The age old question, Real Slate? or Slate Effect we have all areas covered.
What looks better slate or slate effect?
This is a tough question but in short (the same) there are many variations of slate tiles, from blues, reds, blacks, greys to name but some. Real slate has the texture of natural stone and its formed in layers which in some applications you can see the layers as slate tends to be quiet brittle once it is cut down to 9-10mm. Once laid real slate tiles have some big variations because its natural of course! the variations can give the appearance that, the tiles have been poorly laid or, they have been damaged however that is the finish real slate offers. This is the look that some people desire and in that instance slate is for you.
On the other hand slate effect tiles, advances in technology allow real slate to be perfectly imitated in a ceramic or porcelain tile. The manufacturing process allows for the tiles to have a raised profile (like real slate) variations and grooves (like real slate) and the colours are just as true as real slate. Our Slate Effect tiles can contian up to 20 variations amongst a box to emulate natural slate perfectly.
Our overall view - Slate Effect Tiles
How easy are they to install?
Slate tiles require a longer process to install them. Slate tiles require all of their cutting using a wet cutting machine, rather than a manual score and snap machine adding on about 60% more time to the overall job.
Slate tiles can not be grouted until they have been sealed, sealing tiles protects them from stains from the grout, grease and oil. Not using sealer on Natural slate can course the stone to become more porous and stained. They also require a higher grade adhesive. The adhesive must be white (to prevent staining) and must be flexible to ensure proper adhesion between floor and tile.
Slate effect tiles are all the same depth, taking away time required with real slate to ensure the height variations are not to prominent. They also are mainly all cut using a manual cutter saving a large amount of time (although corner cuts can only be done on a wet cutter)
Our Overall view - Slate Effect Tiles will save you more time then you care to think about!
Do they require any maintenance?
Slate Effect tiles require no abnormal maintenance, you would clean them using bleach, antibacterial spray etc. There is no maintenance required during the tiling period.
Real Slate Tiles require sealing with an appropriate sealer. Sealing needs to take place before grouting and after grouting. We then recommend they are re-sealed once a year to ensure they are protected from the elements. They also require special cleaners, the cleaners will need to be PH neutral and specifically suitable for natural stone tiles.
What We Say
From the above Slate Effect Tiles are the winner... By a country mile! They are stunning, low maintenance and considerably cheaper then real slate both the cost of the tile and the keeping of the tile. Once down you would struggle to tell the difference between the two tiles.
However if you love natural products that much then, your mind will be made up on Natural Slate tiles.
If you need any help regarding any of the matters discussed in this blog, feel free to drop us an email and we will come back to you within 2 hours of our office hours.