slate tile floor in WaukeshaIf you are looking to bring natural, rugged beauty into your Waukesha home, consider slate tile. In addition to its unique design, slate provides a number of practical benefits. Read on to see if this natural stone tile is the right choice for your next home improvement project.

What Is Slate?

Slate belongs to the geological rock type known as metamorphic rocks. Metamorphic rocks form deep below the earth’s surface, where they are subject to intense heat and pressure, which causes a change in their chemistry and physical appearance. For slate in particular, shale is the original rock type, which when subjected to considerable heat and pressure transforms into slate.

Metamorphic rocks can be further subdivided into two groups: foliated and non-foliated. Foliated rocks possess texture, while non-foliated rocks do not. Slate in particular has a texture made up of layers or fault lines. This makes it easy to shear off into sheets from a large slab of rock. Because of this property, slate is very practical for use in both roofing and tile products.

Design Considerations

slate tile in Waukesha

Slate is a popular tile option because of its durability and low maintenance. It is considered a waterproof material because of its incredibly low water absorption index of less than 0.4%. Additionally, slate is resistant to frost, fire, and mold growth.

Besides its excellent physical properties, slate is also a beautiful tile option. It comes in a range of colors from light to dark grays, browns, greens, blues, and purples. Because it is a natural stone tile, individual pieces have slight variations in color and pattern. This is often a sought after look when creating stone designs.

Slate tile comes in an assortment of shapes including square, rectangular, and random mosaic pieces. Small mosaic sizes include 1×1” squares and 1×3” rectangles, while larger tile sizes include plank tile, 12×24”, and 24×48” pieces. An additional design consideration is grout color, which may match or contrast with the color of the tiles. Uses for slate also vary; applications include floors, walls, backsplashes, and counters.


Because of slate’s durability and incredible water resistance, it is relatively low maintenance. To clean simply sweep or vacuum, then damp mop with mild detergents (not strongly acidic or alkaline). Additional maintenance includes resealing your slate floors, which may be done every three years or less if the floors are in high traffic areas. A good way to tell if your slate needs to be resealed is if it has patchy areas and areas which stain easily.

Your Local Waukesha Tile Experts

For your next tile project, call the team at Floor Coverings International Waukesha to schedule your free in-home design consultation and estimate. Our design associates bring hundreds of samples straight to your door using our mobile flooring showroom. We proudly serve the greater Waukesha, Brookfield, Milwaukee areas.

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Photo Credit: © alexandre zveiger © Elena Talberg