Slate floor – Boldly Beautiful
Slate floor is a fine-grained metamorphic rock which is made up of quartz, chlorite, mica & calcite. This rock is formed when ocean or riverbed sediments are compressed and heated by the earth’s crust. Priced about the same as any other normal tile this rock is the ideal one to jazz up and entry foyer or mudroom floor. This hard, dense, and fine-grained rock on getting wet is durable, stain-resistant, and slip-resistant. It can thus sustain these types of abuses that might otherwise damage wood flooring or carpeting. This type of flooring aside from damp mopping and an occasional application of a sealer, little or no maintenance are required. Although slate now a days are available in many colors, sizes, and thicknesses, it typically comes boxed in mixed sizes and often in mixed colors. The installation procedure is about the same as for tile and is well within a self doing capability.
Laying a slate floor
If one is well equipped with all the instruments and necessary materials such as Pry bar, Hammer, utility knife etc then laying a slate floor is not at all a big task. The laying process involves the following steps mentioned in a sequential order:
• Preparing the floor – Try removing any type of carpeting, tackless strips along the edges and baseboard trim. Make the necessary repairs to the flooring such as renailing any loose board. Properly clean the floor.
• Install underlayment – For avoiding the slate and grout from cracking the floor must be strong and stable. The best way for this is to install a tile underlayment such as Dens shield or Hardiebacker or a cement backer unit. Then one has to use the fasteners, adhesive/mortar and nailing schedule which is recommended by the manufacturer.
• Undercut doorways – A piece of slate first is to be placed on the floor next to the door jamb. Then with the help of a cross-cut the bottom portion of the door jamb must be cut out so that when the slate gets installed it will sleep under the jamb.
• Cut the slate – The best instrument to cut a slate is the diamond wet saw while in many cases hacksaw set up with a Carborundum (abrasive) wire blade is also used.
• Lay the slate – The best results while laying the slate can be obtained by using latex-Portland cement (“thinset”) mortar mixed with acrylic additive instead of water.
• Seal the floor – To best protect the slate from staining the grout must be allowed to shore for a few days and then apply a low-sheen, water-base sealer over the entire floor.
Hence seeing the above steps it can be easily concluded that laying a slate floor is within the capability of any normal human being.