Slate or Fake?

Adding a natural product to your property is always appealing, however, it is sometimes more expensive than a man made alternative. Consider wooden windows as an example, they look great but are around 3 times as expensive as a UPVC window which actually does the same job and doesn't need much regular maintenance. Man made materials really do have a place in our home, they are all around us from carpets to wall coverings. Sometimes natural materials are just as good, we want our homes to really stand out from the crowd and use the real thing, a real natural material such as slate and not a fake.

Natural materials used in homes offer several advantages over man made materials. Consider a worktop as an example. It is cheaper to buy a solid wood worktop from your local DIY store for a kitchen, than a plastic coated worktop. There are advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to care and maintenance. If you get a stain or a scratch mark on a wooden worktop, its a really easy fix. Just sand the offending area down and treat with a natural oil. If you get a deep cut in a composite plastic worktop, you really have to live with it or replace the worktop itself. However, the wood worktops stain and mark a lot easier than plastic because the natural material isn't as dense.

This leads to a bit of a conundrum for home owners, when do you use a natural product in the home. One of the best natural products that can be used is slate, as opposed to concrete or man made products. It has several characteristics that make it ideal for a variety of uses. Slate has long been used as a floor covering, think of the many traditional British pubs that have slate flagstones on their floors. Aesthetically it is very beautiful, hard wearing and doesn't trap the ale like a smelly carpet. Slate is also becoming one of the most popular materials for work surfaces and worktops and has long been the product of choice for fire hearths, dating back many centuries.

However, we have found one product where the difference between a man made product and a natural product really is significant, shower trays. Slate is a great choice for a shower tray, it is stunningly beautiful when it is sanded down over different depths to reveal the grain, almost like wood but in stone and this grain is stunning when wet. Slate is also the perfect material for anywhere where there is a lot of water, it is one of the most resistant natural materials that you can get. But, when you search for a slate shower tray, the majority of products that you find are not actually slate, they are fake.

The fake slate is typically anthracite slate effect, it looks like slate but it is just man made. You do get the waterproof properties and the shower trays are lighter than natural slate but you do not get slate. You do not get the natural aesthetic, graining and feel of slate. The strength that comes with a single piece of stone more than matches slate effect. A real natural slate shower tray feels and looks completely different from a fake plastic slate shower tray. Before you buy a slate shower tray, make sure you know what you are purchasing, fake is fake and as in most cases, it isn't as good as the real thing.

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