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A Brief History Of Slate

Nov 15

Slate 101

Old Church

History of Slate

Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous metamorphic rock obtained from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade geographical metamorphism. Slate is a totally natural product that has been used throughout history.

Slate in buildings

Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. When broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining relatively flat and easily stackable.

Slate tiles were used in the early 19th century UK building construction (apart from roofs) and in slate quarrying areas, such as Bethesda in Wales, there are still many buildings wholly constructed of slate. Slates can also be set into walls to provide a rudimentary damp-proof membrane, even today. Small off cuts are used as shims to level floor joists. Slate is particularly suitable as a roofing material as it has an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof.

Why use Slate?

Slate roofs come in a wide variety of sizes, colours and thicknesse’s. One can create many different looks to enhance just about any architectural style.

Environmental considerations: Slate is a natural product that comes out of the ground and can safely go back into the ground.

Long Service Life: Slate has been the material of choice for a large percentage of the most important buildings built in the last five centuries. The method of installation has changed little over five centuries.

So, all in all, Natural Roof Slate is often considered the most beautiful, reliable and environmentally sound roof covering around.