2 November 2022
The Ultimate Guide To Slate Paving
Due to its extreme versatility, durability and long-lasting nature, slate paving has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you’re considering laying slate paving slabs to create a patio, driveway or garden pathway, we’ve got all the answers to your slate paving questions.
We’ve created this handy guide to help you make the right decision for your garden, lifestyle and unique needs. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in!
How much is slate paving?
Whilst natural slate often gets a reputation for being overly expensive, it can be a very cost-effective solution for outdoor paving. Due to its excellent longevity and durability, the cost-benefit ratio of high-quality slate paving is exceptional.
At Westminster Stone, slate paving ranges from £40-£70 per square metre and lasts for decades. The beauty of premium natural slate is that it retains its structural integrity and elegant appearance throughout its entire lifespan. Whilst it may feel like an upfront investment, you won’t have to worry about replacing your outdoor paving for years and years.
Does slate paving fade?
A huge benefit of slate paving is that it does not fade over time. Whilst it may display signs of oxidation causing subtle colour changes, due to the level of iron within natural stone, it will retain its beautiful rich hue for years to come.
Does slate paving scratch?
Of course, any form of natural paving can be physically scratched. However, scratches and scuffs are more apparent on some surfaces than others. Typically when slate scratches, the initial scratch looks very apparent as it leaves a white chalky looking mark, but within no time at all the white will subside and the scratch becomes hardly visible.
The visibility of marks on slate paving is largely influenced by the quality of the material itself. The density and porosity of a particular slate defines how apparent the scratches will be on your patio.
Dense materials such as Welsh slate are typically very dense and hard-wearing, making them brilliant choices for high-traffic outdoor areas where scuffs and scratches are inevitable. In contrast, softer materials such as Chinese and Indian slates are more likely to display signs of wear and tear in areas of high footfall. Therefore, we always recommend choosing your slate paving slabs based on where they will be located and how much traffic they will be exposed to. If you need any advice, don’t hesitate to talk to our experts.
Does slate paving get hot?
Any dark-coloured paving will get warm/hot during the summer, this should have little to no effect on performance and/or living with your new slate patio, it may be hot under bare foot in extreme summer temperatures, but typically in the UK people tend to wear shoes outdoors, The answer to the question would be the same for nearly all material types of a similar colour.
During the winter months, it is resistant to frost and will not freeze due to its impervious surface. Therefore, slate is a brilliant choice if you want to use your new outdoor paving area all year round.
Is slate paving slippery?
Whilst slate isn't as grippy as most riven sandstone or limestones, it meets or exceeds the minimum slip resistance for use outdoors in the UK. Slate’s impervious nature ensures that it will not be affected by moisture and in turn, has inherent anti-slip properties. Slate paving is therefore an excellent choice for outdoor spaces prone to getting wet. Additionally, it will not freeze or get frosty during the winter months.
Should you seal slate paving?
In order to enhance the slate’s natural non-slip benefits and improve the appearance of your slate paving, we would recommend using a sealant to ensure its longevity, improve its anti-slip properties and make it easier to clean and maintain.
We'd recommend LTP colour intensifier and stainblock for a deeper richer look, or LTP Mattstone H20 for a close-to-invisible look.
How to clean slate paving
When it comes to cleaning and maintaining slate paving, we recommend the following simple steps;
- Dry sweep the surface to remove any debris and dirt
- Mix a simple solution of LTP Grimex' and warm water
- Pour the mixture over your slate paving
- Use a stiff brush to scrub away any dirt
- Rinse with water
Following these simple steps, every month or so will ensure that your paving retains its inherent beauty and appearance, throughout its entire life.
How to cut slate paving
In order to make the most of slate paving and achieve the appearance you love for years to come, you’ll need to accurately cut your paving slabs. Follow these steps;
- Soak your slate paving slabs in water or use a water attachment on your cutter to prevent excess dust when cutting.
- Safety first! Ensure that you use a mask, gloves and goggles to reduce the risk of injury.
- Ensure you have a very flat and hard surface to work on and a well-ventilated area.
- Create a straight guideline on the slate to help you when it comes to cutting. Using a ruler and pencil, simply draw a line across the slate 90° to the edge of your slab.
- Ensure you use an angle grinder or circular saw with a diamond-tipped blade to retain the brilliance of your slate.
- Place the blade along the line you created in step 1 and begin to cut. Always start cutting from the thickness part of the slate slab to prevent cracks or breakage.
How to point slate paving
Pointing your slate paving not only looks beautiful and adds an elegant touch, but also provides a waterproof seal within the joints of your paving slabs. Pointing protects them from inclement weather conditions and prevents water damage in these joints.
Additionally, pointing your paving slabs ensures that they can easily expand and contract when exposed to extreme weather conditions, without damaging adjacent slate slabs.
Here are our top tips for pointing your slate paving;
- Hose down your patio slabs to ensure that any debris or dirt is completely removed. This layer of water also enables the grout or sealant to adhere more readily and makes your job a little easier.
- Ensure there isn't water pooling in the joints before applying a high-quality jointing compound entirely over the slabs to cover them. We recommend Ultrascape Prem-joint or Ultrascape Flowpoint.
- Sweep or brush the compound into the joints. Ensure that this is evenly distributed to create an elegant look.
- Use a trowel or squeegee to firmly press the compound into the joints, ensuring that it is compact and smooth.
- Leave to dry for at least 1 hour.
- Sweep off any excess compound.
Note - These steps differ depending on which point the product is used, please see our installation and maintenance guide for further details on the installation of these products.
What colour is slate paving?
The beauty of slate is that it naturally comes in a range of beautiful, rich colours. Whether you prefer dark colours featuring tones of grey like our Amazon Grey Slate Paving, or blue / black slate like our Amazon Black Slate Paving and for lighter shades of grey that feature rusty hues take a look at our Amazon Carnival Slate.
What are the benefits of slate paving?
Aside from the benefits discussed above, slate paving offers an abundance of advantages over many other natural stones. To find out more, read our blog on The Benefits Of Slate Paving.
We hope we’ve answered all of your burning questions about slate paving. If you have further questions or require additional information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team.