Mark Nicholson of Wallace International, one of the UK's leading suppliers of slate, offers us what he considers to be the five best uses of slate. Slate, particularly when locally sourced, is a highly durable and environmentally sound material suitable for various applications.
With global warming staying at the top of the political agenda for a few years now, many people are looking for environmentally sustainable methods and materials when renovating or building. According to Mark Nicholson of Wallace International, sourcing products locally can dramatically decrease the carbon footprint of those looking to improve their homes.
“Slate” he says, “ is one of the greenest products available on the market today; long lasting and one hundred per cent natural, slate can be recycled and tends to outlast the buildings themselves. It is also fireproof, helps lower energy costs and is resistant to degradation whatever the climate conditions”
Here, Mark gives his top 5 tips for using slate around the home and garden.
This is the most obvious use for slate tiles. There is something about slate roofing that is really aesthetically pleasing and is available in a plethora of different colours, making it easy to match the rest of the building. Roof slates are tough and durable and are resistant to most weather meaning that repairs and replacements will be extremely rare, providing the ultimate value for money.
Slate tiles look particularly good in bathrooms and kitchens and can provide a natural, sophisticated touch to the decor of a house. They are great for resisting staining and chemicals because they won’t react chemically due to their inert qualities, and absorb and hold heat well. They can also be polished and honed leaving you with a glimmering, mirror-like finish.
Although using slate might take a little while longer than buying tiles from the local DIY store, their longevity make them a good prospect for those looking for something that will need no further work in the future.
Showers and Basins
As well as slate tiles, there are also a range of high-quality slate sinks and showers available on the market today, meaning it is possible to match bathroom furniture and fittings to tiled walls.
Slate is immensely popular now with gardeners and landscapers. Slate mulch provides a gorgeous beach like effect in the garden and works well for breaking up borders and large areas of green and is fantastic for framing things like water features. It also works really well for paving purposes and can make a fantastic patio. Again, because of the wide variety of colours available, mulch and paving slabs can be coordinated with a particular colour scheme, matching or contrasting it with garden furniture.
Slate is also a great material for lots of fixtures around the home. Again, its durability makes it an ideal material for building things like staircases, worktops and other areas of the home that experience lots of use. It can be polished or left in its natural state for a modern yet organic look.
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