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Unread 02-28-2008, 12:23 AM   #1
Goodvalley
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Tile or slate?

Hello. I live in the Seattle area and a local guy who specializes in brick & tile was recommended to me. He has been installing since the 1970s, really knows his stuff, and suggested to me that slate would be his suggestion for the two areas I want finished. One is an upstairs sitting room full of windows, leading out to a covered porch which will be finished (right now, it is all concrete) the other is a second kitchen in the basement (also concrete floor).

As I recall the slate will cost about $3 per square foot, but I may not have heard him correctly. I have to go price the material myself, there is a big dealer here.

The upstairs area to be finished requires 210 square feet of material, the basement is 230 square feet. Total 440 sq ft. He said it will take 4-5 days. If I buy the tile (or slate) he will supply everything else, and quoted $2100 cash price for his work.

How does that sound in terms of his quote?

What are some of the important differences between slate and tile?

Thanks for any responses!
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Unread 02-28-2008, 07:49 AM   #2
Brian in San Diego
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I am a DIYer and can't really comment on pricing because I don't know exactly what he's doing for the money.

You said the sitting room is upstairs. Do you know the composition of the subfloor and the all the dimensions of the joist structure? All flooring structures have to meet certain deflection criteria before tile or stone can be put down. The criteria for stone is twice as stringent. In my opinion, one can't just decide to install any tile or stone floor on any floor w/o first considering if the structure under it can support it. Installing over concrete isn't as much of a problem although there are preparation methods that need to be considered.

As I stated above there are different installation considerations for stone and tile. Slate has natural beauty but it is susceptible to spalling especially if it's just guaged. The more expensive slates which would be described as guaged, calibrated and honed would be less susceptible to spalling. Stone needs to be sealed annually. Ceramic or porcelain tile is easier to maintain. There are many slate "look-a-likes" that will give the appearance of slate but won't have the upkeep requirements.

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Unread 02-28-2008, 08:06 AM   #3
Goodvalley
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your email. Perhaps the reason he mentioned slate is the fact that the floor is pure concrete. The room juts out away from the main house, so there is no basement underneath, just pure concrete. It is the same as a garage floor. The home has a nice city view and this room is sort of a little sitting room where you can kick back and watch the cityscape. It has a separate entry as well, removed from the house by a few steps (covered walkway).

I believe his labor quote is ok but wonder what others think.

Thanks again for your response, and any followups!
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Unread 02-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #4
Brian in San Diego
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It sounds delightful. Either slate or ceramic can be installed over concrete. If the slab is free of cracks it can be set directly on the concrete. Pricing can be subjective. It depends on geographical area and many other factors. Maybe a professional from your area will chime in.


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