Need ideas for kitchen floor

Hey folks,
My kitchen floor is currently covered in a heinous '70's pattern linoleum that I plan on ripping up. I know there's hardwood underneath which I want to expose. The one thing that could be problematic (or pretty cool) is that in a corner of my kitchen the floor is actually slate where the stove used to be. (Furthermore, the walls are brick in that corner only - it actually looks quite beautiful right now.) The slate is currently covered with plywood with the linoleum on top of that. The slate seems to be depressed by about a half inch or more so when I expose the original floor it will be uneven with the hardwood. I'd really like to display the slate since I'm interested in bringing out the history of the house, but am not sure if it'll be practical. I'm wondering if it's possible to lift the slate and put something underneath it to raise it up a little bit to level it off. Also I'm wondering if there's something I should think about covering the slate with to protect it (some kind of urethane or something?) without ruining it. Also I imagine it'll be pretty cold in the winter. I'm completely open to ideas if anybody can think of anything.
Thanks, Nate
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the problem will be getting it off whatever it is stuck to underneath the slate without damaging it.
there is a product that is used to seal slate/flagstone for outdoor use. it's really slippery. you could put cement board (comes in 1/2" and 1/4") to account for the height difference.
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Don't get too excited until you expose all or most of the slate. There may have been a reason it was covered other than bad 70s taste.
There are various wood moldings at the hardware store used to finish off the edge of a floor that is uneven with its neighbor, mostly wedge shaped in profile. Unless the installation did not include thin set morter, there really is no practical way to remove the slate without damaging it. (there probably is a way but it won't be practical or cheap).
Matt finish slate and stone sealer (an acrylic coating) is not very slippery expecially on the naturally uneven surface of slate. Glossy might get a bit slippery though.
Slate may feel cooler but if the area under the floor is heated, it should stay at room temp. If you are on a slab, it might seem like standing on the bare slab itself. Area rugs solve the problem nicely.
Slate and tile are usually on the same subfloor as the wood generally making the tile higher after adding backerboard. Since the wood is higher, you may find a suprise under that as well.

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Thanks for the thoughts. Good suggestions. The slate is actually on top of a bed of some sort of limestone or cement, which was laid into a depression built into the floor. From the basement I can see that the hardwood in the kitchen is contiguous with the rest of the house, except for that spot where the slate is. Under that it looks sort of like a ramp with the shallowest part toward the center of the room and the deepest part against the wall. I guess I won't be able to tell too much until I actually rip the floor up...
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if it is cemented to a bed of cement, which is common to do for tiling of any sorts, you will not be taking it up except in small pieces.

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I am a great believer in ceramic tile for kitchen floors. I would rip it all out and replace it with one of the endless patterns and colors of tile. If you can do it yourself it is quite inexpensive. It is not hard to do.
--

Walter
The Happy Iconoclast www.rationality.net
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