Slate opinions

Hello group I'd like to install slate tile on the entrance of the house (outside). The tile store don't have slate and he didn't recommend it because the kids can damage it easily and it's very hard to maintain. He said porcelain is a lot better, maintenance free (of course, he sells that). I don't know how much is BS and what's true. Can anybody give me some opinions on slate? Home depot is selling it at 1.50/sf. Thanks
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Slate tile is great: except for the crap the HD has been selling.
Good slate lasts long and looks great, the only complaint I've had with it is that it can be slippery when wet.
But the stuff that HD is currently offering up as slate that I've seen barely qualifies as such: it's soft, dirty and prone to falling apart. I'd gotten good slate tile from HD about 8 years ago, but lately it seems to be really cheap crap.
John
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snipped-for-privacy@westnet.poe.com wrote:

Amen. My experience too. DO NOT put the HD slate outside. You'll regret it.
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wrote: | > But the stuff that HD is currently offering up as slate that I've seen | > barely qualifies as such: it's soft, dirty and prone to falling apart. | > I'd gotten good slate tile from HD about 8 years ago, but lately it | > seems to be really cheap crap. | | Amen. My experience too. DO NOT put the HD slate outside. You'll | regret it. | |
Thanks for all the opinions. How do I purchase good slate? by price, by brand? how do I know some other tile store has the same one as HD?
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Sans wrote:

I'd find a reputable tile (stone) store that carries slate. Tell 'em what you need and let them help you select it. Then ask to see an installation where the recommended slate has been installed for some number of years in an application similar to yours. That should do it. The HD slate separates and crumbles in a matter of months, not years, especially in a wet environment.
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Sans wrote:

Stay clear of the Indian and Chinese slates like HD markets. Read this: http://www.aldonchem.com/mt-slate.htm
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I know lots of people don't like the HD slate but I have had good experience with it so far. I installed 12" squares almost a year ago at my entry slab and inside foyer and have not the least sign of wear anyplace in the install. I got about 10% breakage from the box but that only meant returning two boxes of 5 pcs each for exchange. At $1.29 SF I paid, you can't find this material cheaper and you do get what you pay for as usual.
I cut about 1/3 of the pieces into 3" wide strips and found only the light tan pieces to be too soft. The grey, reddish and mixed color pieces were as hard as any slate I've ever seen (or sawed).
The consistency of the thickness and wider than normal (tile store) variation in color were the main defects I noticed but the color was not a problem for me . You can always select pieces one by one rather than unopened boxes.
I think what you get from a tile store for 2x to 3x the cost ($2-$5 SF) is more consistent color, thickness and fewer chips (corners and edge). You get a generally better matched set of tiles and that spells quality in some peoples eyes.
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wrote: | >> | > But the stuff that HD is currently offering up as slate that I've | >> seen | >> | > barely qualifies as such: it's soft, dirty and prone to falling | >> apart. | >> | > I'd gotten good slate tile from HD about 8 years ago, but lately it | >> | > seems to be really cheap crap. | >> | | >> | Amen. My experience too. DO NOT put the HD slate outside. You'll | >> | regret it. | >> | | >> | | >> | >> Thanks for all the opinions. | >> How do I purchase good slate? by price, by brand? how do I know some | >> other tile store has the same one as HD? | > | > Stay clear of the Indian and Chinese slates like HD markets. Read this: | > http://www.aldonchem.com/mt-slate.htm | |
Thank you very much for your opinions PipeDown and Richard J. The point of using HD's is the price since I can't afford $5/sf. I will give it a try thanks again
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Sans wrote:

I'm not Richard J or PipeDown and I don't play either one on TV.
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To echo other posters, good quality slate is a long lasting material. It has to be carefully set for full support. We have a front walk made of slate & marble in checker board pattern. It's about 3/4 inch thick. Some of it has been around for 100 years more or less. TB
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To echo other posters, good quality slate is a long lasting material. It has to be carefully set for full support. We have a front walk made of slate & marble in checker board pattern. It's about 3/4 inch thick. Some of it has been around for 100 years more or less. TB
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Unfortunately much of what is sold as slate is shale, with "slaty cleavage", which mirrors the look of true slate and fools customers, but is soft, and will not last. True slate is a harder metamorphic rock , basically fully cooked shale, that will hold up to practically anything, and one must take care to select it at a reputable stone company, and ask to get references, and installations they have used it in, then ask the owners about it. Slate can be slippery when used outside. I have used it only as an interior mud room and entryway. Porcelain can also be tricky when wet, too, so choose carefully. We have used both brick and flagstone for exterior walks, and both hold up well, and have good grip and drainage, if the brick is not glazed.

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Sans writes:

That's a low grade import from India. If you want to use it, deal them all out over a big area, and pick out the good ones, and box up the rest and take them back for a refund. Very poor quality control out of the box. It doesn't compare to Vermont slate, but it has held up for years immersed in my swimming pool steps.
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try www.stonefinder.com

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