What are the Different Uses for Slate Paving?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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There are many different uses for slate paving. Slate is a durable and colorful material that can enhance the appearance of outdoor features such as patios, walkways, and driveways. Slate paving may also be utilized to construct borders, low walls, and garden benches. This material can be useful in the design of steps, fountains, and waterfalls as well. Slate paving chips can also make colorful designs in combination with other natural stone paving materials.

Slate paving typically provides a durable, smooth surface for patios. This paving may be laid in a combination of two or more colors such as blue, black, red, or green. Slate can be installed in a sand base or with mortar for a more permanent surface. Rough textured slate is sometimes utilized outdoors for a slip-resistant finish. Special sealers are available to protect the natural stone finish from sunlight, water, and spills.

Walkways and garden footpaths are another option for slate paving. The natural colors of this material blend easily with the surrounding landscape for a subtle appearance. Irregularly shaped paving can also be utilized to create a rustic path through a garden or wooded area. This material can be used for stepping stones to a garden shed, pool, or outbuilding. Slate usually makes a good paving material for driveways when installed with mortar.


Slate paving makes an attractive border around driveways and garden areas. A slate border can be laid flat or raised slightly for added dimension. This type of paving material can be stacked vertically to create a border around trees and shrubbery. Thin slate pavers may be installed on their sides around flowerbeds to inhibit weed growth. This installation method is also useful for preventing grass encroachment along driveways and sidewalks.

Low walls around patios and outdoor cooking pits can also be constructed using slate pavers. The slate material can be stacked together up to 3 feet (91 cm) high using mortar. A garden or patio bench can also be made with slate paving slabs. In sloping areas, slate may be utilized for steps or stairways leading to a door, garden, or patio. Slate pavers may be placed vertically alongside the steps to form a retaining wall.

Slate paving materials are sometimes used to create a colorful garden fountain. They are also good for constructing natural and man-made waterfalls. Applying a sealer to the slate will help prevent erosion when used in this type of structure. Slate chips are often included in a patio or walkway design to add a touch of color to other natural stones. These chips can also be utilized as a colorful border around driveways and sidewalks.


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