Floor Tiles 101

Learn about seven popular varieties, and find the right fit for your flooring needs.

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Slate

Slate tile is a popular roofing material with an air of prestige and a reputation for longevity. Although individual tiles sometimes crack, an entire roof made of slate probably won’t have to be replaced for 50 years or more. Properly installed, slate also makes dependable flooring.

Slate is a metamorphic rock with relatively weak bonds between layers, so tile made from it tends to split along those planes. For an installation to resist damage, it must be set on a solid surface with mortar.

Install Yourself? No
Best Uses: Floors, roofs
Pros: Beauty, longevity
Cons: Softness, tendency to split

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