Slate flooring has natural beauty and durability, making it a timeless choice for any home. Slate tile installation costs an average of $2,500 for a 200-square-foot room, with most homeowners paying between $2,000 and $3,000.
With its resistance to cracks and scratches and its beautiful shades of gray, it’s no wonder that slate has become a popular choice. Costs vary, but on average, typical rates range from $10 to $15 per square foot, including materials and labor.
In this pricing guide:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Slate Flooring Costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$2,500|
|Typical Price Range||$2,000 – $3,000|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$1,800|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$8,000|
*Costs in the chart above are for a 200-square-foot room and are based on the prices per square foot in this article.
Having slate floor tiles installed in a 200-square-foot area costs between $2,000 and $3,000. However, you could save up to $200 if you decide to have basic quality tiles, regular gray or black, with standard size and thickness installed.
However, prices could also scale up to $8,000 if you choose larger and thicker tiles with rarer colors like red, purple, or gold.
Slate Flooring Cost Estimator by Area Size
The cost of slate flooring can vary greatly depending on the size of the area being covered. For smaller spaces, such as a bathroom or entryway, the cost will be on the lower end. However, prices will be significantly higher for larger areas, such as an entire living room or kitchen.
Slate tiles cost between $2 and $23 per square foot, but the typical rate is $4 to $10 per square foot. With professional installation added, extreme costs range from $9 to $40 per square foot, but most homeowners will pay between $10 and $15 per square foot.
The costs below are estimated based on the project size, considering the average of $10 to $15 per square foot (materials and labor included):
|Project Size||Average Overall Cost|
|50 sq. ft.||$500 – $750|
|100 sq. ft.||$1,000 – $1,500|
|200 sq. ft.||$2,000 – $3,000|
|300 sq. ft.||$3,000 – $4,500|
|400 sq. ft.||$4,000 – $6,000|
|500 sq. ft.||$5,000 – $7,500|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Besides the square footage, the following factors also impact the overall costs for slate tile installation:
The cost of slate tiles can vary based on their quality. The higher the quality, the more durable and resistant to damage it is, and the higher the costs. Conversely, basic quality slate will be more prone to cracks, scratches, and stains if not well maintained.
Average quality slate costs between $4 and $10 per square foot. If your budget is not a concern, higher-end slate can be a versatile option for both indoor and outdoor use and as floor and wall tiles. This type of slate can cost up to $23 per square foot.
There are three main types of slate based on how they are manufactured:
- Ungauged slate: Ungauged slate tiles don’t have a uniform size or thickness. They also don’t have a smooth surface on either side. They’re the cheapest option among the three types but also the most difficult to install, which can increase labor costs.
- Gauged slate: This type of slate is cut roughly to a consistent thickness, with a uniform surface on one of the sides. This allows for a more uniform look and makes installing easier, but they also cost more.
- Calibrated slate: Calibrated slate is ground down on both sides, making it the most uniform type. It is easy to install and can be used in various applications. These tiles are the most expensive option.
Size and Thickness
The size of the slate tiles can also impact the project’s overall cost. The larger the tile, the more material is required, and this added material can increase the cost of quarrying, cutting, and transportation.
Additionally, oversized tiles can be harder to work with, requiring more skill and experience during installation, which can also drive up labor costs. On the other hand, smaller tiles may be easier to work with and install, thus driving down the cost of labor.
The same goes for thicker tiles. They will last longer and can withstand heavier foot traffic. Still, they cost more, and their added weight makes installation more difficult.
Labor costs for installing slate typically range between $6 and $12 per square foot. However, these prices can vary depending on a few factors.
Calibrated and regular-sized slate tiles will cost closer to the lower end to install. On the other hand, larger and thicker tiles will require more time and effort to install, resulting in higher labor costs.
In addition, if any extra steps are needed, like removing the old flooring or preparing the surface before installation, these can add to the overall cost.
Gray and black slate tiles are the most common and readily available; therefore, they tend to be less expensive.
If you’re interested in rare and unique colors such as gold, green, blue, purple, or red, you may have more difficulty finding them, and they will come at a higher cost.
Suppose you’re considering getting a stone patio using slate paving slabs. In that case, it’s important to note that this will cost more for materials and labor than installing slate tiles in other indoor areas.
