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Slate floor vs porcelin tile fllor.

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by ecoprius, Dec 17, 2011.

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  1. ecoprius

    ecoprius Junior Member

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    Adding a room to the house, new sunroom, four season. Want a tile floor, but love the slate look. I went to a tile shop and picked out a slate foor (coper rust) multi-colored slate and a slate knock off porcelin tile.

    I love the look of slate but worried about the maintenance. Room will have heavy foot traffic, people and dogs, mud in winter/spring will be heavy with dogs.

    We get a discount if we use a certian tile shop so trying to find something at that store. Limits my shopping around a bit.


    Anyone have slate floors? Like/dislike the floors, upkeep hard?
  2. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Both slate and porcelain tiles have the benefit that the color goes throughout the material (chips are less visible), but I find that porcelain tiles are virtually indestructible. We have porcelain tiles in our kitchen that look as good as when they were installed 10 years ago.

    JeffD
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we have a slate entry and i love the look. . it is a bit rough in bare feet and little pieces come off now and then. there is virtually no maintenance, but you can oil it up once in a while if you like it shiny!
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  4. metro-mike

    metro-mike Junior Member

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    Whatever you choose, make sure you put in a electric floor heat!! The cost of the installation is cheap compared to the use you will get from the heated floor.
  5. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    It's rock, how much maintenance does it need?

    Don't put in electric heat unless you insulate underneath it very well (and you have cheap electricity). If the house is well insulated the floor will never get warm enough to feel warm to your bare feet without overheating the house. And if it is fact a sunroom and getting heat from the sun, you definitely don't want to heat it.
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    How thick are the tiles ? You might consider the heat capacities (good for a sun-room.)
  7. koa

    koa Active Member

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    Are you installing the tile or hiring someone? Porcelain tile has uniform thickness and is usually very square. Slate tends to vary in thickness so requires some of the tiles be floated which requires a bit more work. So you might want to compare cost of installed floor for each type. Depending on manufacturer all the slate tiles might not be truly square requiring larger grout lines. If you go with slate there are enhancers and sealers and combo of both. An enhancer will give the slate a darker wet look. If you want that look enhancer before you seal. Miracle brand sealers/enhancers are very good and worth the extra expense IMO. Under tile heaters are usually installed only where you will walk or where your feet will be most of the time as oppose to the whole room. You can turn them off when it is warm. Home Depot sells Miracle products. Think about what the floor will look like with the rugs and furniture and how much tile will actually be exposed.

    Miracle Sealants Company
  8. amm0bob

    amm0bob Permanently Junior...

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    I actually love the feel of rock under my feet... tile is ok, but I love the feel of natural stone because it doesn't last.
  9. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Slate is pretty brittle, but looks great. It can be uneven when walking on it and I've stubbed my toe more than once in our house on uneven tile. The rag mops actually work pretty well for cleaning, and you can just dump water and wet mop the slate any time you want. I absolutely love the look and feel of the natural stone of slate and despite the drawbacks listed above would choose it again.
  10. Musicfr34k90

    Musicfr34k90 New Member

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    Slate every time for me. No question about it.
  11. ecoprius

    ecoprius Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and advice. We went to another store today and looked around. Our sunroom is not built yet, contractor is pricing out the quote now we have a rough estimate but he wanted us to pin down what we wanted exactly for some of the bigger items. Floor, doors, windows and electric needs. We are considering a heated floor. I think we are going with a porcelin tile now.

    We liked this one... they only had the rustic remnant in the store, we are waiting for them to get the tile board, its a new tile for this store. I want an install with 3 or 4 size tiles put together, helps break up the pattern.

    Daltile Ayers Rock™ Glazed Porcelain Tile


    I'm going to be dealing with tons of muddy paws in this room and I have a parrot that loves to throw food who will be placed in the room as well. I'm going for the sure thing easy clean floor. I'm to worried that slate floor will need to be sealed all the time with my constant cleaning, and the grooves/layers will hold mud.
  12. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Consider dyed and stumped concrete. You can dye and stamp concrete to look like slate, or blue stone are all kinds of things,, including tile. You can stamp in a tile pattern and grout just like tile. You MUST use a good concrete guy to do it. Also, insulate the slab, and use hot water radiant heat if you can,, and insulate with blue foam board. As UN room should have thermal mass to absorb the suns heat. Mine is 6" of concrete over 2' of peagravel, over blue board. Also pin the slab to the foundation walls with rebar, and include a wire mesh reinforcement.

    You will find it is much cheaper, since you are going to have to pour concrete anyway, then pay for the tile//slate and it's installation

    Concrete Dye - Photos, Application Techniques, and Information on Concrete Dyes - The Concrete Network

    http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/stamped_concrete/

    My sun room cost me ~$150/yard, plus ~$1000 for labor to set up, our stamp and dye

    Normal concrete is close to $90/yard. The labor was probably 25% more.

    16x10 and looks exactly like bluestone, in color and texture. Pretty impressive

    Icarus
  13. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    Porcelain is great to walk on in bare feet..but it's quite cold in the winter.
    I've recently installed it in two bathrooms and it feels very smooth and natural, not like ceramic.
    The selection you posted is beautiful.

    Have you considered laying it in the off-set layering style instead of square/corner to corner? Think castle or brick walls. I always lay tile this way. Looks great in 20 sq ft or 1000 sq ft applications.
  14. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    My father's house had hot water radiant heat in the concrete slab. It was terrible: Took forever to warm up and forever to cool down. Are you really going to spend time barefoot in the room where the dogs are constantly tracking in mud?
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    our plumber told us we need to leave the radiant heat at a constant. otherwise, it is less efficient and costs more to bring it back up to temp every morning. but this is counterintuitive and similar to accellerating quickly in a prius, i just can't bring myself to do it! plus. we like it cool at night to sleep.:rolleyes:
  16. ecoprius

    ecoprius Junior Member

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    We are looking at the electric heat options, not water for cost reasons only, electric is pricing out cheaper to heat the floor. Our sunroom will have a crawlspace and is going to be attached to our regular heating and air, its right off my kitchen. We are putting in pocket doors so we can close it off if things get to cold, or I need to trap my muddy dogs in the room for a bit. :)

    We looked at concrete products for our hardscape in the backyard but its really just cheaper to lay pavers when we priced it out. If our room was on a slab I would consider concrete its a great idea. I did notice the trend of complaints related to concrete was due to poor install or product mix, stains etc.

    I never go around barefoot, but I do go around in socks. :) My dogs track crud everywhere that is why we wash every foot around winter/spring seasons. When Im lazy or forget you can spot every mark they make I have a house of white carpet (hope to change that slowly... from previous owners). I can't wait to trap them in the room for a foot bath! No running away. :) Also the reason I own 4 different types of carpet cleaners. :)
  17. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Counter-intuitive, and wrong. If anything is cooler, the heat loss from it to the colder outside will be less. Therefore letting it cool off HAS to save energy. Plus a boiler is like a prius engine, it wants to burn at peak load, running it at constant low load will reduce its efficiency (AEBE).
  18. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    In which case, I wouldn't bother with the in-floor heat.



    Pocket door are notorious for being huge air leaks. Make sure they are well sealed and insulated if plan to isolate it in the cold.
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's how i feel, but i have to set it to come on at 4am just to get it to 58 by 7am. i just don't have the heart to leave it at a constant 64 24/7 and compare it to previous years. plus, no two years are alike.
  20. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Yikes, sounds like there isn't insulation under it or around it. Might be possible to fix that. You can compare to previous years by looking up the degree-days ( Heating & Cooling Degree Days - Free Worldwide Data Calculation ).
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