Slate can be made into roofing slates, a type of roof shingle, or more specifically a type of roof tile, which are installed by a slater. 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 easy to stack.
As mentioned, slate is widely used as a roofing material. It is an efficient roofing material because it can be cut into very thin sheets. It also absorbs minimal water (absorption index being 0.4%) and is almost resistant to breakage when exposed to freezing. It is also favored for its resistance to moisture and good insulating capability. Roofs made of slate can last for hundreds of years. However, slate is quite more expensive than other available roofing materials, and its installation costs more as well. Hence, the use of slate in more recent times has been mainly restricted to high-end projects and prestigious architecture.
Slate is also used for outdoor and indoor flooring, and cladding. Floorings of porches, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens, can be made of slate. They are very durable, elegant-looking, and require less maintenance. Some slates that are used for indoor flooring have a wide variety of finishes, patterns, shapes, and colors.
Landscaping also makes use of slate rocks, taking advantage of its resistant property to weather and pollution. Pavements, swimming pools, patios, and even contemporary fountains make use of slate either as a primary material or decorative stone.
Slate can also be used as billiard tabletops, commemorative tablets, and tombstones.