Slate tiles on outside steps?


Has anyone used slate tiles on front step and landing? If so is it slippery when wet or snowy? How is it holding up ?

  13 answers
  • Slate is actually a good choice for outdoor walkways and steps. It will not be slippery when wet. Snow? Just about anything can be slippery with snowy weather.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 11, 2021

    Here's a good link about slate tiles for the outdoors:

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jun 11, 2021

    Slip resistance is only one factor on steps.

    Real slate is going to not like snow shovels nor ice-melting agents.

    It is too soft and will cleft/flake.

    It’s MOH’s Scale number is 3-4! 1-3 is considered the softest.

    This is not good.

    Stair treads get a lot of abuse on the front edges and down the center “path”. Once again slate is too soft.

    If you’ve free slate, then put it on the risers only.

    Quartzite stone tiles, look similar to slate but have a Moh’s Scale of 7-9, 10 is the highest.

    They also do not cleft nor flake. They’re crystalline not metamorphic in structure.

    Big difference. No porosity.

    The picture below is quartzite on my old house.

    Another slate look alternative is a through-bodied porcelain tile. It is more cost effective and also has a 8-9 Moh’s.

  • Janice Janice on Jun 11, 2021

    Slate tiles work fine outside, the only problem is if you have snow, using a snow shovel will not work well on the rough surface as you may damage the slate.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 11, 2021

    I had a friend who did slate and they had to add non slip strips so I would steer away.

  • Dee Dee on Jun 11, 2021

    The tiles are naturally slip-resistant. The slate tile are suitable for residential and commercial areas especially high traffic areas. They are suitable for exterior application in freezing and non-freezing climates.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jun 11, 2021

    Hi Molly: I'm thinking that it would be really slippery, and the shovels on it during the snow removal would really scratch it up. As beautiful as it is, I think I'd take a pass on it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 11, 2021

    Hi Molly, I would look at something else to use, slate can be slippery when wet, I would source out something with a rougher surface, here is a link with some ideas on which tiles to try

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 11, 2021

    Hi! We had a lovely (to look at) sidewalk, but, it was slippery and the shovel would catch on it. If you used it as risers on the steps it would look nice but, not be a hindrance. Good luck!

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 12, 2021

    Hi Molly, we have slate tiles and they are slippy when it's wet. You can buy anti-skid/anti-slip strips in a slate color that helps prevent accidents.

  • Seth Seth on Jun 12, 2021

    Although pricier, consider bluestone. They are both sedimentary types of rock, but with different properties. Bluestone is harder and less likely to chip or flake. It comes in many color tones. It is relatively easy to cut and shape. We used it for a small landing, stair treads, and patio area and it has held up well over the years. Use 1 and 1/2 inch thickness minimum.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 12, 2021

    Hello. I agree with Seth suggestion above. Bluestone is an excellent solution. We have it as a walkway and it has a nice texture to it and it’s not slippery. My brother-in-law had an ER hospital visit slipping on his slate walkway.