Slate: much more than just a gray stone

Slate: much more than just a gray stone
Robert Rivera

Table of contents

Better known as the hard-to-clean gray stone, slate is much more than that. It is found in many colors and, contrary to what most people believe, is easy to maintain. It can also be found in many different textures, such as polished, brushed, sanded, aged, or, of course, used au naturel.

In the past, it was even used as a blackboard. The most common ways to find slate is with the stone applied to the floor, walls, floors, facades, and tabletops. Below, check out other information about slate and a list of inspiration to fall in love with the stone!

Slate: Characteristics

According to interior designer Patrícia Covolo, slate is a very common stone in Brazil, used in the internal market, but also for export. One of its main characteristics is its low cost, mainly because it is easily found. In Brazil, the extraction pole is in Minas Gerais, where 95% of the Brazilian slate production comes from.

"Slate is a high quality coating at an affordable price, with low water absorption, which facilitates cleaning and hinders the accumulation of dirt, also allowing its use in various situations", explains the professional. Today slate is considered an alternative in projects with elegant and timeless decoration, and has become the darling of the architectural world.

Slate: Colors

  • Gray
  • Raw Ash
  • Polished gray
  • Rust
  • Graphite
  • Slaughterhouse
  • Mont noir
  • Black
  • Green
  • Raw Green
  • Wine
  • Wales

The most common colors are gray, black, and graphite, but this variety of shades is perfect for decorating both indoors and outdoors.

How to use slate in your home

It is a mistake to think that slate is only used as flooring. It can also be used in facades, tabletops, sinks and counters, countertops, sills, roof tiles, fireplace mantels, and even - amazingly - as tombstones. There are infinite possibilities. Check out some of the options:


As it is easy to maintain, it is a great ally in cleaning and in the daily routine, which is why it is very common to find it being used as flooring. With low porosity, it is weather and abrasion resistant, which means it can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Just like any other stone covering, slate has the ability to make the room cooler and warmer, which is why it is welcome in any room, even bedrooms.


"As for the formats, slate can be used in several options, such as large slabs or in irregular formats", says Patricia. Used as a coating, the stone can appear in several different forms, and even in small squares (as in the image above), forming a mosaic, or, in even smaller pieces, as fillets.

Today the market already offers some slate slabs, as if they were tiles, only in a worked version. For example: it is possible to find a tile with slate fillets, which makes the application and the drawing on the wall much easier.


Used in facades, it gives the property a certain majesty, since its colors (no matter which one is chosen) always highlight the space. Besides, since it is resistant, there is nothing to worry about regarding its appearance. Even with the passing of time, the stone will continue to look beautiful and give presence to the building.

From the outside of the house, it gives a contemporary look. It will give even more prominence to the residence if used in only part of the project, either covering a wall or a block, as suggested in the image above. They can be applied to railings, walls, and even pillars.


Because it is a dark stone, in indoor environments it is necessary to pay extra attention to the lighting: "You have to be careful that the environment doesn't become 'heavy', so it is worth investing in lighting and, if possible, combining it with other, lighter materials.

An alternative, according to Patricia, is to combine slate with wood. The greater the color contrast of the stone and wood, the better the result looks. As it is a "cold" material, it is perfect for the fireplace to balance the temperatures.


Slate is also indicated for use in countertops, "since it has good resistance to heat and low absorption of liquids and grease", says Patricia. So, it can appear on the countertops of washbasins, bathrooms, kitchens, and even laundry rooms.

It can appear in the more rustic version, with salient veins, or in the polished version. The various colors and finishing options combine with all kinds of decoration, whether in the country or in the city, in a simpler or more sophisticated design.


As it is weather resistant, it can receive rain, sun, cold, or heat, without losing its beauty. In external areas, it can appear in the backyard, on the balcony, in the garage, around the swimming pool, and even on stair steps, since it is not slippery.

However, to maintain the beauty of the stone in external areas and, mainly, safety, "avoid using polished finishing, so that the environment doesn't become slippery when in contact with water", Patricia indicates.


Because it is heat resistant, it can also serve as a support for hot dishes and pans in the kitchen or on the table. Slate also does not absorb liquids, so it can be used as a tray for a milk jug, a juice glass, a coffee pot, and even a bottle of wine.


Trays, cutting boards, appetizer boards, souplasts, plates, nameplates... Slate has definitely arrived in the world of table setting! It offers a different and original surface. Besides the aesthetic aspect, which conquers at first glance, it is still possible to indicate what is being served on it by writing the name of each item with chalk.

Like any other stone, slate is sold in large pieces, called special sizes, but it can also be found in traditional sizes for flooring, slabs, tiles, and even fillets, which are ideal for a continuous floor or for details on the wall, such as a decorative strip, for example.

