Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slab Sunday: Black Slate

You have probably seen Black Slate on a roof or on a floor, but have you seen it used as countertops?
Black Slate comes from quite a few places around the world.  From New England in the U.S. to Spain and Brazil to England and of course Italy.

Slate isn't the most popular countertop material and it's surprising to me.  It's actually a really durable and hard countertop surface. 
The absorption rate on slate is even lower than it is on granite!  Black Slate does need to be sealed, but I personally have never seen it stain.
Contemporary Kitchen by Shelter Island Architects & Designers SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Traditional Kitchen by Libertyville General Contractors Century Bay Builders

Slate is a whole different ballgame for countertops than granite.  It scratches pretty easily. 
The first time I ever saw slate countertops was years ago in a home that I was in bidding some countertops.  The slate was in the kitchen and I set my metal tape measure on the countertop.  I kind of slid it when I picked it up and I look down and there is this white scratch.  I totally freaked out thinking I had ruined these countertops!  The lady was really nice and showed me how by getting it wet the scratch went away.  Whew!  ;) 
Deep scratches can also be buffed out by the homeowner using steel wool.
Slate is not a smooth and shiny surface in the first place but you just need to know beforehand how soft it is.  
Photo: Virginia Slate
Black Slate is generally honed though it can be polished.  It can also be oiled like a Soapstone for a glossier look.

Most people just keep a square edge detail on slate.  We have done Mitered and Chiseled edges on slate countertops in the past, it just looks different (obviously) then the same edge on granite.
Photo: Cultivate
Black Slate is available in 2 cm and 3 cm slabs.


Melanie said...

Okay am I dumb? I did not know you could use black slate on a countertop! It looks awesome!

Anonymous said...

What a great blog!

Please tell it really true you can polish black slate? Not honed but polished or maybe semi-polished? Does it bet blacker the way black marble gets blacker when polished?

How does black slate slab compare to black marquina marble slab in price?

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Yes, it's true you can polish black slate. It looks awesome.
It does go a little more black in color when it's polished.
Price will depend on your market. Here in Utah it's about the same price as the Nero Marquina marble.

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