Slate countertops are rarely marketed because slate has traditionally been associated with flooring, roofing and protective covering for building exteriors.
Slate is one of the stronger natural homogenous metamorphic stones. Normally the stone is gray and has thin leaf-like layers or strata. Slate also occurs in understated middle to dark tones of black, red, purple, green and cyan.
Grains, texture and patterns of slate countertops vary with the type and color of slate. Black slate countertops, for example, exhibit a high textural and stylish look while others have little or nor grains. Some slates look mottled in appearance.
Slate countertops have a lower absorption rate than granite and are considered to be anti-bacterial. Gray and black slate countertops may require sealing while other colors are almost stain resistant.
Slate countertops require minimal care. Stains can be removed with mild to strong cleaning liquids. Slate countertops are prone to mild scratches, which can be removed by normal cleaning methods. However, deeper scratches require the use of steel wool to correct.
Slate countertops can be oiled to achieve a slightly glossy appearance. The regular cleaning and polishing of slate countertops with oily soap gives the surface a glossy appearance.