The origin of slate.Slate stone is formed over a period of hundreds of millions of years through a process of gradual petrifaction of layers of sand and clay. These layers are called slate stone. Naturally the variation in pressure forces will result in slate of varying degrees of hardness and internal structure. The diversity of minerals and metal oxides present in the soil are responsible for the many colour variations and the inherent clay residues can be clearly seen in the stone. The layers are split after extraction, which results in the natural texture of the stone.
Extraction of slate:Dynamite is used to loosen large blocks of slate along natural fissures, which is subsequently split by hand into large plates and cut to size, either on site or at the factory. Calibration of the cut stone to an even thickness and polishing will round off the process.
Large plates are loosened by hand.
Thickness variation in slate:Slate is not sawn, but rather split along the naturally formed layers which results in the characteristic slate stone surface. This process does, however, cause the plates and the tiles to vary in thickness between 0,8 to 2,5 cm. A uniform thickness can be obtained by calibrating the plates with a calibration machine (normally 12mm). This has more benefits:
* Gluing of the tiles is now possible.
* Application is faster and simpler, therefore more cost effective.
* Lower application heights.
* Subsequent application over existing tiles may be possible in some cases.
Technical characteristics of slate stone* DIN norms are applicable to the various slate stones.
* Exceptional lifespan (on average 40 years).
* Colours are timeless and not sensitive to fashion trends.
* Suitable for floor heating - retains heat well.
* Relatively easy maintenance.
* High ware- and acid resistant.
Slate: in and around your home:By using slate in your home you can create an atmosphere of rest, warmth and style. It combines exceptionally well with a diversity of trends and cultures. As with other natural products such as wood and leather, slate combines effortlessly with a multiplicity of styles. Slate is mainly used for floors: in entrance halls, lounges and kitchens, or on staircases as an eye catcher. It is also excellent for paving around fishponds, on terraces, driveways, garden paths and patios. It is also used as cladding on walls, as well as roof covering. On an English-style home, for example, a slate roof will create the perfect ambience. For this purpose African slate, in particular, may be the appropriate application, as it will distinguish itself from others by its rugged exterior. A relatively unknown application is a slate stone finish on the exterior walls of a house or building. The visual effect of this natural finish can be quite stunning.
Flooring: Some details to consider:Some important factors must be taken in consideration when applying slate to floors, as the floor will comprise a number of layers which has to bond properly with one another. Only then will a floor be created which will stand the test of time and guarantee years of living pleasure.
Examples of floor construction:
Under floor heating.