However, slate’s durability and aesthetic appeal may make it worth the additional cost. Slate slabs cost between $15 and $40 per square foot installed.
The subfloors for slate tiles should be able to withstand the weight of the tile and the foot traffic that will be placed on it. It should also be level to ensure a smooth and even installation, so if that’s not the case with your subfloor, consider replacing it for $2 to $7 per square foot.
To ensure the best results, installing slate also requires using a cement board as an underlayment because it is a heavy-duty, durable, and water-resistant material. There is also an option to use a waterproofing membrane that will prevent moisture from getting to your subfloors — though it will come at an additional few bucks.
If you’re looking for other types of natural stone flooring for your home improvement project, or if you’re considering using slate shingles in your roof, consider these related services:
Travertine is another natural stone tile with a natural porousness, making it an excellent option for patios and walkways. It is easy to maintain, only requiring occasional sealing to protect the surface and make it more stain resistant.
It is a beautiful and durable option that can add indoor and outdoor elegance. Travertine tile installation costs an average of $1,970, or between $5 and $47 per square foot, with materials and labor included.
Marble is the most elegant and luxurious option for flooring. It has natural veining and unique patterns that can be used as a way to add a dramatic look to your space. It is also durable and can add resale value to your home.
Marble flooring installation costs an average of $3,700, or $8 to $40 per square foot, with materials and labor included.
As you probably already know, slate can also be used as a roofing material. Slate roofs are a durable and aesthetically pleasing option that give homes a timeless look. However, one of the downsides of slate is its weight, which may require additional support for your home’s structure.
The cost of slate roofing is relatively high, compared to other roofing options, at $8,810 to $25,825, depending on the size, type, and roof design.
For more information on slate roofing, check out these articles:
- What is a Slate Roof?
- Pros and Cons of Slate Roofs
- 7 Different Slate Roof Tile Shapes and Styles
- 5 Different Types of Slate Roofs
- How to Maintain a Slate Roof
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
Installing slate tiles can be a great DIY project for those with experience, as it can save you $6 to $12 per square foot on labor costs. However, it’s important to note that proper installation is crucial for the longevity of the tiles, and any mistakes can lead to more problems down the road.
If you don’t have experience installing slate tiles, it may be best to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly. However, if you decide to tackle the project yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
|DIY Equipment||Average Cost|
|Wet saw||$150 (buy)|
$70 (rent per day)
|Total cost:||$284 – $364|
The materials and equipment to install slate tiles DIY start at $284 and may increase depending on if you’re planning to buy or rent a wet saw to cut the tiles. In addition, prices will add up if you’re installing in a large area and need to buy more grout, mortar, and sealant.
Cost of Slate Flooring by Location
When it comes to the cost of slate flooring installation, the cost of the materials does not vary significantly by location. However, labor costs can vary depending on where you live. In urban areas, the cost of living is generally higher, which is reflected in labor costs.
On the other hand, rural areas usually have a lower cost of living and a lower service demand, which may keep costs down.
Slate flooring is durable, long-lasting, and beautiful. Still, as with any other types of flooring, it also has some drawbacks:
● Slate tiles are difficult to install.
● You need to reapply the sealer for slate flooring every year.
● Unlike other flooring materials, such as laminate, slate can be costly.
● Slate scratches more easily than other natural stones like granite.
● Slate flooring is a hard, cold surface and not comfortable to stand on.
● These tiles are likely to break if something heavy is dropped on them.
Slate floors can be considered a classic and timeless option for flooring, so they’re never going “out of style.” However, like any design element, the popularity of slate floors can fluctuate depending on current design trends.
Slate tile flooring is usually slip-resistant. However, slate tiles with a polished finish can be more slippery than other types of finishes. To reduce the risk of slips and falls, consider getting slate with a honed finish or different textured finishes. Additionally, placing rugs or mats in high-traffic areas can also help to increase traction.
While slate may be more costly than other types of flooring materials, the natural beauty and long lifespan of the tiles make it a worthwhile investment. However, while DIY installation is possible for experienced individuals, hiring a professional tile installer will ensure the longevity of your new flooring. So find one near you and get this job done quickly!
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