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Slate options, natural slates v synthentic

Natural vs Synthetic slates

Many homeowners are faced with a common decision when replacing the coverings to their pitched roof slopes, Natural or Synthetic slates. There are quite a few factors to consider, longevity, appearance and availability but most often the key factor is PRICE, however, this isn’t as different as it might first appear.

Natural slate offers a truly authentic look that cannot be replicated by manufacturers. For period projects, or properties that need to reflect the natural environment around them, natural slate is usually the preferred choice

Natural Welsh slates tend to be the most expensive option on the market; however, there are now many natural slate alternatives available such as machine-cut Spanish slates.  The Spanish slates we use are outstanding, they are flat, uniform and of consistent thickness which is why they are widely used across the UK. Aesthetically pleasing blue grey textured finish and excellent performance characteristics. Minimal sorting is required which enables fast paced installation, contributing to its popularity. The manufactures of the slates also provide a 75-year warranty on their product providing they are installed to the manufacture’s specification.

Although the slates are smaller than some alternatives, they often require less labour to install. In terms of performance, natural slate does not fade or deteriorate over time, they are low maintenance, which means that very little effort will be needed to keep them in good working order.

Synthetic slates

There are various types of man-made slates, some entirely synthetic some blending ground-down natural slate which is then mixed with a synthetic resin.

Although fibre cement slate cannot match the distinct beauty that a natural slate provides; they can provide homeowners with an economical, aesthetically pleasing option.  When first installed, synthetic slates look very nice, but they are known to deteriorate over time. The colour of synthetic slates fades in time due to the exposure of UV rays. The lifespan of synthetic slates is drastically lower than that of a natural slate as after exposure to the weather elements the slates tend to become brittle; therefore, maintenance of synthetic slates over time is fare greater than that of synthetic slates.

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