Slate for Kitchen Countertops (and Elsewhere)
With my recent advise on less-often-used natural stone countertops, Dudley Design would be remiss in not mentioning one of my personal favorites … slate!
I’m a bit prejudiced, but I think all of the stone surfaces stocked here in Kitchen Concepts’ local Colorado Springs inventory range from attractive to absolutely gorgeous … every one of them is a visual treat!
But … take a look at the close-up photo of a slate surface slab above. It’s not only attractive to look at but also to touch! Kitchen Concepts polishes slate to a natural sheen but leaves its interesting textures and ridge lines in place. Natural slate will never be mistaken for a man-made product!
Is this slightly uneven surface an issue? Not in the least for your normal cooking, dining and entertainment uses. Short of refraining from rolling out a pie crust on it, slate is as functional as granite, marble or quartz.
Slate Outside the Kitchen
With its textured surface, slate has a natural organic look that makes it a good choice for informal spaces anywhere in your home.
Slate countertops in bathrooms are a natural choice. They have an earthy beauty and are very durable because (if you’ll pardon Dudley Design’s pun) they’re hard as a rock. But the advantages don’t stop there … slate is heat resistant and easy to maintain when properly sealed (as your slate countertops from Kitchen Concepts will be).
Wet bars are another popular use for non-porous and stain resistant slate. Bars are particularly popular components of basement finishes and Kitchen Concepts’ design team would be delighted to create a unique recreational “watering hole” for you. Dudley Design has noticed that a single-malted Scotch on the rocks tastes just a wee bit better when served on slate!
Additionally, slate is one of the most desirable stone flooring materials available today as it is extremely durable compared to wood, tile or linoleum. Slate has many good qualities, not the least of which is its incredible durability. It takes a significant amount of impact to crack or chip slate.
Slate can be used with confidence in flooring locations that receive a lot of traffic and/or are subject to a significant amounts of moisture. It requires less maintenance to look good and lasts longer, even in extreme conditions, than virtually any other alternative. It is also naturally slip and stain resistant.
Slate’s durability and ease of maintenance make it a favorite for a number of commercial applications as well.
Pros and Cons of Slate Countertops
Slate countertops have a lot going for them including stellar good looks, great durability and a non-porous surface that makes them easy to clean. They require less maintenance than granite or marble countertops. Slate is a versatile countertop choice that works well in the aforementioned kitchens, bathrooms, wet bars and can also be used for backsplashes and sinks.
Reasons to Consider Slate Countertops
As stated, slate is very handsome. The subtle shifting in coloration is less bold than in marble or granite which makes it easier to produce countertops with a more uniform appearance. Lovely shades of black, charcoal, gray, pewter, brown and even those with subtle highlights of green, blue or red can be frequently found in our slate inventory. While the differences in slate slabs is not as distinct as you’ll find in granite or marble, each countertop is still unique.
Unlike granite or marble, slate is non-porous. This means that it cleans up very easily and does not have a tendency to harbor bacteria. It won’t absorb liquids, so you will not get staining from juice, tomato products, oil, cleaners, etc. as they can’t penetrate the surface.
The hardness and durability of slate is very appealing in kitchens or bathrooms. It won’t easily chip or scratch and it stands up very well to heat. Hot pans or hair tools won’t mar this surface.
Finally, slate countertops are more affordable than their pricier cousins like granite and marble. They even cost less than some non-natural surface alternatives like concrete or crushed glass.
Reasons to be Cautious about Slate Countertops
Of all the countertops Dudley Design is familiar with, slate has among the least downsides. Corners can be slightly brittle and can be somewhat sharp with a squared edge. Kitchen Concepts recommends having the corners rounded off with one of our popular beveled edge options.
Stylistically, slate is more subdued than many other natural stone options, but if you’re using a lot of color at other points in your design scheme, you might prefer slate countertops that complement rather than grab the spotlight.
Dudley Design’s Summary
The pros win this one. Slate is attractive, durable, easy to clean and affordable. If you haven’t considered slate countertops yet, take some time to get to know it. Kitchen Concepts will be happy to show you samples or let you tour our local slate inventory. Call us at 719.330.5474. Dudley Design is sure its many good qualities will become quickly apparent to you!