Slate is a foliated rock. During the process of metamorphism, the minerals become arranged in parallel sheets or plates, giving it a striated or banded appearance. Its fine-grained texture makes it highly suitable for outdoor use. It is resistant to heat and freezing and has a high slip slip-resistant rating.
When stone absorbs water, it is more vulnerable to damage from frost and weathering. Slate has low water-absorption properties, making it stain- and weather-resistant. Good quality slates have a standard water-absorption rating of .40%, which is almost impermeable. In contrast, sandstone’s standard rating is 8%, and limestone’s is 3%. The lower the number, the better the resistance to moisture.
The mineral content and structure of slate make it resistant to scratching and abrasion. Slate’s resistance to abrasion index falls between 4 and 20, properties suitable for both indoor and outdoor residential paving. The minerals are generally chemically inert, which prevents etching and eroding. Its high compressive strength of 200 – 25 megapascals is just below that of granite. Its high flexural strength of 50 – 15 MPa is greater than that of granite, making it suitable for use as thinner slabs and larger panels. On the Mohs scale, it ranks at 5.5, which is hard enough to scratch steel and glass.
Slate weathers well in Australia’s hot summers, cold winters and intense humidity and rain. Its properties make it better able to withstand rising damp and exposure to salt attack, two important environmental considerations in Australia. It is also fire-resistant.
What are the Different styles to choose from?
We stock the finest quality of slate in our Athenastone® range that can be used in a variety of applications. Athenastone® comes from established quarries in Europe. Expert masons cut slabs parallel to the natural layers of the stone to accentuate its attractive features and colours. Using special tools, the slabs are formed into smooth, flat sheets. The stone is sorted and graded, allowing us to bring high-grade, natural slate products to our customers in a variety of styles, including Filetti, which are long, narrow pieces that work well as paving and cladding. Hand-split cobblestones, stepping stones and crazy pavers that can create looks ranging from classic to rustic. Of course, we can also make to order according to design requirements.
Filetti stone echoes European traditions of durable, attractive paving. Long, narrow pieces of stone of varying lengths give a textured look to your landscape, courtyard or driveway. The combined compressive and flexural strength of natural slate provides an ideal surface for heavy loads. Filetti slate’s impermeable structure, resistance to harsh climate conditions and slip-resistant features make it practical for exterior applications that receive direct sunlight or rain.
The warm hues of grey complement any design and colour scheme. Filetti works well with curved designs, including paths, borders, courtyards and driveways. It can also be used indoors around fireplaces, as entryways or as flooring. Filetti paving complements architectural styles from classic to modern.
Thickness ranges from 30 mm to 50 mm. Width varies between 30 mm and 60 mm.
Crazy and Irregular Pavers
Crazy pavers are large, irregularly shaped and sized pieces of natural stone used as flagstones, stepping stones, flooring and wall cladding in both commercial and residential settings. They work well in curved areas in the garden, around pools, as walkways, as paving for courtyards and as driveways. The strength of slate pavers can bear heavy weight and withstand the demands of high-traffic areas.
Crazy pavers work well as wall cladding both indoors and outdoors. The variations in size and shape add interest to the texture and design of flooring, walls, stairs and other applications. By using different sizes, crazy pavers are well-suited for designs with curves and irregular edges. Because they withstand weathering, frost, moisture and sun, they can be used in unprotected areas, including borders, patios and driveways. The split finish and natural texture complement any architectural style.
Pair them with other Athenastone® slate formats, including cobblestones, Filetti and hand-cut stepping stones to create unique designs for your property. Add borders of white Thasos pebbles for a sparkling contrast or blue Akron pebbles for a soothing look.
Athenastone® crazy pavers thicknesses varies between 15 mm and 30 mm.
Slate cobblestones create a charming, old-world look in a modern landscape. Our cobblestones are square, rough-hewn pieces with a split, unfinished surface on all six sides, accentuating the layered structure of the rock. The rustic look of natural cobblestones adds texture and depth to the landscape. Their strength and durability make them suitable for high traffic areas, including driveways and walkways. The small size and textured surface provide traction to slopes and wet surfaces.
They work well in curved designs, including borders, pool surrounds and walkways. Mix them with other natural stone formats to create a unique landscape that defines your style. The unfinished surface brings out the depth of colour from the minerals in the stone. Their high resistance to water and staining adds to their durability.
Athenastone® cobblestones measure 100 mm by 100 mm. Thickness is 30 mm to 50 mm.
Hand-Cut Stepping Stones
Stepping stones can help define your garden and enhance the landscape. Use them to create paths, line driveways or pave large areas. Our Athenastone® slate stepping stones are cut by hand to accentuate the beauty of the layered structure of the stone. The shades of grey serve as a neutral backdrop for any colour scheme. The unfinished surface is impervious to water, is slip-resistant and blends into the landscape.
Our hand-cut stepping stone pavers come in two sizes: a standard size of 400 mm by 500 mm and a large size of 500 mm by 600 mm. Thickness ranges between 30 mm and 50 mm. The strength of the stone makes it suitable for large pieces. Combine sizes to create unique patterns.
We partner with Pave-Link, a trusted name in natural and man made landscaping products. Our natural stones, sourced for quality, durability and beauty, are hand-picked by industry experts and are part of the Stone Elements brand.
For more information about our products, call our showroom to talk to our knowledgeable staff. Even better, come and see our products first-hand. We can help you select stones, calculate quantities and arrange delivery for large orders.