommended for outdoor slate in an uncovered area subject to direct sunlight and precipitation.
Considerations When Laying Slate Tile
When laying slate, there are a couple of things to consider depending on the substrate on which the tile will be placed.
If you’re placing slate on a wood substrate, such as a wood deck, you have to be careful because wood decks involve too much movement for stone. You’ll have to put down underlayment, such as 1.5 inches of plywood underneath a quarter-inch concrete board.
A concrete substrate is more stable, which means you can place the tile directly on the concrete and set it as you would with any other kind of tile. Just be sure to repair any cracks and holes in the concrete before you lay the tile.
Slate is a great material due to its durability and look. If you want natural stone in your outdoor areas, slate is a great choice. Find the perfect slate tile flooring at one of our seven showrooms across the Southeast.