Slate is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock material used for roofing purposes across the globe. Natural slate keeps adorning many residential, commercial and public buildings everywhere. Even today, many residential and business property owners across NSW prefer only slate for their roofing needs.
But, there is also a growing market for an alternative type of roofing material known as artificial slate. This variety is made from different materials, but somewhat resemble the appearance of their natural counterparts. Although they look like natural stone, artificial slate tiles have different properties. Whilst the debate rages on regarding which is better, it is important to learn about their differences. Have a look at how these two slate types differ to make up your mind.
What are the Main Differences between Natural and Synthetic Slate
1. Composition – The very first difference between natural slate and synthetic slate is the composition. Natural slate is a metamorphic rock formed through volcanic ash and clay. It is non-porous in nature and quite resistant. Artificial slate is made from materials like plastic, rubber or composites of polymers.
2. Appearance – Natural slate comes in a variety of natural colours, and different coloured tiles have different properties. Some of the most common natural slate colours are grey, black, purple, brown, blue, green and red. Each natural type has different grain patterns and texture. Composite or artificial slate can be coloured to match the appearance of natural slate. Property owners might also choose custom colour shade variations for composite slates. Artificial slates are also available in different texture, grain and colour combinations, depending on preferences.
3. Dependability – Both natural and artificial slate tiles are considered as dependable from the point of strength and durability. Natural slate is quite resistant to weather conditions and does not suffer damage due to the forces of nature. This is why many property owners in Sydney prefer them. Artificial slate also offers the same time of durability due to the nature of composite material used. Fire and wind damage does not affect artificial slate at all, unlike natural ones that can break.
4. Cost – This is where artificial slate has an advantage over natural slate. The cost per square foot of laying artificial slate tiles is quite lower than natural slate. This difference is quite logical too, as high-quality natural slate definitely has a demand in the premium market. If you are looking for a low-cost alternative to natural slate, opting for the cheaper synthetic options is a good idea.
5. Installation – The processes of installing natural and artificial slate tiles are quite different. Apart from that, the costs involved in installation are also greater for natural slate. Professionals undergo continuous training for years to become experts at natural slate installation, whereas artificial ones are quite easy to set up on a roof.
These are the key differences between natural and artificial slate roof tiles. Both slate types have their pros and cons for you to consider! If you are still not sure, then why not contact The Slate Roofing Company for always friendly advice for your new roof or roof repair. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.