Slate is a homogenous, fine-grain stone formed originally by clay and volcanic ash. It has a plain base (not textured) due to its historical compression.
Slate has been used widely since the 19th century in the United States in coal mining when it was mainly used for roof covering purposes. It became extremely popular in Europe towards 1870 and extensively used for road improvement.
Slate is made out of quartz and illite or muscovite and its mineral properties ensure slate has a natural appearance even when broken. Since slate is formed under pressure, fossils can at times be found in Slate slabs.
Slate can be used for roofing, paving and lately for surfaces such as kitchen worktops and bench tops due to its low water absorption (under 0.4%) which also makes it frost and breakage resistant under freezing conditions as well as fire resistant.
In interior design and architecture, slate is often used for flooring (tiles), wall cladding and staircases. Slate is extremely durable and can last hundreds of years with practically no maintenance.
MKW Surfaces sources the very best slate around the world from the popular Italian slate to other European slate types in Spain, France, Belgium and UK regions of Cornwall, Wales and Cambria. We also work with most special-order types slate quarried in Brazil, South America.