It’s pretty easy to see why natural slate tiles are so popular; with their riven surface and brooding tones, they’re one of the most eye-catching yet practical flooring materials around.
But if you’re thinking of using slate on your next project, why not check out our range of slate effect tiles? Like the stone itself, these tiles marry function and form but being made from modern porcelain means they’re a lot more affordable and easier to live with.
With so many options available, picking the right tile can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled this buying guide – it’s full of inspiration and information to help you discover your perfect match.
Why Choose Slate Effect Tiles Over Real Slate?
There’s a good reason we’ve always had an affinity with natural slate – it’s incredibly beautiful. So rather than offer a ‘modern take’ on slate, most slate effect tiles embrace Mother Nature’s design cues.
Make sure that any slate-style tiles you choose are ‘digitally printed’. This refers to the way the tiles are made; slabs of actual stone are scanned and then printed onto porcelain pieces at extremely high definition. The end result are man-made tiles that look just like the slate they’re based on, but as they’re made from porcelain they have a number of benefits over quarried stone.
Easier to Install
Unlike real slate tiles, which are often supplied in varying thicknesses, porcelain alternatives are calibrated to a set depth. This makes it far easier to achieve the perfect finish.
Easy to Maintain
Our porcelain tiles don’t require sealing or any special care, before or after installation. Compared to real slate, they’re really easy to care for and very difficult to stain.
Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to the beauty of natural slate. The raw material is quarried in huge quantities from mountains – often in places of tremendous natural beauty such as the Lake District – leaving behind a blight on the landscape.
On the other hand, our porcelain tiles are made using abundant raw materials, in factories that observe strict European environmental legislation. They operate ‘closed loop’ policies, where almost all water and waste material is recycled.
By it’s very nature, natural slate is highly varied and your actual tiles could be markedly different to a showroom sample. The variation on our porcelain replicas is controlled, giving a more consistent and understated finish.
When it comes to flooring, porcelain tiles are in a league of their own – they’re durable enough to be used on almost any floor. On the other hand, whilst natural slate is known to be durable, it can often chip or flake quite easily.
What Type of Slate Effect Tiles Are Available?
Most slate-effect tile designs celebrate the rustic texture and neutral tones of the natural material. But this doesn’t meant they’re a one-trick pony. In fact, they’re extremely adaptable and perfect for both contemporary and classic settings.
One of the most popular slate-effect styles is all-black, and it’s not difficult to see why. This is perfect for design’s new grown up mood – glamorous, understated and low-maintenance.
Looking to make a stunning statement without going OTT? Look no further than multi-coloured slate effect tiles; the mixed shades and raw textures combine for a look that’s just as nature intended.
Grey might be the on-trend tone but sometimes, it can be a little too cold and clinical. Not so with grey slate effect tiles; the variety of textures will ensure a timeless, neutral scheme that’s never bland. Combine with strong monochrome colours for a look that’s calming yet refined.
Achieving Different Effects With Shapes And Sizes
Slate effect tiles are designed for modern homes, so they’re available in a plethora of different shapes and sizes. Let’s take a closer look.
Slate might be one of the oldest materials known to man, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look ultra cutting edge. Large-format slate effect slabs will give your room an intense and dramatic look.
Why should planks be limited to wood tiles? Here, slate effect tiles are re-imagined into porcelain planks for a sophisticated floor that demands a double-take.
Looking to sharpen up your floors? Combine slate-like tiles with chevrons – the simple, geometric lines are right on-point.
Where Can I Use Slate Effect Tiles?
We demand a lot of our kitchens, so it’s vital to ensure your flooring not only looks the part, but works the part too. Porcelain tiles tick all the boxes – they’re hardy enough to stand up to lots of footfall, are devilishly difficult to stain and extremely easy to clean. Best of all, slate effect tiles have an inherent warmth that you don’t often find with engineered materials – perfect for the heart of the home.
If you want something timeless that will go the distance, think neutral slate style tiles. These are a natural companion to any scheme – whether rustic-luxe or modern – to which you can add splashes of colour. Being porcelain, these tiles are a dream to live with.
Proof that there’s no good reason to sacrifice function for style, slate effect tiles are a great starting point for giving a room a distinctive look that reflects your personality. The serene, natural palette is accentuated by the striking plank format.
When it comes to bathrooms, it’s important to combine safety with style. If you opt for porcelain slate effect tiles, you’ll get the best of both worlds; the refined details and subtle shades of natural stone with a water resistant surface that can happily withstand the steamiest of steamy showers.