Slate roofs are expensive and difficult to properly install. However, slate is some of the most sought after roofing materials in the world is used in almost every country worldwide.
In the United States it is most commonly found on more expensive, luxury homes. Because Slate cannot be artificially colored due to the nature of the material, there is a wide variety of price range. Slate varies in color wildly from place to place. It can be a deep, smokey blue or gray or a pale jade. It can be more of a light blue or even a soft grey. Because every slate mine location produces it’s own variation of slate that cannot be reproduced elsewhere, the size of the mine is important to the cost. The smaller the mine, the more expensive it will be.
Slate roofs are nearly 100% waterproof, and are almost impervious to the elements. It is nearly fireproof and wind resistant. The tiles rarely break or have to be repaired. Slate roofs, when not damaged or disturbed, can last hundreds of years. It is also exceptionally energy efficient. They are the best roofs for homeowners concerned with their carbon footprint as they do not rot, decompose or cause rain leakage run off of toxic chemicals.
From an architectural point of view, these are some of the most sought after roofs due to the the tiles change color when wet, can be easily wrapped around corners and over gables and often invoke Old World Charm. They certainly add value to the home in ways that other roofs just can’t do.
Slate is also used for various other substances such as counter tops, billiard tables, blackboards prior to the 1940’s, laboratory benches and insulating material used for earlier electronic device housing. It is also used for turkey calls and gravestones. It can be used as a flooring but due to the almost impervious nature of the material, slate is rarely used as it becomes extremely dangerous when wet.