Slate kitchen flooring – the expert guide to choosing the best for your home

Traditionally reserved for country farmhouse kitchens, slate kitchen flooring is a practical and good looking solution for modern spaces too

Slate kitchen flooring
(Image credit: Yard Architects)

Slate kitchen flooring often gets pigeon-holed into the country and farmhouse categories but it's such a great, timeless flooring option that can look good in any style property, modern or traditional.

We've spoken to several experts who reveal why they think slate kitchen flooring is an excellent choice in a modern kitchen, from its stain-resistant and waterproof nature to its affordability, slate stone flooring is a practical and pretty choice.

If you're about to embark on a kitchen revamp or simply looking at some kitchen flooring ideas slate kitchen flooring could be the perfect solution for your space.

Slate kitchen flooring

1. Slate flooring suits a variety of kitchen styles

Slate kitchen flooring

(Image credit: deVOL)

Whatever kitchen style you have or plan to install, from shaker and retro to sleek and modern kitchens, a slate stone floor provides a practical solution underfoot. Recognized mainly for its dark grey hue, it's a tone that complements both contemporary and classic interiors.

Slate is a durable, finely foliated, and brittle stone, and depending on the location and minerals of the slate in question it is often black and grey in tone, but can also come with hints of red, purple, gold, and blue.

Team slate floors with dark cabinets and kitchen countertops for a dramatic, moody space or work them into a sleek scheme by ensuring the kitchen design is fuss-free and minimal. If you're keen to lean into the country vibe, then stick to the classics; shaker units, chunky wooden worktops, and a big butler sink.

'You should also consider the kitchen layout and how you’ll be using it. Is it a standalone kitchen used only for preparing meals, or is it an open plan space used for entertaining? Do you have pets or kids, or both? Does your kitchen have bi-fold doors or large French doors opening out to the garden? These are all factors that will help you decide on what type of flooring is right for you,' explains Ryan Short, Flooring Buyer at Homebase (opens in new tab).

2. Slate flooring retains the heat

Slate kitchen flooring

(Image credit: Wickes)

Cold kitchen flooring is something we'd all rather avoid, and if it's cold out and there's no heating on, slate will feel cold underfoot. However, if the heating or oven is on then slate floors can warm up beautifully. 'The slate tile’s ability to retain heat is beneficial for keeping the home warm,' says Paul Bangs, Category Director, Kitchens, Flooring & Office at Wickes (opens in new tab)

This is good news if you're on the fence about splashing out on underfloor heating. It's an expensive option, but if you'd still like to take the plunge, it's worth noting that stone tiles are great in combination with underfloor heating too as the heat is transferred easily from the underfloor heating system to the tiles. With the increase in open-plan spaces, more and more people are choosing it as it means no radiators on the walls to spoil a clean, modern look.

3. Slate flooring is water-resistant and durable

London Victorian house in gorgeous bold colors

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Your kitchen is probably the busiest room in the house, so the floor needs to be hardwearing. You should carefully choose flooring that will withstand the odd spillage from washing up, and the temperature and moisture changes that happen while cooking. Slate and stone floors are a fantastic solution and one that won't break the bank. 

'Slate flooring is stain-resistant and waterproof, making it an excellent choice for heavily used cooking areas,' explains Paul Bangs, Category Director, Kitchens, Flooring & Office at Wickes.

The grey tones of this kitchen floor help the sage green and burnt orange kitchen cabinets sing in this gorgeous Victorian house in heritage hues.

4. Slate flooring is an affordable option

Slate kitchen flooring by Floors of Stone

(Image credit: Floors of Stone)

Kitchen renovations can end up costing a fortune, especially if we get carried away with picking marble splashbacks and bespoke, oak cabinetry. But if you're keen to save some funds, steer clear of more expensive wood kitchen flooring ideas or luxury stones and reclaimed brick flooring, and consider reliable slate instead.

