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Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock.
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SLATE COUNTERTOP PROS & CONS
Slate is a gorgeous countertop material. It has a beautiful texture of stone and a nice spectrum of light to dark gray colors, and may also contain deep rich colors of blue, green, red, purple, brown and black. Slate countertops are hard countertops that are rarely seen in kitchens. More often, you'll find slate materials on buildings, floors, and roofs due to their strong and sturdy nature.
Typically an alternative to granite or limestone countertops, slate tops offer a durable and unique look in the kitchen, whether going for a rustic or classic style.
This is a versatile countertop product that works well in kitchens, bathrooms, wet bars and can also be used for backsplashes and sinks.
Slate is very handsome. The subtle shifting in coloration is less bold than in marble or granite, but this also makes it much easier to produce countertops for your home that have a more uniform appearance. Lovely shades of black, charcoal, gray, pewter, brown and even those with highlights of green, blue or red can be found. While the differences in slate slabs is not as distinct as you find in granite or marble, each countertop is still unique.
NON-POROUS – CLEANS EASILY, BACTERIA FREE, STAIN FREE
Unlike granite, marble and concrete, slate is non-porous. This means that it cleans up very easily and does not have a tendency to harbor bacteria. It won’t absorb liquids, so you won’t get any staining from juice, tomato products, oil, cleaners, etc., since they can’t penetrate the surface.
NO CHIPPING OR SCRATCHING, STANDS UP TO HEAT
The hardness and durability of slate is also very appealing in the kitchen or bathroom. It won’t easily chip or scratch, and it stands up very well to heat. Hot pans or hair tools won’t mar the surface.
Slate countertops are quite a bit more affordable than their pricier cousins like granite and marble.
corners can be sharp & brittle
Corners can be slightly brittle and they are sharp. Many professional installers recommend having the corners rounded off to avoid cracks or injuries.
COLORS ARE MORE SUBDUED - Deep & rich
Stylistically, slate is more subdued than many other options, but if you’re using a lot of color at other points in your design scheme, you might prefer countertops that complement rather than grab the spotlight.
MAINTENANCE & CARE
Dusting and sweeping once a week with a microfiber cloth to reduce dust and surface grit is highly recommended. Avoid cleaning slate with abrasive cleaners, oily sprays, and products with lemon or vinegar, as they may etch the surface. Additionally, avoiding cleaners that contain wax is important as placing heated appliances or pans on slate countertops with wax may cause the wax to melt and stain the stone. Cleaning slate countertops with a damp cloth and a pH-neutral stone cleaner will help fend off water spots. Leaving the cloth for 10-15 minutes can also help loosen tough spots with dirt, but may require some deeper scrubbing. Wiping slate countertops dry after cleaning will help prevent mineral deposits and spots caused by water.
Even though slate is better at resisting stains, it's still recommended that you seal slate countertops. When drops of water splashed on the surface of the countertop don't form beads, it's time to reseal. Using a sealer that penetrates the slate will offer your countertop higher protection, while topical sealers will wear away faster. The most important time to seal your slate is right after installation, as sealing helps protect against damage. To protect and maintain slate countertops, you'll need a natural stone cleaner, sealer, soft cloths, poultice, mineral oil and an old towel. After cleaning and sealing, applying Mazola (corn oil) to slate countertops can help with polishing slate to make it shine.