Slate extraction has been taking place at Honister Slate Mine since 1643. Located in the Borrowdale Valley in the Lake District, our world-renowned Westmorland Green Slate has a long tradition as a construction material in the northwest of England and beyond, most commonly used for slate roofing, cladding, flooring and decorative aggregate. With outstanding strength, durability, and attractiveness, this highly versatile type of rock is ideal for use both indoors and outdoors.
Among its many benefits, slate is naturally pollutant-resistant, fireproof and waterproof, creating a long-lasting addition to any interior or exterior space. The elegance and unique properties of our Westmorland Green Slate make it truly unmatched by any other building material in terms of aesthetics as well as from a performance perspective. Despite being used to render houses for centuries, slate is still a popular construction material and admired for its modern and stylish finish.
This post will explore some of the most popular and practical uses of slate to date, with reference to the fantastic range slate products available from the Honister Slate Shop.
For centuries, slate has been used as a natural roofing material and it is still popular throughout the UK today. Slate is commonly used in the construction industry to make slate roof tiles because it is weather resistant and has good insulating capability, making this versatile type of rock the ideal material for protecting homes from harsh weather conditions and air pollution for decades to come.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of slate roofs is their unbeatable strength and durability as when roofing slates are maintained properly, they can easily last 100 years and far more. The practice of slate roofing can be dated back to as early as the Roman occupation and is one of those things that will simply never go out of style, offering a sleek and timeless finish to any home.
Often laid in porches, bathrooms and kitchens, slate flooring is one of the strongest natural stone flooring materials you can get. Slate is known to be resistant to cracks, scratches, breaks and chips and requires very little maintenance so it is an excellent option for heavy traffic areas in the home.
Slate tile floors are considered a more upscale flooring material and can add real estate value to your property. Available is a range of natural colours, each slate offers a unique pattern, offering a rustic yet contemporary look that will complement your home perfectly. Slate tiles are also perfect for below-surface coil heating systems which are a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
Slate chippings are small, flat pieces of slate that can add colour and texture to any outdoor space. Also known as garden aggregates, slate chippings can be used for a number of landscaping projects including paving paths, surrounding swimming pools and as a top layer in planters. Slate chippings are weather resistant, pollution resistant and allow drainage so are ideal for all outdoor spaces.
As well as regular slate chippings, Honister Slate Mine supply fine slate dust, or tailings, which are essentially just smaller pieces of crushed and compacted slate, ideal for paths and borders that need a smooth finish. All our slate chippings and dust are a by-product of our slate manufacturing process and are more environmentally friendly than stone from other producers.
Westmorland Green Slate is commonly used in the construction industry to create beautiful ornamental slate walls and slate cladding tiles for exterior building projects. Despite it being a natural material, bricklayers and builders love the ease in which it can be laid. Lakeland slate is also proven to have a high tolerance for all types of weather conditions including heavy rain, frost and wind.
Although used primarily to secure buildings to withstand the weather, nothing can compare to the beauty of natural stone walling. A beautiful yet durable material, the textured finish of decorative stone walls brings a sense of history to any building project and gives a more natural appearance than artificial alternatives. The unique hues of each slate add to the individuality of each project.
Slate Lintels, Sills and Steps
Slate lintels, sills and steps have been used as decorative elements in architecture and construction projects for centuries. Slate is favoured over other materials because it is incredibly hard and durable, meaning it will withstand exposure to the elements for decades without deteriorating and it is ideal for both indoor and outdoor construction projects.
Our green slate can be cut and shaped to fit the specific dimensions of a buildings door or window opening, meaning they are entirely bespoke and suitable for any property from a small residential home to a large commercial building. The natural composition of our green slate offers slate steps, lintels and windowsills a unique green hue, giving them a distinctive touch that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical.
A popular choice for outdoor walkways, paths and patio areas, slate paving is the use of flat slate tiles to provide a hardwearing surface that gives a beautifully contemporary look to your garden. Not only is slate incredibly practical and durable, but it can also be laid in a decorative and eye-catching design to enhance the look of your garden space – the possibilities are endless.
The advantages of slate for patios include its durability, low environmental impact and relatively low maintenance cost. To keep your slate paving slabs looking as good as new, simply sweep and use a pressure washer occasionally. Unlike other materials, slate paving fade or lose its colour over time, meaning it will maintain its beautiful finish for years to come.
With so many advantageous properties, it is clear to see why slate has retained its popularity in the construction industry and continues to be used for a number of projects across the Lake District. The unique green hue of our slate reflects the underlying geology of the land and is a prominent feature of architecture in the area that we hope to see celebrated for many years to come. For long lasting and beautiful slate building materials and garden accessories, explore our elegant range of slate products for commercial uses.