What kind of stone to put on patio...

Old 01-23-03, 04:58 PM
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What kind of stone to put on patio...

When we built our house last year, we left the patio and breezeway with just a concrete/slab type brushed surface. The entire rear of our house is brick (Louisiana reds) and we also have an inground pool with a light beigeish Sundeck finish. The pool tiles look like slate in shades of grey/red/taupe.

Our original plan was to put slate tiles on the patio/breezeway, but we were recently told that slate tends to "pop" off after a while. I really wanted a stone/slate look back there. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to do the painted concrete because it looks "painted". I think it's too late to score and stain the concrete, especially since it's that yucky brushed finish.

Help - I need some suggestions.
Old 01-23-03, 09:45 PM
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Well, I can't tell you what type of stone to put on your patio, but I do wonder why the slate would tend to "pop" off after a while? Is it because slate is smooth and hard to get an adhesive to really grap well? That would be my guess.

I would think that you should be able to put down that slate you want or most anything else for that matter, provided it's done properly.

I built a custom shower last year and used an epoxy adhesive from Laticrete. When I tell you this stuff is strong, I mean you'd need dynamite to bust it. It's expensive and you have to work faster than normal, but it is unbelievable and will last a lifetime. If you plan properly and lay things out correctly at the beginning you'll be good-to-go no matter what you choose.

Check out Laticrete's site for ideas and products. http://www.laticrete.com
Old 02-02-03, 01:54 PM
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Slate is a dense, porous, fine-grained rock that has a natural, generally gray-green color. It is frequently used on outdoor patios. Not all slate is created equal due to variations in the geological process. It can vary from soft to very hard. It also varies in its porosity. Because of the differences in slates, how well it holds up to weather and freezing and thawing tends to vary. Smooth, less porous slate tends to weather better. Cleft planes on rougher slate tend to provide permeability for water penetration which will cause slate to spall and flake. Slates with a high clay content (usually those that are multi-colored) tend to deteriorate in wet environments.

Shale is sometimes called slate. Actually, slate was shale before it metamorphosed into slate. Shale weathers
poorly and does not perform well in wet conditions. Shale will crumble and flake and turn to powder.

Thus, it is important to understand that there are differences in slate and to not assume that all slates are just alike. Slate rated Grade 1 is the highest grade available for slate. The higher the grade the stronger the slate. Lower grades, such as 3 and 4, will not hold up well over time and can easily crack, split and chip. When choosing slate, choose the highest grade possible. Some slates are not frostproof and should not be used anywhere there is a chance they will be exposed to freezing temperatures. The better grades of slate are used commercially for restaurants indoor / outdoor, so you should be able to locate a beautiful, durable slate to meet your needs.

Slate tile installers usually point out that there will be some initial flaking of unstable areas on top of the tiles and that this will stop once the tile gets 'broken in.'

Slates are not suitable near salt water or where the water salt content is high(salt water pools, seaside). Soluble salt will be absorbed into the layers of slate - the water will evaporate leaving a build up of crystals behind, resulting in tiles eventually delaminating in layers.

A good installation and keeping sealed with a penetrating sealer should provide you with a very durable and beautiful patio and breezeway.

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