FAQ ( Frequently asked questions )
Please note that some slate tiles - specifically those that are not calibrated , are more suited to experienced DIY 'ers and professional tradesmen , if you would not describe yourself as either of the afore mentioned types , then please refer to the following that will give you an idea of what installing these tiles consists of
Internal tile flooring and External paving Slate FAQ's :-
Are there more uniform colours available in this material ?
Slate is a natural stone and therefore , like any natural stone - you cannot promise uniform colours , however if you have a specific requirement - we would recommend popping down to our warehouse , or request samples from our website , to avoid confusion or potential disappoint .
Some slate will consist of less variation than others , for instance our Brazilian Black Slate is calibrated and ordinarily a consistent mid / dark grey tone , whereas our Multicolour ( Sheera) slate is not calibrated and will therefore be more labour intensive to install , it is also a very "busy" stone and will therefore consist of considerable variation from tile to tile .
What are the differences between calibrated , gauged and ungauged slate tiles - how do you install non calibrated / ungauged slate to get the tiles level ?
Essentially ,a calibrated tile has been machined to a degree that it will ordinarily not suffer more than a few mm's of variance in both size and depth and is subsequently straight forward to install.
If you purchase slate that is "ungauged " then it has simply been split and both sides will be riven , this will tend be much less expensive than gauged or calibrated stone as it the processes to produce it are far less labour intensive , it is however much more labour intensive to install , and you must first sort through the tiles to grade them from the thickest to the thinnest , you then install the thickest tile as your yardstick and make up the difference in thickness of the remaining tiles with adhesive - it is therefore far more time consuming .
A gauged tile means it has been machined to a degree and then hand sorted to reduce variation and will be slightly less labour intensive than the ungauged material .
I would love a slate floor for my home but would prefer something with less texture /riven effect .
There are several levels of texture , there are those slate tiles labelled as "rustic" and these tend to be the most heavily riven and often have a heavily textured surface and are often used in more traditional settings such as farmhouses , old cottages and period buildings - this would be more akin to our Multicolour ( Sheera ) Slate .
We also offer the "gently / lightly" riven slate that is a feature of our Brazilian Slate tiles , these have a far less textured surface but still enough to offer the natural variations that people , who buy slate , crave .
If your desire is a more understated riven effect , then the Brazilian slate will be , by far and away , the best choice .
Are slate tiles perfectly square ?
The only way to ensure perfectly square or rectangular slate is to buy rectified stone , calibrated stone is the next best thing and will offer a tolerance of no more than a few mm's as a rule .
Given the nature of slate , we recommend using wider grout lines to overcome any small tolerance in sizing , and up to 10 mm is often recommended even on Brazilian Slate , you will often have even wider grout lines than this with Multicolour ( Sheera) Slate .
If i purchase a number of sizes , can i have the grout lines at the same width ?
The answer is a "no" I'm afraid as it is not possible to have the same grout lines through an installation where there are several different sizes of tile , a "floating" grout line is often used whereby some joints will be tighter than others , it is simply the nature of undertaking such a project but will not affect the look of the installation when complete .
Can i use slate tiles with Underfloor Heating ?
Absolutely "Yes" - natural stone is a great thermal conductor and transfers heat quickly and efficiently , it also retains heat for a considerable time when the heating has been turned off .
Can i use slate on my driveway ?
Yes you can but its crucial that the substrate is prepared correctly for any slab used on a driveway , we would recommend discussing this with the tradesman responsible for installing the stone as up to 6 inches of concrete is often used for such installations .
Can i use a thinner slate outside if my budget does not allow paving ?
We would not ordinarily recommend using 10 mm slate for external projects unless you have the luxury of laying it on a concrete substrate , if you do not have concrete then you will need slate @ a 20 mm depth if it is purely for foot traffic .
How do i keep my slate clean ?
As with all natural stone , we very much recommend sealing slate tiles , this prevents staining from such things as food & drink , general spillages or other accidents .
There are specific natural stone cleaners on the market but you must never use corrosives such as bleach on such materials - many people simply use warm water and a drop of detergent perhaps , but nothing stronger than that .
Why is it recommended to add 10 % for wastage on a tiling project ?
It has always been recommended - industry wide , to allow 10 % wastage on any tiling project , this is primarily for cuts on an installation and the cost to ship a few extra tiles to finish an installation will often exceed the actual cost of the tiles required to finish the job and it is always advisable to have a few left over in the event of damage or potential future renovations .
Are expansion joints required on my installation ?
It is always best to check with your installer regarding these matters , but a tradesman should really advise you of anything required in that regard before the installation process is undertaken , they are the professionals in that capacity .
Does slate rust ? Is is something i should expect to happen to my tiles ?
It is very unusual with Brazilian Slate as it contains very little iron oxide content and this is what will cause the issues with "rusting" ( oxidisation) when exposed to moisture - we actually store our Brazilian Slate outdoors and it never suffers issues in this regard , it is more common however in Indian and Chinese slate .
Why are my slate tiles suffering white patches , i thought sealing prevented this ?
