Black slate tiles are a premium material with a varied portfolio of applications. They can be used to give a high level finish across a range of building applications such as:
If you’re considering using them in your next building project, then this short guide to black slate tiles will be a great place to start to give you an idea of the various uses, many benefits and, also, their downsides. We’ll also take a look at a few alternative ideas that can provide a finish almost to the high standards of slate itself.
In addition to providing a high quality finish, Black Slate Tiles are also an exceptionally durable material, meaning they are an excellent product to use in a commercial setting – not only do they look good, they will also stand up well to the type of heavy wear and tear often found in commercial usage.
The UK is extremely fortunate to have some of the best quality slate available anywhere in the world right here in our own quarries. Welsh Slate, as well as Burlington (from the Lake District) are just a couple of the slate types available on the market today that are bywords for quality and long lasting durability.
This can mean however that British Slate can command high prices on the marketplace – handily, these days there are also a number of commercial tile manufactures based all around the world, all bringing different products to the marketplace so there will almost certainly be a product available to meet most budgets and designs.
Black slate tiles then can provide both an aesthetically pleasing and long lasting – and hence value for money – building material. There is no point denying however that they are a premium product, even at the lower end of the quality and price scales.
There are a number of benefits to using black slate tiles, such as:
Whilst black slate tiles are a great building material, just as with any material or product it has both pros and cons. It wouldn’t be fair to simply deny them or gloss over them, so here are the main downsides of commercial grade tiles.
If you have read the downsides section and are perhaps having second thoughts about buying black slate tiles for your building project, then happily there are still some excellent alternatives out there for you to consider.
Slate effect tiles are becoming increasingly popular as, for example, commercial floor tiles as they can often provide a realistic looking finish at a lower cost. They also have none of the associated maintenance required of natural slate tiles. They certainly do not require any sealing products – just a good mop every now and then!
Generally they will be made of porcelain which has had the tile design and colour printed onto its surface. This printing gives a level of versatility that can be important if you are looking for a specific designer tile. After all, natural stone floor tiles are just that – natural. The finish you get is crafted by nature so you may not always get the kind of design you are looking for. They can even recreate the uneven, somewhat rough feel of natural slate meaning that some printed effect tiles can be employed successfully as anti slip tiles.
Printed tiles on the other hand, as a manmade material, can be made with any kind of design finish you require. This printing process however is also something of an Achilles heel for black slate effect tiles.
Whilst it does initially present a surface finish very close to natural black slate, these slate effect tiles do not have the durability of the real thing, and you will notice a level of wear after a certain amount of time. This means that they could be a good option for installation in an area with low wear and tear – especially from customer footfall. You could therefore consider slate effect tiles for a fireplace.
Slate effect tiles can an extremely cost effective material therefore, so long as you only consider the short term costs. Once the durability and longevity of natural black slate tiles are taken into effect however, they do lose their main selling point.
That being said, if you are looking to install in a area with lower usage, slate effect can be an excellent option with an aesthetic appeal very much as good as the real thing.
So if you are convinced of the various benefits of black slate tile, the next logical question in my mind may well be what is the price?
Remember that black slate tile is a premium product, therefore, it is worth considering where you plan on installing it before you look to get quotes.
This is because, as we’ve discussed above, there are really three different types of black stone slate. Each type comes at a different price point, has different pros and cons and so each one is suitable for a different kind of installation, design scheme and budget.
Black slate tiles are an aesthetically pleasing; long lasting material that adds a sense of style to any design scheme. They also bring with them a feeling of the premium – after all, black slate is not an everyday material. By choosing to incorporate it into your designs, you are definitely making a statement.
At the same time, as a premium product, it is important that you choose the right type to match the uses you expect the slate tiles to be put to. This will help maximise your investment, and get the most appealing finish to your building and decorating.
Make sure you choose a supplier with the ability provide the right kind of advice on the wide variety of slate that is available. An investment today in black slate tiles is an investment that will continue to pay off for years to come.
If you’d like to speak to someone from SRK about finding the right black slate tiles for your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.