February 27, 2018

Our Favorite Ways to Decorate with Slate

If you’re looking for a striking feature to set your house apart, slate can be a breathtaking option.
This versatile stone has a pleasing matte finish that looks and feels soft to the touch. And while most people associate slate with chalkboard black and deep charcoal grays, it comes in a surprising variety of colors, including terra cotta red, green and chocolate brown.
You can find slate used in indoor and outdoor applications, including rooftops, siding, outdoor walkways, indoor flooring, countertops and more. But since slate is fairly soft and the quality of each slab can vary widely based on its source, it’s important to use the right type of slate for certain applications to prevent chipping, flaking and scratching.

Alternatives to Natural Slate

There’s good news, however, for those who love the look of slate but are turned off by a lot of maintenance: you can find high-quality porcelain and ceramic tiles that beautifully replicate the look and feel of the natural stone that are easy to clean and look great for years to come.
With so many ways to use slate and slate-look tile—where do you begin?

Countertops & Backsplashes

Countertops are popular spots to use slate, but care should be taken to use quality slabs that have been honed so they’re flat and smooth. Faux slate tile with minimal grout lines can be used to achieve the same effect and provides you with extra durability—a better alternative.
As all-white kitchens increasingly start to bring in darker, moodier shades to add splashes of color, you can expect to see more slate in the kitchen in 2018.

In the Bathroom

Slate’s clean look makes it an appealing candidate for bathrooms, mud rooms and other spaces that tend to get messy.

This slate-look tile from Design Works supplier Jeffrey Court shows how to add depth and texture to a kitchen dominated by white cabinets and countertops. The matte finish contrasts nicely with the high-gloss cabinets and polished nickel hardware.

This premium slate tile from Design Works supplier AKDO compliments the patterned tile below. The natural color variation in the slate tile makes the black and white theme less staunchy and adds the right amount of character.


While slate looks beautiful on floors, chipping and scratching can be problematic in high-traffic areas and generally isn’t pet-friendly. Once again, faux slate is your best bet for this application.

This faux slate porcelain tile from Atlas Concorde has the best qualities of slate: a beautiful texture, a gorgeous matte finish, and dramatic coloration. But unlike the real deal, it’s a high-performance material that can stand up to a lot of foot traffic.

Another gorgeous faux slate tile from Design Works supplier Florida Tile.

Accent Walls

While slate can be refined and honed to achieve a flush, even surface, it’s equally popular in its natural form. Since the natural cleft surface can flake, we generally recommend using this type of slate in vertical applications to minimize wear and tear.
Want to see more slate and faux slate looks from Design Works? Follow us on Facebook and Houzz to keep up with our latest projects and visit our inspiration gallery for more ideas on how to use slate in your home.

We designed this bathroom to make use of contrasting colors and textures using a dimensional faux-slate tile. Even though this tile is honed, it’s 3-D surface is reminiscent of cleft slate.

This slate accent wall from Marble Systems adds the right amount of interest and looks equally at home outside and inside.

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