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  #1  
Old 02-05-2018, 01:50 PM
iwrock's Avatar
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Anyone have experience with natural slate tile in a shower?

We're looking at installing natural slate tile in the baths at my place - on the floors and for the shower walls.

Does anyone here have any experience with it? I'm mainly concerned with long term durability - most folks online complain about it getting discolored and wearing over time. I don't mind treating/sealing it every so often if it will keep looking good - but it would seem people online buy a house with it, leave it untreated and complain...
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2018, 02:17 PM
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I installed out on a patio. Had a few lift up but I think that may have been due to temp expansion. No discoloration that I have noticed over the past 10 years.

I would seal it due to the soaps and stuff but I think you would be OK.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2018, 02:31 PM
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I had a house with a slate roof. 90 years old and still going, last time I passed by. My present house has a black slate floor in the living room. It was protected when new with a clear coating...I think it was called Stonyl. Never stained, but that's not the problem. It's so cold and dark that we've completely covered it with carpeting. So one thing to think about is not to mass too much of it in a poorly lit space.

You might want to get a sample and test it with bleach, but not for color. I believe you'll find that some examples of finished stone become extremely slippery with a wet coat of bleach solution. This may be important if you ever want to clean your bathroom floor.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:27 PM
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What is the color name? There are lots of slates and quartzite/sandstones from India and China on the market. All are pretty soft and might discolor from harsher shower cleaning products or even water if not sealed well. They are also fairly heavy in cleft which could effect ability of the pan to drain.

Vermont Slates (black, red, purple and mottled) are much denser in addition to having a finer cleft. Would drain better and you'd probably never stub your toe on them.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:41 PM
Skid Row Joe's Avatar
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Yes.

Slate is a terrific choice - if you can afford it.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:42 PM
Skid Row Joe's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mxfrank View Post
I had a house with a slate roof. 90 years old and still going, last time I passed by. My present house has a black slate floor in the living room. It was protected when new with a clear coating...I think it was called Stonyl. Never stained, but that's not the problem. It's so cold and dark that we've completely covered it with carpeting. So one thing to think about is not to mass too much of it in a poorly lit space.

You might want to get a sample and test it with bleach, but not for color. I believe you'll find that some examples of finished stone become extremely slippery with a wet coat of bleach solution. This may be important if you ever want to clean your bathroom floor.
Pouring bleach on any surface will make the surface extremely slippery.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2018, 06:38 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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I probably would not.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2018, 06:43 PM
iwrock's Avatar
roflmonster
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmash View Post
I installed out on a patio. Had a few lift up but I think that may have been due to temp expansion. No discoloration that I have noticed over the past 10 years.

I would seal it due to the soaps and stuff but I think you would be OK.
That's good to hear. Someone online said that slate is porous and will show hard water stains, though we have pretty soft water where I'm at.

I've got granite countertops in my kitchen that need a sealant, so I'd just do the bathroom at the same time as the kitchen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mxfrank View Post
I had a house with a slate roof. 90 years old and still going, last time I passed by. My present house has a black slate floor in the living room. It was protected when new with a clear coating...I think it was called Stonyl. Never stained, but that's not the problem. It's so cold and dark that we've completely covered it with carpeting. So one thing to think about is not to mass too much of it in a poorly lit space.

You might want to get a sample and test it with bleach, but not for color. I believe you'll find that some examples of finished stone become extremely slippery with a wet coat of bleach solution. This may be important if you ever want to clean your bathroom floor.
I'll check out Stonyl. The stone is only going to be in the bathrooms - and I'm going to add a bunch of recessed lighting as part of the remodel so hopefully it doesn't feel too cold.

We have a piece of the slate in question at home - I'll give it a try tonight. The shower pan is up in the air, we're either going with a dark river rock (what I want) vs slate (what she wants). We also try not to use too many harsh chemicals to clean at home - seems just about anything more powerful than vinegar will give you cancer. :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
What is the color name? There are lots of slates and quartzite/sandstones from India and China on the market. All are pretty soft and might discolor from harsher shower cleaning products or even water if not sealed well. They are also fairly heavy in cleft which could effect ability of the pan to drain.

Vermont Slates (black, red, purple and mottled) are much denser in addition to having a finer cleft. Would drain better and you'd probably never stub your toe on them.
Slate will be coming from HD: https://www.homedepot.com/p/MSI-Montauk-Black-12-in-x-24-in-Gauged-Slate-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-10-sq-ft-case-SHDMONBLK1224G/202919773

I checked after your comment, and it comes from Brazil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Yes.

Slate is a terrific choice - if you can afford it.
It's not that much more expensive than nice tile. Plus, it's really what the lady wants, so I'm just gonna spend the little bit of money to keep her happy (and to avoid an argument).
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2018, 02:09 PM
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I dunno. Slate on a roof never has any feet slowly polishing it down. One client has slate in his kitchen. Has been there for about 20 years. All of the edges that give slate it's traction have been polished down. Looks sort of like a cake left out in the rain. Weird analogy, can't think of another.

I'd look into travertine.

Let me add that unpolished travertine is outstanding for outdoor steps. One client has that and even in the rain gives amazing traction. Probably not good in a shower as soap and skin (yech) bits would clog up the pores. Polished and sealed in a shower is good.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2018, 03:45 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
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Slate is pretty porous. I'd think it would be a bother to maintain in a shower. If you don't care how it looks it probably would give fairly good traction. Its pretty good on a roof but there it floats a bit and can dry out, while getting a nice bath everytime it rains....with no soap scum.

I've never seen it in a shower.....probably for a good reason since it has been around since dirt.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2018, 01:25 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
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If you ever need to get on the roof and you have slate tiles, serious care must be taken. We had to do much work on such a roof in Palo Alto - maintenance on a fine home we had built several years prior and we made four 2x4 kneeling boards from 1/2 inch ply with 3 inches of foam rubber glued to one side.

Very attractive though.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2018, 07:12 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
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I have some slate on my home which came off my great grandfather's barn which was torn down at least 30 years ago. I like it very much on a roof or on a floor but would not use in a shower.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2018, 02:44 PM
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That Brazilian slate is on the denser side and has minimal cleft. Just finished installing 2 steam rooms (floors, walls, benches, ceilings) and 2 sauna floors for George Lucas using that same slate.

You'll have to cut it down to something like a 4x4 size if you were to use it on a shower pan, 12x24 won't conform the slope that needs to be present.

Has plenty of slip resistance wet or dry.

Bedrosian's in NorCal sells the same slate under the name Pearl Black.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2018, 03:38 PM
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^ I yield to the big dog. I'm a finish carpenter who has dabbled in tile. I can do it but I'm still a novice.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2018, 04:06 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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He does sound informed. I yield too. The Brazilian slate sounds more appropriate than what I am used to seeing.
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