Slate a natural metamorphic stone material comes to us once it is quarried as large slabs from mountains. Later they are made in uniform size. It is formed in the bed of earth from existing rocks. The mineral and sediments comprise of calcite, pyrite, muscovite, mica, quartz, in most cases. Occasionally it comes with graphite, apatite, kaolinite, zircon, magnetite and feldspar.
All these are compressed heated and pressurized by the natural process inside the earth. They reach their maturity once homogenous and finely grained slate is formed. It comes mostly from Asia. Slate is lasting, delicately foliated. However, it is a brittle stone and the colour depends upon the location as well as minerals in it. Quality, permeability, colour, density vary from location to location. The colour variation can be purple, gold, red, and blue. Commonly used as flooring on steppingstones, wall tiling etc.
The slate stone classification is based the way it is manufactured. As in natural state the ungauged slate tiles are not consistent in dimensions and smoothness on both sides. They can be fixed as flooring from either side. The thickness varies from 1/8 inch to ½ an inch. Installation of such tiles is not easy. It requires back buttering else building up adhesive in the rear of the tile, so it stays flat. Ungauged tiles are used on the outdoor. Gauged tiles are not costly and economise on labour cost. The rear of the tile is smoothly flat and there is uniformity in size and thickness. Slate tiles are dissected along natural graining.
In another way of classification of the tiles they are labelled as clefted, honed and polished. The clefted tile is as found in nature on one side. So, one side it is rough, uneven and jerky. Many users prefer it this way. Such tiles are uncomfortable to trend on without shoes. These tiles give traction. Honed tiles have a polished smooth glossy surface. It loses some of its natural qualities. These are costly and display more of dirt and chips. Polished slate tiles simmer like marble. These are rare. Tiles are slippery in nature.
Quality of the tiles matter. For instance, you make purchase from bargain sale the chances of getting B or C grade material is high. On close examination you will find these are irregular in hue, dimensions, and shape. Some of them may have cracks and broken edges. Installation through a contractor costs more than the material. Discuss with the contractor the cost of not just laying up the tiles but the whole procedure of doing it. This includes preparation work, adhesives, sealing treatment, cleaning up, deportation of waste etc.
Another versatile flooring is rubber flooring. It adds padding and bounce underfoot. It is a great choice for several spaces. It is non-conductor of electricity thus making it an insulator. Static electricity is not created in it. Bacteria and virus do not thrive on it. This type of flooring is in great demand in hospitals. It is also slip resistant. So, it is in demand at homes where children and elderly reside. It absorbs impact and sounds. You will find these floorings in gym and busy places.
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