Laying slate - made easy

Anyone laying slate begins with the design before the actual laying work. The uniqueness of each panel in terms of color, thickness and structure best develops the desired attractive surface with a well thought-out placement. Soft to the feet in the bathroom or edgy rustic on stairs.

Slate is heavy and sensitive to scratches

Normally you get the slates packed in cardboard boxes, containers or on pallets. After unpacking, you should sort the panels where they are to be laid later. Subsequent laying is simplified by adjusting the panel thicknesses. The art is to place the right strengths and complementary surfaces next to each other in structure and surface.

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Even when unpacking, you should think about the sensitivity of slate to scratches. You don't have to worry if small particles flake off the slate. This does not lead to any damage, but only changes the surface structure slightly. If there are cracks or crevices in individual slates, sort them out.

Calibrated or raw on both sides

In most cases, one-sided sawn or calibrated products are used when laying slate. The difference in thickness between the individual panels can be easily compensated for with the flat underside by pressing lightly or heavily into the tile or natural stone adhesive. The subsurface can be kept flat as a thin bed, where a laying depth of one to two centimeters is sufficient.

If the slates have untreated, naturally rough surfaces on both sides, a deeper subsurface or a thick bed of up to three centimeters deep must be created. The height compensation of the different slate thicknesses of adjacent slabs is more complex. One advantage is the double choice of textures, as all slate tiles can be used on both sides.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Slates of slate
  • Possibly slate baseboards
  • Natural stone or tile adhesive
  • Stone or linseed oil (no varnish) and a cloth
  • Grout (€ 6.99 at Amazon *)
  • Primer, possibly deep primer (4.81 € at Amazon *)
  • Mixing vessel for glue
  • Trowel
  • Notched spatula
  • Tile crosses
  • Spirit level
  • Wet cutting device
  • Rubber mallet
  • Cleaning aids such as a cloth or sponge

1. Sort and distribute

Unpack the slates, sort them and place them as close as possible to where they will be laid. Allocate structures depending on the room, e.g. put together the smoothest surface structures for bathroom floors.

2. Prepare the subsurface

The surface must be dust-free, clean and dry. Depending on the suction power, apply a normal primer or a deep primer and let it dry for at least 48 hours.

3. Mix and apply glue

Mix the tile or natural stone adhesive according to the instructions on the package so that a viscous mass is created. Apply the glue about one centimeter thick and note that it starts to bind after about ten minutes. Comb through with the notched or comb spatula.

4th. Lay slate panels

Press the pre-sorted slates into the adhesive bed and align them with one another. If there is a difference in height of several millimeters, line with additional adhesive.

5. Clean slates

Before grouting, wipe the slates with a damp cloth, rag or sponge and dry them. Then apply stone or linseed oil - no varnish.

6th. Fill in the joints

The final step is grouting, whereby elastic grout is particularly recommended for corner and expansion joints. Wash the excess grout off the slate.

Tips & Tricks Embalming the slate surface with stone or linseed oil prevents grout from penetrating the stone. In addition, it increases the insensitivity of the slate to later contamination such as the edges of moisture or droplets.

Floors with slate should be kept free of dust and sand as far as possible, as the sensitivity to scratching makes these contaminants potential helpers. Lighter abrasion can be removed using soft and damp cotton cloths; microfiber products are not suitable.