Like other flooring materials, Slate is environmentally friendly, durable, and reliable. 

But many people have stopped using it because of the price, low insulating capacity, and texture that makes it hard to walk on. 

Slate flooring is hard, and removing it can be time-consuming and expensive. You probably do not want to go through all that stress.

Thus, you may wonder if laying other materials on the Slate flooring is possible.

It is possible to lay tiles over the slate. Many people have done it over the years, and more are still doing it. But if you do not perfect the tilling, the slate underground can weaken and crack, and the tile overhead would also be affected. It needs a professional tiller to make the process very effective.

This article shows you how possible it is to tile over slate. It will also show how durable it will be and how to identify other materials you can use to cover the Slate.

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Can You Tile Over Slate Tiles?

Can You Tile Over Slate

Yes, you can, but it is not advisable. A slate tile will crack when it deteriorates, leaving a weak substrate under the tiles. 

Although you can cover slate floors with other flooring materials, a 3mm porcelain cladding called Kerlite tile should be used to avoid cracking.

You can achieve tilling over a slate can with an experienced tiller. If the layer of screed is bad and the Tile is cut improperly, it will result in cracking in the long run. 

Kerlite tilling, for example, is very hard to cut. Before tilling, ensure that the surface is free from oil or grime. 

And check if the Slate is in top condition and free of cracks or crumbling areas. 

Use TSP to clean the Slate floor for a clean and dry surface before installing tiles. A cup of TSP should be added to a gallon of hot water and used alongside a stiff scrub. 

Brush thoroughly to clean the Slate, and allow it to dry for some time.

Removal of tiles is very hard and time-consuming. Aside from possible cracks, placing tiles over the Slate floor will reduce the room’s height. 

In consideration, tillers will suggest the removal of the existing floor to have the new floor at the same level as the Slate. 

But it is advisable that if there’s a possibility to remove, it is best to remove other than Tile over the Slate.

Are Tiles Over Slate Durable?

Yes, slate tiles are durable to an extent. It all depends on how effective the tiling process was and if you did it yourself or hired a professional tiler. 

But the truth is Tile over Slate does not last compared to tiling the floor from scratch. Several factors can reduce the durability of tiling over Slate. There are;

#1. Adhesive Bonds Used

Because of the surface of the Slate, some adhesive will not bond to the Slate.

Most thinset and tile mortars use a backer board or substrate. But they may bond well because of the polished surface of the Slate.

#2. Weight

Considering the weight is important because putting tiles on the Slate will double the weight. For durability, use tiles that are light and thin.

#3. Gaps and Pores 

The surface of the existing Slate should be dust free, with no debris, large pores, cracks, or gaps.

#4. Existing Tiles do not provide a good surface for Grip

Bonds and adhesives are the reason for a durable tile. For a perfect tiles installation, use adhesive and tile bonds. Ensure the surface is uniform before laying the tiles.

Can You Pour Concrete Over Slate Floors?

It is possible to pour concrete over the Slate floor. Considering all the short-term or long-term risks, you can decide whether to pour concrete on Slate. 

Before starting the installation process, discuss every bit of risk with the concrete installer.

For multiple reasons like the texture of Slate on the barefoot and low insulating capacity of  Slate, many homeowners want to change Slate flooring.

During home renovations, digging up the existing Slate surface can be very difficult and expensive. 

This difficulty is why many homeowners seek to simplify the process and cut down costs by covering up with other materials. 

However, it is essential to know that the new layers of concrete might not be as steady and solid as the first piece (Slate flooring) underneath. 

A well-laid concrete has an expected lifespan of 40 years. However, pouring new concrete over a broken, sinking, or damaged slate floor would reduce its lifespan.

While pouring concrete over slate Tiles could save time and money in the short term, you need to carefully consider some disadvantages to know if it will pay off in the long term.

Experts recommend that the only condition for pouring concrete over Slate Tiles is if the Slate floor is in good condition. 

Consider various elements before installing concrete, from preparing the Slate floor to finishing the concrete.

Sand the Slate floor to ensure good bonding with the concrete. Seal any wide or open joint with any sealing material. 

Use sand in between the two layers to allow them to expand and move independently. Putting sand in between the two layers helps prevent cracks.

What Can You Use to Cover Slate Tiles?

You can cover Old Slate tiles with floating floor, whether wood vinyl, laminate, hardwood, or floor tiles. 

You can also use Carpets, solid hardwood flooring, concrete, or ceramic tiles to cover slate tiles. 

You might consider painting Slate tiles to brighten up the color. A floating floor is a great option if you have an old slate floor or want to change your home’s aesthetic. 

You don’t need to endure the stress of ripping or digging up the Slate floor. You’ll be saving time and money. 

Floating floors are placed on top of the Slate floor, so you don’t need to alter the condition of the floating floor underneath.

Below are the Pros and cons of Slate floors. 

Floating floors are easy to install and perfect for DIYs. They are not very durable.
Floating floors are not expensive to buy or install. Therefore they are ideal for a low budget.Floating floors are unstable due to constant movement.
The method has allowed an impact on the Slate floor.They make more noise compared to regular floors.
Floating floors make it convenient should you want to switch back to Slate Floors.This method can lower the value of a home.

Painting over Slate Tiles is the best option you should take. Painting Slate tile does not degrade or devalue the resale of the home. 

In most cases, it gives a more aesthetic appeal and increases the home’s value. Painting Slate tile requires professional handling. 

You will need to seal the surface of the Slate if you want the paint to last longer for months or even years. 

Use materials like Painters caulk, primal, latex, or epoxy-based paint for durable and strong paint coats.

The disadvantage of painting a slate tile is just the cost of painting.


If you are tired of the aesthetic of your slate floor and want to change the flooring, you can consider covering it with.

  • A floating floor like vinyl, laminate, etc.,
  • Concrete,
  • Ceramic Tile,
  • Or even painting the slate floor.

For a durable overlay, ensure the Slate is in good condition before laying any material on it. If you can’t install it yourself, it is advisable to call a professional to help you.

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