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Slate Pavers Cost Guide

Choosing the right material for landscaping is just as important as choosing the right house. Picking the wrong material can result in a patio or walkway that chips and looks worn after just a few months. When looking at the different types of materials available, some homeowners select slate. Made from natural stone, slate pavers come in a variety of color options, and contractors can break the pavers to fit unique areas and different designs. Though most people think about the price of slate pavers, they should also take the time to learn more about the pros and cons of using slate for a patio, walkway or another purpose.

  • Slate pavers cost: $18 to $30 per square foot
  • Irregular slate pavers cost: $20 to $40 per square foot

Uses for Slate Pavers

Slate pavers are suitable for almost any type of outdoor project including:

  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Landscaping

Homeowners can choose from several different options when it comes to laying those pavers. Some people opt for a greener look with grass growing between pavers while others like the look of slate pavers placed on top of sandy areas. Contractors can also use the pavers in the same way that they would concrete or brick pavers, placing the slate pieces close together without any gaps between the stone. Homeowners should think about the look they hope to achieve before buying any pavers.

Installing Natural Stone Pavers

When installing natural stone pavers, contractors begin by measuring the area and looking at the design the homeowners chose. Slate pavers are available from most home improvement stores, but those looking for something unique or unusual will often choose hand-cut stone. This gives the contractor more freedom over the thickness and dimensions of the slate. Thicker pavers tend to hold up better in high-traffic areas, while thinner pavers can break with regular use. 

The contractor will place the slate flat on the ground in the design or pattern that the homeowners want and run a shovel or spade around the edges to mark the size and placement of each stone. After removing the pavers, the contractor will remove a small amount of dirt and grass to ensure that each paver sits flat on the ground. The next step involves adding a layer of sand to the surface of the soil. After placing the pavers back in the proper location, the contractor will add a little more sand. This keeps the pavers flat, level and prevents slipping. Though this is a project that some homeowners can do on their own, many find it helpful to work with a professional.

Slate for Landscaping

Slate pavers have a number of uses when it comes to landscaping. When stacked together and combined with sand, the pavers become a retaining wall that prevents dirt from spilling over. Some homeowners use these retaining walls to create raised areas for gardening. Smaller stacks of slate pavers also function as dividing lines between different types of plants and vegetation, which gardeners find helpful. Some homeowners also use slate pavers to mark walkways that keep guests off the grass and away from certain areas of their lawns.

Slate Paver Costs

The cost of slate pavers ranges from $18 per square foot to more than $30 per square foot for ordinary square or rectangular pavers. Irregular slate pavers, also known as broken pavers, have irregular edges and add a more interesting look to a finished patio or walkway. These pieces can cost up to $40 per square foot. Homeowners will find that they can purchase individual pavers for $2 to $10 per piece at most home improvement stores, and that those stores sell pallets of slate for around $400 to $600. 

While buying pallets or individual stones might seem like a more affordable option, installing those pavers takes some time and hard work. The overall cost of the job requires more than just the pavers. Homeowners will also need to pay for the sand placed underneath the pavers and for the labor involved in completing the project. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete the project, and many homeowners find it worthwhile to hire someone to do the job for them.

Benefits of Slate

Slate is a great option for homes with swimming pools or outdoor water features. The material is naturally slip-resistant, and it can keep homeowners and their guests from slipping or falling when climbing out of the pool. Another benefit of slate is its wide range of color options. Often available in shades of gray, blue and light purple, it also comes in darker and deeper shades of red and brown. Homeowners can choose a color that complements their plants or their trim colors. 

Though slate is fairly durable, contractors can easily break the pavers into different shapes and sizes. This makes it easy to create a customized look quickly. Using specialized tools, the contractor can break the pavers into different pieces to fit smaller or any unique areas of the property. Slate also does particularly well in tropical areas and regions that receive small amounts of water and snow.

Disadvantages of Slate Pavers

Slate is a material that does well in warmer areas and regions with limited rainfall and snow. Moisture from snow and water can slowly move from the ground into the stone, and as the stone contracts and expands, it develops tiny cracks. Those cracks often exist around the edges and on the surface of the stone, and those smaller hairline cracks can break the stone when someone steps on the surface.

Another common problem occurs because the slate is uneven. Water that reaches the stone can pool on the surface and create puddles, which then freezes during colder weather. The more freeze and thaw cycles that the slate goes through, the more susceptible it is to breakage. Though slate is a good choice for many areas, homeowners should think about the climate and the winter months before using the material.


Last updated on Nov 18, 2015

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