I think it's just a matter of personal preferrence. I agree with
Edwin, that slate would not look good if you just put it in most
bathrooms. Howver, if it was part of a particular good design and
consistent with the other materials in the room, then I think it could
look very nice.
Relative hardness of slate vs seramic tile?
Interior design for homes is pretty much a matter of personal prefence
but IMO good quality floor tile is the "corrct" floor material. Easier
to clean & maintian & will out last slate (but then how long does a
floor really need to last?)
I've got 75 year old floor tile in two bathrooms, that's pretty old.
Lost the gloss years before I bought the hosue & is cracked in a few
places (weaqk subflooring), but not worn throught the color anywhere
we're headed for a major remodel & my wife wants to keep all the
original tile work (floors & walls) , just redo the piping & shower
stalls. So as to maintain as much of the original "oldness" as
It is, of course, a matter of personal taste. With the right decor, the
slate may look fine, but it is not what I'd want. Nor would I put beadboard,
but that does not mean it is a bad thing, just not my taste. I don't like
cookie dough ice cream either. .
Agree that some tiles do look institutional, but the right tile can be very
elegant. If you are talking about some of the plain designs that are common
in the restroom at the local fast food, I'd take slate. OTOH, if you are
talking about the Italian quarry tiles I put in my last house, it would be
tough to beat.
One problem with tiles is that too many people shop at Home Depot and think
that is all the world has to offer. Shop around and you'll find an array of
styles for anyone's taste.
Some years ago I looked for slate for a small entryway. Which is a more
traditional application for slate.
Well, I just couldn't find quite the right slate - everything I found at the
time was variegated to one extent or another, and I just didn't want that in
large slate tiles in a small entry.
What I found was a ceramic tile which was green-black slate color and put that
down. It looked great, still looks great.. It was the tail end of a commercial
job - got it cheap.
Slate may not be the best choice for a bath because it absorbs water and
flakes easily. Stone suppliers can get tiles cut from quartzite. They
are expensive ($6-$10 SF), but they look almost exactly like slate and
Slate is less practical - much softer and more porous than ceramic tile,
needing sealing, without which you can get stains and abrasion.
Nevertheless, as other posters have noted, it could look dramatic, depending
on the other textures/materials are used in the room.
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