There could be several reasons why this is occurring - but is extremely rare with Brazilian Slate , firstly a cause could be for the adhesive and grout not being thoroughly cleaned off the tiles before sealing .
Secondly , if the tiles are not thoroughly dried out before sealing , moisture retained in the tile can cause a reaction with the sealant , it can also be caused if the tiles are "dot & dabbed" and laid on full bed of adhesive .
The only other cause is if the installation is lacking a damp proof course which is then drawing out salt through the tiles or if there is a damp proof course but this hasn't been sufficient time to thoroughly dry out before the installation was undertaken .
I have taken receipt of my order but some of my tiles look like they have superficial scratches / marks on them and some have small chips - is this normal ? - are they seconds ?
We do not supply seconds , please rest assured that minor marks or scuffs are ordinarily caused by the tiles rubbing off of each other either during production or whilst in transit , such markings are seldomly visible or noticeable when the tiles have been sealed , these are characteristics of slate and not defects and are often something that is not simply avoidable as it is part of the production process and if they are a cause of alarm to you then simply use the few effected in this way , for cuts .
Why have some of my tiles come apart / split , can i still use these ?
Again , this is mostly limited to Indian Slate and does not affect Brazilian Slate tiles , it is essentially due to how the Indian Slate is formed .
Simply put , Indian Slate is formed in layers , in the most part from river / sea sediments , which , in-turn ,compress over many thousands of years to create the slate we see today .
As the Slate forms , small gaps are created and occurs pretty randomly and is visible on the sawn edge .
As previously mentioned , these are natural characteristics within slate and are not unusual with the Multicolour Slate we offer , and any tiles offering significant issues in this regard are simply used for cuts .
If I'm sealing slate externally - do i need to seal it ?
We recommend sealing all external natural stone whether it is for an external or internal installation , this will help prevent oxidisation on stones that are likely to suffer this , and will also prevent ingress from water , or staining from such things as red wine or tomato ketchup etc when the area is used for entertaining .
Can i use Slate on walls ?
Slate @ 10 mm is the common weapon of choice for wall installations as @ under 30 kg per m2 it is suitable for the majority of wall projects , as with all wall installations you have to ensure that your wall has the weight bearing capacity to hold the stone however - plus the additional weight of the adhesive used .
Is Slate suitable for use on chipboard / ply ?
Slate is perfectly suitable for such installations but if there is limited movement underfoot then you must use flexible adhesives and grouts and ensure the sub-floor is made as rigid as you can with as little movement as possible .
If i place a full order - will the Slates be identical to the sample i received ?
In a word " no " - it is impossible to give a 100% representation of a particular material from a cross section off-cut of a whole tile , the samples are purely designed to give something of a representation in terms of the colour , feel and finish of a specific material , nothing more than that , and by no means will a Slate sample mirror the exact tones that you'll see throughout an installation of using this stone .
I have some tiles left over - do you take them back as returns ?
Returns on overages of delivered goods only (we do not accept back overages of collected products) are accepted back within 14 days of receipt by the customer , this 14 day period begins the day after the goods are received and we will not accept returns outside of this time period under any circumstances .
Generally however , our best advice , for people with overages - even sometimes when they are still within the required return period - is to sell the item on a selling site such as ebay or facebook , as , at the price we go in at for our products , the customer can invariably at least get their money back - and sometimes a little bit more than they actually paid , given many sellers offer the products we provide at a significantly higher price than we charge .
Even those that are within the return period prefer to sell-on the products quite often , as that way they don't have to foot the steep courier charges that couriers and freight companies often charge to return products , and this essentially comes out of what they get refunded .
I have found some damages on my consignment - are you going to replace them ?
As a company we obviously do not dispatch damaged tiles , but if you do find a few pieces that have been broken in transit then we would simply recommend using these for cuts on the installation - this is one of the reasons why the 10 % "wastage" element is recommended across the industry .
In the rare event of there being significant damages , then it is imperative that this is noted on the drivers delivery docket at the time of delivery , and if the damages exceed 7.5 % , then replacements will be provided at the expense of the haulier via an insurance claim process - if a consignment is not clearly marked as being damaged however , on arrival , and if it is then not subsequently reported to us within 48 hours of receipt , the claim will considered null and void by the haulier - Unfortunately , we will not refund or replace just a few tiles that are broken in transit however as this is to be expected , particularly on larger orders .
Will you replace any tiles that are suffering variation , imperfections or any undesirable features that i consider unacceptable ?
The very description of natural stone lends itself to being just that "natural", and as nature intended them to be , therefore slate tiles will sometimes suffer imperfections that are either caused in their formation, or sometimes in the way they are engineered , neither are avoidable however and therefore it is accepted that they are as they are , and if a few do not meet your desired requirements then simply use them for cuts during the installation , such issues are extremely rare with our slate tiles and if you have added the recommended 10 % on your order then you will have absolutely nothing to be concerned about and you'll have sufficient material to complete the project .
Local Slate Tile Suppliers for Mid Sussex & Beyond Including Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill , Horsham , Brighton , Uckfield ,Hove , Worthing & Eastbourne.