Slate is a smooth and grained metamorphic rock formed by the regional and low-grade metamorphic alteration of shale. Shale is a soft clay stone. The subjection of shale to high temperature and pressure flattens it, and this leads to the formation of slate. The level of composition of clay or micas in slate depends on the level of metamorphism the parent shale to which it has been subjected. As the temperature, and pressure increases during the metamorphism, the clay mineral present in shale changes to micas.
The primary mineral composition of this rock is quartz, illite or muscovite, and its secondary composition is biotite, hematite, pyrite, feldspar, tourmaline and chlorite. Slate is highly resistant to fire, stains and acid spills. It is commercially available as Vermont slate tiles, Chinese and Indian slates.
The colour of this rock is mostly in a variety of shades of grey; ranging from dark to light grey.
Occasionally, it can also be found in hues of red, green, purple, brown and black. The determining factor of the colour of slate is the amount and form of iron, and the organic substance found in the rock. It has some durability properties with an attractive appearance, and thus it is highly valued for roofing, flagging and flooring.
Slate is highly useful in the construction industry for the production of roofing sheets and coverings. Slate is chosen over its artificial counterparts because of its outstanding chemical and physical properties. Slate is resistant to moisture, cold and wind. It is a good insulator, and these makes slate roof to last hundreds of years. It is also ecologically friendly and does not negatively affect the environment.
It is good for internal and external flooring. Floors made of slate are usually laid in external porches, bathrooms, kitchen and basements. Internal floors of slate add glamour to the house as they are durable and versatile. It gives room for unique and creative designs of the interior. Slate used for internal floors can be found in a variety of natural layered slates, honed tiles and different colours options. Slate for external flooring can be gotten either with random slate or slate tiles.
Slake is useful in the landscaping of both residential and commercial buildings because of its resistance to weather and pollution. Slate is used in paving paths, swimming pool surrounding, to cover the exterior of walls, and even to create risers and treads on stairs. It can also be used in making fountains for traditional and contemporary usage.
We all agree here at Platters Slate however that slate is best used for creating beautiful slate gifts such as slate cheeseboards, house signs and other interior decorations.