55 amazing pictures that highlight the use of slate in decoration and design

With all this information, you can see that slate is a very versatile stone that can fit into almost any idea you have, can't you? Check out some inspirations:

1. a rustic look to the pool area, being used in the railing

2. in rust color, to give a grace to the gourmet area

3. on the floor of the modern, contemporary loft, it has its place guaranteed!

4. different colors and shapes: green tile for the path and black fillet for the pool

5. the beautiful lining of this fireplace is composed of black slate and rust-effect metal

6. applied in front of the main countertop, the mosaic was designed to capture the light intensity at different angles

7. graphite tiles cover and highlight the barbecue grill

8. the bathroom with a clean and sophisticated decoration received slate on the back wall, as a highlight of the environment

9. the bathroom appears full of charm with rusty slate

10. the rusted slate floor creates a connection with the vinyl flooring, giving the kitchen breadth

11. tank and bench in polished slate

12. how about surprising even more with coffee in bed, taking the utensils on a slate tray?

13. an imposing main entrance with a beautiful slate path

14. the natural stone gave even more charm to the winter garden corner

15. slate floor with wood planks, making a geometric design for the rustic project of the residence

16. in this minimalist bathroom, slate tiles appear on the floor and as cladding on half the wall

17. invest in the treatment of the stone, with a waterproofing to enhance the characteristics of the material

18. stone is weather resistant, so its use is welcome at entrances to homes and garages

19. bathroom wet area with slate mosaic

20. slate is an easy floor to care for and requires little maintenance

21. slate stand, perfect for serving delicious cupcakes and muffins

22. gourmet area with the presence and rusticity of black slate

Dedicated lighting further enhances the textures

24. the dark stone creates a beautiful contrast to the green outside, thanks to the glass wall

25 At the entrance of the house, the mix of colors of the rust slate contrasts with the nature found in the space

26 Here, 3D slate's main characteristic is grayish tones with a touch of rust

27. table with slate top and iron base

28. simple and charming: slate tile flooring

29. polished gray slate, used for countertop and sink: everything carved in stone

30. love for stones: slate and marble in the same environment

31 How about surprising your guests with a plate made of slate?

32. facade with wood, glass and a black slate portico to enhance the large pivoting door

33. a kitchen with many shades of gray

In the wall flanking the garden, the slate divides the space with the set of sconces

35. a space decorated with slate, perfect for leisure and to receive friends

36. under sun and rain: Want a sturdy set of tables and stools to put outside? Go for slate!

37. Isn't this cottage that combines brick in the cladding with slate tiles just charming?

38. modern toilet, with the back wall covered with geometric tiles and the bowl carved in slate

39 As simple as the snack may be, the impression is that it looks even more beautiful and juicy when served on a piece of this kind

40 - The stairway, all covered in graphite slate, gives a special touch to the environment

41. cut into large slabs, brown slate appears on the countertop with a pair of sculpted sinks

42. gourmet space with white marble counter and black slate wall

43 Slate is so versatile that it can even be used as a place mat tag on the table!

44 The external cladding of this house is a rustic mosaic of black slate, in fillets

45. to reinforce the natural look of gray slate, a small vertical garden

46 A mix of good ideas to make this corner more beautiful

47. small, thin sheets can also serve as a board or support in the kitchen

48. the entrance of this house was made with basalt, rust slate and graphite Portuguese stone

49. sink in polished graphite slate with sculpted bowl

50. there are several types of slate cutting boards on the market, including models with the option of wood together

51. polished slate sink: because it is water resistant, it is welcome in the kitchen and other wet areas of the house

52. as countertop and vanity in the bathroom, for example

54. a rusty slate puzzle covers the entire length of the back wall of the bathroom

Slate maintenance is very simple: "A damp cloth, detergent, and the application of specific stone wax, when necessary, or waterproofing in high-traffic areas", explains Patricia. When waterproofed, the stone gains a membrane that reduces water absorption, making cleaning even easier and increasing the durability of the piece.

In general, slate is considered "a very versatile option, which can be used both in external and internal areas, with good cost and easy maintenance". Invest in this material and give your house a new look for a price that fits in your pocket! How about combining it with beautiful marble?

Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera is a seasoned interior designer and home decor expert with over a decade of experience in the industry. Born and raised in California, he has always had a passion for design and art, which eventually led him to pursue a degree in interior design from a prestigious design school. With a keen eye for color, texture, and proportion, Robert effortlessly blends different styles and aesthetics to create unique and beautiful living spaces. He is highly knowledgeable in the latest design trends and techniques, and is constantly experimenting with new ideas and concepts to bring life to his clients' homes. As the author of a popular blog on home decor and design, Robert shares his expertise and insights with a large audience of design enthusiasts. His writing is engaging, informative, and easy to follow, making his blog an invaluable resource for anyone looking to spruce up their living space. Whether you're seeking advice on color schemes, furniture arrangement, or DIY home projects, Robert has the tips and tricks you need to create a stylish, welcoming home.