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Slate Countertops Costs, Colors, And Pros & Cons

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Key Takeaways

Main PointsDetails
Average Cost Per Square Foot Installed$50 – $100
Average Total Cost Installed (30 – 40 SF)$1,500 – $4,000
Pros of Slate CountertopsNon-porous, waterproof, easy to clean, heat-resistant, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and bacteria-resistant
Cons of Slate CountertopsMore subdued colors, sharp and brittle corners

Slate Countertops Cost

Slate countertops are a popular choice among homeowners who appreciate their durability, aesthetic appeal, and unique textures. Below, we explore the detailed costs associated with slate countertops, including the average costs per square foot and total installation costs.

$50 – $100 Average Cost Per Square Foot Installed

The cost of installing slate countertops ranges from $50 to $100 per square foot, which includes both material and labor costs.

$1,500 – $4,000 Average Total Cost Installed (30 – 40 SF)

For an average kitchen with 30 to 40 square feet of countertop space, the total installation cost typically falls between $1,500 and $4,000.

Slate Countertops Cost Estimator

To give a clearer idea of the costs based on different installation scenarios, see the table below:

Installation LocationCountertop Square FootageAverage Cost Installed
Small kitchen (70 – 100 SF)20 – 30$1,000 – $3,000
Average kitchen (100 – 200 SF)30 – 40$1,500 – $4,000
Large kitchen (200 – 400+ SF)40 – 60$2,000 – $6,000
Island, tabletop, or bar top5 – 20$250 – $2,000
Bathroom vanity top5 – 10$250 – $1,000

Slate Countertops Prices Per Square Foot

Several factors contribute to the overall cost of slate countertops including material costs and labor for installation.

ItemCost Per Square FootAverage Cost (30 – 40 SF)
Slate materials (Includes fabrication and delivery)$40 – $70$1,200 – $2,800
Labor to install$10 – $30$300 – $1,200
Total cost to install$50 – $100$1,500 – $4,000

Slate Countertops Colors & Prices

Slate countertops come in a wide range of colors, each with its price category and unique details.

Slate Countertop Colors

ColorPrice CategoryDetails
Grey slate$– Dark gray with some marbling effects
– Among the most common colors sold
– Prone to stains and fingerprints
White slate$– Mostly white with some specks of marbled gray
– Neutral color palette
– Shows stains and visible dirt
Basalt slate$– Complex blend of blue and gray
– Harvested in Pennsylvania and Virginia
Blue slate$– Lighter than Basalt, in a variety of blue hues
– Works well with wooden and white kitchens
Colorado/Rustic slate$$– Mix of warm gray, brown, and green colors
– Harvested in Colorado
– Strong enough to be used outside
African slate$$– Exotic pattern and texture of gray and brown splotches
– Harvested in Africa
– Hides imperfections and scratches
Black/Chalkboard slate$$$– Black color that resembles a traditional chalkboard
– Harvested in Pennsylvania
– Shows imperfections and stains, especially if left unpolished
Vermont slate$$$– High-quality stones in rare shades of green, purple, and red
– Harvested in Vermont
– Durable enough for outside use
– Low maintenance

Slate Slab Vs. Tile Countertop Prices By Grade

There is a notable price variation between low-grade, mid-grade, and high-grade slate, which also varies based on whether the slate is in slab or tile form.

Slate Countertop Prices By Grade

GradeTile Slate Cost Per Square FootSlab Slate Cost Per Square Foot
Low-grade$45 – $50$50 – $70
Mid-grade$55 – $65$70 – $90
High-grade$70 – $75$90 – $200

Labor Costs To Install Slate Countertops

Installing slate countertops involves several steps, including measuring, cutting, and securing the slabs. Labor costs are usually priced per hour and vary based on the complexity and size of the project.

Slate Countertop Textures

Slate countertops are available in several textures, each offering unique aesthetic and practical benefits.

Slate Countertop Textures

TexturePrice CategoryDescriptionPros & Cons
Natural cleft finish$Default “natural” finish of slate revealing the rough layered surface– Rough surface traps debris and is difficult to clean
– Prone to chips, flakes, and wear with heavy use
– Difficult to hide repairs
Cascade finish$$Nearly flat finish with a slight uniform ripple effect– Hides scratches and smudges
– Easy to clean and maintain
– Difficult to hide repairs
Honed finish$$$Silky smooth, completely flat surface– Lacks texture
– Shows scratches, dust, oils, smudges, and fingerprints
– Easily restored making repairs nearly invisible
– Surface can be sealed to resist fingerprints and smudges

Slate Countertops Pros & Cons

Choosing slate countertops comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Slate Countertops Pros And Cons

– Non-porous and waterproof
– Easy to clean
– Resists heat, stains, scratches, and bacteria
– More subdued colors than other stones
– Corners can be sharp and brittle, with installers recommending rounded corners for safety and durability

Slate Cost Vs. Other Countertop Materials

When considering slate countertops, it’s important to compare them to other popular countertop materials in terms of cost and characteristics.

MaterialAverage Cost Per Square Foot InstalledDetails
Slate countertops cost$50 – $100– Non-porous and waterproof
– Easy to clean, antibacterial surface
– Resists heat, scratches, and stains
– Muted colors
– Sharp, brittle corners should be rounded for safety and durability
Marble countertops cost$40 – $150– Luxury material with attractive veining
– Surface stays cool for baking
– Increases the home’s value
– Last a lifetime with regular maintenance
– Prone to stains and scratches
Granite countertops cost$80 – $150– Natural material with no two slabs alike
– Heat resistant up to 400°F
– Scratch and chemical resistant
– Low maintenance with sealer lasting up to 10 years
– Porous: requires sealing
Quartz countertops cost$50 – $200– Durable and low maintenance
– Non-porous, non-staining
– Scratch resistant
– Damaged with high heat
– Not suitable for outdoor use
Quartzite countertops cost$65 – $150– Stain and scratch resistant
– Heat resistant up to 400°F
– Prone to chips and cracks
– Porous: may harbor bacteria

What Are Slate Countertops?

Slate countertops are crafted from slate, a fine-grained metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash. The unique properties of slate make it ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms.

Are Slate Countertops Expensive?

While slate countertops can be considered a premium option, their costs are competitive compared to other high-end materials such as marble and granite. Their durability and low maintenance requirements also mean that the investment can pay off in the long run.

How Long Do Slate Countertops Last?

Slate countertops are incredibly durable and can last for decades with proper care. Their non-porous nature makes them resistant to stains, bacteria, and damage from heat, extending their lifespan significantly.

Where To Buy Slate Countertops?

Slate countertops can be purchased from a variety of sources including home improvement stores, specialty countertop retailers, and sometimes directly from quarries.

Getting Estimates From Slate Countertop Installers

When planning to install slate countertops, obtaining accurate estimates from professional installers is essential.

Questions To Ask

  • What is the total estimated cost including materials and labor?
  • How long will the installation process take?
  • Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work?
  • Can you provide references from previous clients?
  • What preparations need to be made before installation begins?

In conclusion, slate countertops combine both aesthetic appeal and durability, making them a preferred choice for many homeowners. Understanding the costs involved ensures you can plan your budget effectively and make informed decisions.

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