Slate Countertops 101

Slate Countertops 101

At Garden State Soapstone ™, we love using natural stone for home renovations. One of our favorite materials is slate. Though slate has been used throughout the home for quite a while, using slate is a relatively new way to think about countertops. It’s beautiful, sustainable, and maintenance free. Most of our customers who choose slate know that it’s the perfect material for them, but want to learn more about it. So here’s Garden State Soapstone ™’s Slate Countertops 101!

slate samples
Slate and Soapstone Samples

What Is Slate?

Slate is a metamorphic rock that ranks at 5.5 on the Mohs Scale. This makes it even denser than hard varieties of soapstone like PA or Noire. It consists of shale or mudstone that has undergone heat and pressure, with parallel foliating plates. This gives slate its smooth appearance and allows it to break evenly into sheets. Slate is naturally found in a variety of colors, from gray, green, plumb, and black.

Where Does Slate Come From?

Garden State Soapstone ™ uses slate quarried in Vermont, Brazil, and Spain.

Uses of Slate

Slate has been used in construction for thousands of year and is a choice material for architects, contractors, and designers. It is versatile and can be used for almost every aspect of construction. Outside, it is frequently used as a roof option and known to last up to 200 years. Indoors, it is used as tiles, fireplace surrounds, countertops, and sinks.

Care and Maintenance

Slate is easy to clean, and easy to maintain. It’s family friendly, and perfect for a busy kitchen. A few of our previous posts go into the details, but in summary, slate:

  • Is Nonporous
  • Does not need to be sealed
  • Is heat and weather resistant
  • Is easily repaired with Fine Steel Wool if scratched
  • Can be cleaned with soap and water
  • Can be enhanced with organic oil

More Reasons to Love Slate

As a natural stone, slate is inherently environmentally friendly. Qualities include an enduring life cycle, durability, recyclability, and sustainable quarrying practices.

Slate is non-porous. This means that it cleans up very easily and does not have a tendency to harbor bacteria. It won’t absorb liquids, so you won’t get any staining from juice, tomato products, oil, cleaners, etc., since they can’t penetrate the surface.

The hardness and durability of slate is also very appealing in the kitchen or bathroom. It won’t easily chip or scratch, and it stands up very well to heat.

Different colors and varieties of slate have different textures, but each adds a natural warmth to each room. Depending on the individual slab, the grain type and pattern of slate can vary. As a result, a customer can choose a completely unique slab that fits perfectly in their home.


Garden State Soapstone ™, Slate & Wood Countertops
Distribution – Fabrication – Installation of Slate Countertops
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August, 2017

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