Creating Slate Flooring Patterns
Creating Slate Flooring Patterns
by Jim Slate
Slate and Artsmith - Slate is one of the most exciting materials you can use to create a floor pattern. A durable, natural material, it comes in a wide variety of colors ranging from the subdued, to the outrageous. Slate can also be multicolored, which means that each tile has several different tones mixing and matching in their surface. When working with multicolored slate, no two tiles ever look exactly alike; instead they have a subtle underlying consistency which makes up the flow of the stone.
The texture of slate is another great element to consider when creating flooring patterns with this material. There are many different types of texture available including
Clefted: This natural finish is dimensional and raw
Honed: This finish is achieved by grinding the stone down until it is smooth and flat
Polished: This makes the slate gleam slightly, resembling polished marble
Brushed: This is just like clefted except the points and ridges have been softened
Each one provides a different personality, and will have a different influence on the final pattern you create. While most suppliers will not have every color available in every finish, it is often possible to get a fabricator to apply the finish you desire to existing stone tiles.
Before you begin, it is important that you lay out your design on graph paper. To do this, take very careful measurements of the room you will be working in, and then scale them down by converting square feet into a number of grids on your pad. If you have a relatively square room this can be easy, but if it has more than four walls, or if the walls are set at uneven angles, you may have to use a protractor to recreate the space accurately. It is a good idea to make multiple copies of the room layout, so that you don't have to redraw them each time.
When laying out tile designs, draw them onto transparent paper, and then lay them over the surface of your graph paper. This allows you to move them around the space, and try out different angles. When drawing the tiles, be sure to compensate for the extra space that is taken up by grout lines.
Once you have decided on a layout, try a small dry run to make sure that you were accurate in your layout. Try setting two rows of tiles without grout, at perpendicular angles, with spaces between the tiles. This lets you know if you have your spacing correct. If the design you are creating is complex, you may want to lay out the entire floor without grout just to see what it will look like.
Since slate tiles have such distinctive personalities, you will often want to lay them out before hand anyways, just to get an idea of the kind of pattern you want to create. The way you lay darker tiles in respect to lighter ones, or similar colors set against different tones, will determine the beauty of the final slate floor you achieve. Dimensional qualities can also be taken into account. One of the most important things to remember in this process is that you want to achieve a certain balance between all of the features found within the stone.
About the Author:
This article was written by Jim Slate on behalf of PebbleZ - the worlds leading source of natural Stone Home Decor products. Our catalog includes a unique selection of slate, limestone, marble, onyx, and fossil stone home decor items, all crafted from real, mountain born stone.
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