Slate tile is produced from natural stone, It is made from slate which is a fine-to-medium grained homogeneous metamorphic rock composed of clay and volcanic ash.
Extreme compression and heat deep in the earth over time causes the fine grain flakes in the stones to re-grow or foliate (layering) in planes perpendicular to the compression.
Slates found in quarries are then “cut “ by striking parallel to the foliation also called ‘slaty cleavage’, using specialized tools, thus producing smooth flat sheets of stone to be used as tiles.
Slate tiles consist of diverse layers of natural colours usually in various shades of grey purple or green, combining to produce intricate surface appearances. It also comes in smooth polished facades or in more rugged dynamic texture to prevent slipping when used in high traffic areas.
Advantages of using Slate TilesSlate is a highly flexible material and tiles made from it are both graceful yet hardy, able to resist wear and tear like scratching, staining ,erosion and weather. Slate tiles are particularly suitable as roofing material because of its extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making it practically waterproof. Due to its natural state with minimal processing, slate tiles also have the lowest embodied energy (less greenhouse effect) of all roofing materials. Thus this material is energy saving and have a cooling effect when installed on roofs. The low moisture absorption properties also make it resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing, making such tiles ideal for outdoor use such as patios and poolside areas. Even in hot tropical climates, slate tiles also have proven to be reliable with colours that have stood the test of time making slate tiles the ultimate choice in modern architecture. Slate tiles are generally also used in flooring, flagstone pavements and stone gardens. They are frequently used in wall trimmings, lobbies and high water areas such as pool surroundings and showers. Like all natural stone tiles, these tiles can be stained by spilled liquids but these can be overcome by using sealants to seal in the tiles. In contrast, because of the complex non-repeating patterns found in natural stones, small amounts of dirt will be unnoticeable, therefore making cleaning and maintenance easy. Apart from looking good with attractive colour spectrum, natural slate tiles are also fire resistant. This is mainly due to the presence of muscovite, a mineral often used in the manufacture of fireproofing and insulating materials. Because of this quality and low absorption index, these tiles can also be installed to provide basic damp-proof membranes for walls. Due to their robust nature, natural stone such as slate tiles when installed properly can last 80 to 100 years. The materials itself will not deteriorate and may even be recycled from one area to another, making it one of the more popular tiles used in the building industry.