Maintenance tips Slate

Use our care guide to maintain the original look of your furniture’s slate surface.

What should I know about slate?

Slate is a composite, sedimentary stone and about 200 million years old. It is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that forms when shale undergoes metamorphosis. It is derived from shale sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash. Over millions of years, iron oxide carrying water entered the layers of stone and was then trapped under great pressure and heat. Sometimes fossils and vegetation such as fern leaves were also trapped. The water evaporated and deposits of iron oxides and fossils were left behind, creating the most stunning autumn hue colours and textures.

The natural unevenness and variation in structure are characteristics of authentic colour slate. No tile is the same. Sometimes a layer of slate can peel off, which is natural, and new colours and patterns then emerge. Slate ranges in colour from grey to black or red to green, depending on the minerals contained in the shale from which it formed. Slate can have quartz, hematite, muscovite, graphite and many other minerals in it. However, slate comes in a variety of colours even from a single area.

How can I keep slate beautiful?

The surface of our slate tables is treated with an “Acid Catalyst Lacquer” to protect the slate against normal everyday wear and tear. Slate is as hardwearing and resistant as a wooden surface or a marble or travertine surface.

Slate is heat resistant and there is no problem placing a hot dish, pot or casserole on a slate surface, but not if there is hot oil dripping off the lip. Also, sharp instruments like knives or nails will obviously scratch or damage slate surfaces. Just like on a wood surface, a glass with ice may leave a ring, which will disappear after a while.

When cleaning the slate surface, do not use any abrasive methods such as rubbing using steel wool or sand paper. Just treat it like any normal furniture surface. Simply wipe up any spills with a damp cloth. Obviously, the sooner you clean it up, the better the results will be. To remove grease stains, just add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to warm water and wash the table, then, rinse off. Do not use ammonia-based household cleaners, or harsh scouring pads or products to clean tables, as they will damage the finish coat. Soft cloths are perfectly adequate and have the advantage of not harming the finish.

Because slate is a sedimentary rock, any heavy piece that falls on the slate might chip away a piece of the stone. You will need the help of a furniture professional in order to reseal the spot where the chip occurred.

Slate is mined in small chunks and it is therefore very difficult, even impossible, to find a slate table that is one complete piece. This means the slate tiles are usually applied to a hard base like plywood or medium density board (MDF). The slate tiles are laid down with a special grout, which holds them in place. Sometimes this grout may dry out if the surroundings are very dry or hot. It is therefore not recommended to put the table in direct sunlight or close to a heat source to avoid the grout drying out and developing small cracks.

In the event that a small layer of slate has peeled off, the raw surface can be treated. If it’s a very small area, treat with a furniture spray like “Pledge” or similar. If larger surfaces are affected, then treat with an approved clear stone sealer obtained from any good hardware store.

Natural slate is resistant and good for everyday residential use.