Types of Slate
Rustic, Chipped Edge or Hand Cut
Refer to slate which is cut at the quarry face using a hand-operated guillotine or as in the case of Indian slate a machetee. This type of cutting produces a rough or chipped edge to the sides of the slate. Chipped edge slate is usually cheaper to purchase as it enables the quarry to utilise slate that is unsuitable for saw cutting and is generally thinner than slate which is machine cut.
Classic, Sawn Edge Slate or Machine Cut - Refer to slate tiles which have been cut to an accurate straight edge size using diamond saws. This slate is selected in the quarry, transported to the factory, sawn and is therefore more expensive than the chipped edge slate.
Random or Crazy Pave Slate - refer to slate in rough shape as taken from the quarry. There is a limited supply of imported slate in this type available and is mainly supplied from local sources. It is a landscape material and due to the irregular shapes is both difficult and expensive to lay.
Sizes of Slate
Slate is available in various sizes both in chipped edge and sawn edge and care should be taken with slate that you select a size that will compliment your application. The smallest tiles, for instance, will make the room look bigger.
When used in hallways or smaller longer passages, rectangular slate used in a brick bond pattern can give the effect of making the hallway look wider.
Price of Slate
Prices of slate, like all other commodities, are increasing but over the past few years not to the extent of other flooring products, such as carpets and ceramics. As a result slate tiles compare very favourably with alternatives particularly considering slate will outlast virtually all other types of floor products.
It is therefore essential that care should be taken before purchasing to ensure that even if the price quoted looks attractive that the slate is of first quality because slate flooring if laid correctly is there for a lifetime.