Slate & Quartzite Tiles and Mosaics

Golden Sand Quartzite Ledgerstone
Golden Sand Quartzite Ledgerstone

Bold, diverse colors and various available textures set slate and quartzite apart from other natural stones. Decorate your home with a vast palette of natural colors including green, blue, purple, brown, grey, copper, silver, gold, rust, white, red, and black.


Slate and quartzite are both metamorphic rocks; slate is derived from shale and quartzite from sandstone. While not exactly the same material, they are commonly grouped together by the stone industry. They require the same maintenance, are used in the same applications, and are commonly sold in the same unique forms (for example, splitface ledgerstone and rough, rustic mosaics).

Where can I use slate?

Dark slate kitchen backsplash
This dark slate backsplash creates a worn, earthy feeling.

Slate is most popular in high-impact areas, such as entryways and fireplaces, where it's colorful, rustic appeal can be put to the best use.


Slate is durable enough for floor applications, but is more difficult to set than other tiles or stone due to it's layered structure. One 12x12 can be 3/8" deep in one corner and 1/8" deep in another. The loose top layers can also flake in the first month of foot traffic, so be prepared to clean up these tiny, dusty fragments.


It is very difficult to wipe down and clean off dramatically rough surfaces, such as ledgerstone. We don't recommend ledgerstone or splitface mosaics for kitchen backsplashes or showers. Plain slate tiles or mosaics are fine for a shower installation.


Due to it's rough surface, it can be difficult to sweep or mop slate. We don't recommend slate for areas where daily cleanability is a concern, such as a kitchen floor.

Seal your natural stone!

Seal slate with an Enhancing Sealer to bring out the rich natural color!
Seal slate with an Enhancing Sealer to bring out the rich natural color!

Slate and quartzite are porous natural stones, and as such need a sealer to protect them from staining. A cheap, low-quality sealer will wear off in as little as six months and can yellow natural stone, so we recommend investing in a high-quality penetrating sealer that can last up to 20 years! 


You have two choices of  penetrating sealers: a sealer that won't change the appearance of your slate or quartzite, and an enhancing sealer that will deepen and intensify the natural color of your stone.


To learn more about the different types of sealers, visit our Sealer page.

Cleaning & Maintaining Slate

To avoid damaging your natural stone or stripping the sealer from it, don't use harsh cleaners such as bleach. Use a stone specific cleaner such as Miracle Kleen and Seal (which adds a bit of sealer with each use) to keep your slate in pristine shape.


To learn more about taking care of natural stone, visit our Cleaning and Maintenance Page.

Alternatives to Slate: Porcelain Tiles

Kitchen with green porcelain floors and matching backsplash
This kitchen's floors and backsplash are all from the same line of slate look-a-like porcelain.

As visually appealing as slate is, many people dislike it's flaky nature and don't want to have to worry about sealing and resealing a natural stone.


Fortunately, many tile manufacturers have made durable porcelain tiles that mimic the texture, colors, and variety of natural slate. If you like the look of slate but want a low-maintenace option, consider these beautiful look-a-likes!

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