Countertops | Have You Considered Slate?

Nyla Free, Principal of Nyla Free Designs, will help you figure out if slate countertops are right for you!

Let’s face it. With so many counter top options on the market today it can be overwhelming to narrow the search and decide exactly what’s right for your project.

Not only is the look important, but so is the durability and maintenance of the particular surface. Natural stone countertops are widely popular with granite being among the most sought after in kitchens due to it’s high level of durability and maintenance friendly qualities. Marble takes a close second and although beautiful, it does come with it’s disadvantages. It all boils down to comfort levels and lifestyle.

More options to consider are limestone, soapstone and caesarstone, but have you considered slate? Most often used on the floor as tile, slate is also available in slabs that offer another choice when selecting for kitchen and bathroom countertops.

Is slate right for you?

  • It offers a durable finish for both kitchens and bathrooms and is easily cleaned with household cleaning products.
  • Most slates are scratch resistant – mild marks are maintained with a damp cloth while deeper scratches are able to be removed with steel wool.
  • Certain slates have a low absorption rate (or less porous) meaning stains are at a minimum and the building up of bacteria is also prevented. Others that are grey/black in colour require sealing, consisting of wiping the surface down with mineral oil. This should be done every six months.
  • The finish of slate counter tops is typically matte or honed and comes in a wide range of colors including brown, black, gray, green, red, deep purple, turquoise, blue among others.
  • Variation in grain and texture is to be expected due to it’s natural qualities. Slabs vary in overall look and appeal just as marble and granite do.
  • Slate is comparable in price with other stone counter tops and perhaps slightly more, however the end result gives your space a unique and different feel that will last a long time.
  • Hot pots and pans are compatible with slate, however since it is a softer material, opt for rounded edges as opposed to square as chipping is a concern.
  • Overall, slates holds up well in a busy kitchen or bathroom.

Trusting the help of an interior designer, contractor or showroom expert gives confidence in knowing whether slate is the right countertop surface for you.

The above sample shows the colour and variation of a gray slate sample. Mild scratches are noticeable based on the fact that this is a well loved sample of mine.

Nyla Free Designs, author of this feature, is a full service Interior Design firm in Calgary, Alberta. Nyla would love to talk to you about designing a space expressly for you.

You can also find a full list of all our global mentors [ who are top professional interior designers ] on our Mentors Page.


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One Response to “Countertops | Have You Considered Slate?”

  1. Jacqueline Corea Says:

    Something about the matte finish and tactile quality of slate always entices me. These are great tips on selecting it as a countertop option. With this information maybe more consumers will agree that slate is a wonderful choice!


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