Slate: characteristics pros cons price

Elegant and refined, slate is a natural rock suitable for the design of roofs. If its cost is very high, it gives your home a unique and timeless cachet, both old and terribly modern. Insulating, resistant, durable and solid, slate is a material that must be installed by professional roofers and is not without advantages. Let’s take a look at its features, pros, cons, and price.

What are the characteristics of slate? What price ?

Slate is a material used for making roofs. It is a natural rock, appreciated both for its elegance and for its performance in terms of thermal and sound insulation. This rock schist with a dark gray color and bluish to black reflections, does not tarnish and retains its elegance and beauty over time. It resists very well to frost and to the rays of the sun.

There are currently two forms of slate sold on the market: natural slate and synthetic slate.

natural slate

Natural slate is the most traditional. It comes from the rock present in the Earth’s crust which has been transformed by the effect of temperature and pressure, resulting in the formation of crystals. It is then polished and worked for the construction of roofs.

Natural slate is drawn from quarries found throughout the country. This geographical distribution gives each deposit its particularities, because the rock is linked to its soil. Depending on its origin and the regions of France, it will therefore be more or less clear, more or less solid, more or less flexible, more or less fine, etc. The most famous is that of Anjou, because it is said to be the most durable.

Depending on the origin and quality of the slate, it takes between 100 and 150 euros per square meter approximately.

synthetic slate

Synthetic slate is absolutely not of natural origin, as its name suggests. It is indeed made from organic fibers, cement, minerals and water, hence its nickname fiber cement slate.

It has more or less the same characteristics as natural slate, but it is still less durable. If the natural slate does not move for more than a hundred years, it must be replaced after 30 years, provided it is well maintained. On the other hand, it is lighter and therefore easier to install, less expensive than its cousin and available in a wide range of colors.

For a synthetic slate roof, count 50 to 100 euros per square meter on average.

What are the advantages of this material?

Slate is a material with multiple advantages:

  • Natural slate is environmentally friendly. It is indeed derived from a rock and no chemical product is necessary to extract it and to work it, nor to maintain it.
  • Extremely resistant, natural slate has a lifespan of more than 100 years without moving, degrading or tarnishing.
  • Slate has impressive qualities in terms of insulation, strength and waterproofing.
  • Impermeable to water, it is also resistant to fire, frost and high heat.
  • Slate is a very aesthetic material, timeless and both traditional and modern. With a timeless elegance, it dresses the constructions of its beautiful gray to black color with bluish reflections.
  • Easy to work with, slate can be cut into various shapes to meet all desires and all needs.
  • Synthetic slate is available in several colors to suit a wider range of tastes. It is also less expensive than its natural cousin, which is a real plus for small budgets.

What are the disadvantages of slate?

Despite its undeniable advantages, slate is not without its drawbacks:

  • Slate is not an economical material. The natural form is very expensive with an average of 100 to 150 euros per square meter. The synthetic form is more accessible, but it remains expensive with 50 to 100 euros per square meter.
  • It is a heavy material that is not suitable for all frames. In addition, the slope of the roof must be at least 25% for it to be covered with slate.
  • The laying of the slate must be permitted by the municipality’s PLU. It is indeed a material that is not authorized throughout the territory.
  • If laying the slate is relatively simple, it is only for competent professionals with the right tools. Indeed, it is not a material that can be installed by individuals, which further increases the costs.

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