'Slate is one of the most practical and affordable types of stone flooring, making this timeless classic a suitable choice for those that are on a budget,' says  Molly Platts, Floors of Stone (opens in new tab). 'We would recommend two coats of our FOS sealer, one coat prior to grouting the tiles and a second coat after the tiles have been grouted.'

5. Slate flooring will last for years

Stone kitchen flooring

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

Interior design trends come and go, but slate kitchen flooring has stood the test of time and proves to still be a popular and practical solution for many people. 

'The natural look is incredibly popular in interiors at the moment, and adding slate floor tiles to your kitchen is the perfect way to achieve this look! Their natural variation means that no two tiles are the same, which creates a really unique space,' says Louisa Swannell, Head of Creative Design, Walls and Floors. 'Slate is a perfect choice for kitchen flooring, as it's one of the strongest flooring materials and, when sealed correctly, it will maintain its elegant, natural look for years to come.'

Is slate flooring good for kitchens?

Slate style limestone tiles from Floors of Stone by Yard Architects

(Image credit: Yard Architects)

Stone floor tiles come in such a wide range of sizes, colors and textures that they can complement any style of kitchen, from country to contemporary. Maintenance-wise, slate floors are easy to mop clean and because they're waterproof you don't have to worry about too many water spills. It's always looking at the latest sealants for extra protection - once applied the floor should be even easier to maintain. There might not be as much choice as vinyl kitchen flooring ideas, but slate is a classic choice.

Are slate floors out of style?

Slate kitchen flooring by Homebase

(Image credit: Homebase)

Slate floors might not be the coolest of kitchen floor surfaces but they're not out of style, in fact, they're such a timeless choice that they've been one of the most popular flooring trends for decades and will continue to be so.

'Slate is a classic choice for kitchens and tiles are definitely durable. They’re easy to clean and, if well looked after, they will stand the test of time. [Slate] tiles are no longer reserved for country kitchens; we’re seeing more and more modern styles come through,' says Ryan Short, Flooring Buyer, Homebase.

Are slate floors hard to maintain?

Slate is a natural stone flooring material that is quarried from out of the earth. As a metamorphic rock, slate can come in many different shapes, colors, and textures. Though less expensive than porcelain, slate tends to be manufactured with fewer straight edges and square corners, which means that grout lines need to be thicker. This results in a more grid-like, and quite rustic finish. Although it's durable and water repellent, be aware it can be difficult to repair and replace and it requires sealing to prevent stains.

If you're still stuck on how to choose kitchen flooring, we know it can be a struggle picking the perfect one - from stone and reclaimed vintage wood to vinyl and engineered flooring, there are pros and cons to each material so pick a floor you love the look of but always consider your budget, practical needs, and style. 

As the Houses Editor on Livingetc, Rachel has been obsessed with property ever since she was a kid. With a diploma in interior design and more than a decade working on interior magazines under her belt, she feels very at home sourcing the best contemporary houses the world has to offer for Livingetc. It's not just the day job either, she admits she's spent a scary amount of her own time researching schemes for her own renovations - scrolling Instagram, stalking Rightmove and Modern House, flicking through magazines and snooping in other peoples' windows - so she really does live and breathe houses on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Before Livingetc, Rachel had a stint finding homes for Ikea Family magazine where she was lucky enough to gallivant around the world on shoots meeting and interviewing interesting people, all with a very keen eye for blending high-end design with everyday items from Ikea. It inspired her to not be afraid of mixing new and old, expensive and affordable, vintage and modern and so Rachel's current Victorian terrace in north London is very much an updated, contemporary take on a period property; think open-plan modern kitchen with concrete floors, feature fireplaces and her grandmother’s paintings on the walls. Rachel is currently crushing on reeded glass, large gingham prints, squishy curved furniture; like Buchanan Studio’s Studio chair, and vintage wall sconces; she especially adores Retrouvius for sourcing antique finds and feels inspired by Lonika Chande, Beata Heuman and Matilda Goad and already can’t wait to start planning her next home, wherever that might be.