Slate countertops costs, colors, and pros & cons
Ashburn, VA

Slate countertops costs, colors, and pros & cons

Ashburn, VA

Slate countertops costs, colors, and pros & cons

$50 – $100average cost per square foot installed
$1,500 – $4,000average total cost installed (30 – 40 SF)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$50 – $100 average cost per square foot installed

$1,500 – $4,000 average total cost installed (30 – 40 SF)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
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Tamatha Hazen
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Slate countertops cost

Slate countertops cost $50 to $100 per square foot installed or $1,500 to $4,000 for an average-sized kitchen. A slate bar top or kitchen island costs $250 to $2,000 installed and provides a durable, stain-resistant work surface. Slate bathroom countertops cost $250 to $1,000 for labor and materials.

Slate countertops cost estimator
Installation location Countertop square footage Average cost installed
Small kitchen (70 – 100 SF) 20 – 30 $1,000 – $3,000
Average kitchen (100 – 200 SF) 30 – 40 $1,500 – $4,000
Large kitchen (200 – 400+ SF) 40 – 60 $2,000 – $6,000
Island, tabletop, or bar top 5 – 20 $250 – $2,000
Bathroom vanity top 5 – 10 $250 – $1,000

Slate countertops cost calculator
Item Cost per square foot Average cost (30 – 40 SF)
Slate materials (Includes fabrication and delivery) $40 – $70  $1,200 – $2,800
Labor to install $10 – $30  $300 – $1,200
Total cost to install $50 – $100  $1,500 – $4,000

Slate countertops colors & prices

Slate countertop colors and prices vary from slab to slab, depending on the mix of minerals where they are harvested. Slate color choices are limited to mostly variations of gray and blue, with more exotic and vibrant colors costing a premium.

Slate countertop colors
Color Price category Details
Grey slate $
  • Dark gray with some marbling effects
  • Among the most common colors sold
  • Prone to stains and fingerprints
White slate $
  • Mostly white with some specks of marbled gray
  • Neutral color palette
  • Shows stains and visible dirt
Basalt slate $
  • Complex blend of blue and gray
  • Harvested in Pennsylvania and Virginia
Blue slate $
  • Lighter than Basalt, in a variety of blue hues
  • Works well with wooden and white kitchens
Colorado/Rustic slate $$
  • Mix of warm gray, brown, and green colors
  • Harvested in Colorado
  • Strong enough to be used outside
African slate $$
  • Exotic pattern and texture of gray and brown splotches
  • Harvested in Africa
  • Hides imperfections and scratches
Black/Chalkboard slate $$$
  • Black color that resembles a traditional chalkboard
  • Harvested in Pennsylvania
  • Shows imperfections and stains, especially if left unpolished
Vermont slate $$$
  • High-quality stones in rare shades of green, purple, and red
  • Harvested in Vermont
  • Durable enough for outside use
  • Low maintenance

Kitchen with slate countertops and open shelving.
Kitchen with slate countertops and open shelving.

Slate slab vs. tile countertop prices by grade

Slate tiles are cheaper than slabs, with the grade of the stone also impacting the price. Low-grade slate is cheaper, more porous, and prone to stains and cracks. High-grade slate is less porous, more durable, and always appears darker in color.

Slate countertop prices by grade
Grade Tile slate cost per square foot* Slab slate cost per square foot*
Low-grade $45 – $50  $50 – $70
Mid-grade $55 – $65  $70 – $90
High-grade $70 – $75  $90 – $200

*Not including installation.

Labor costs to install slate countertops

Labor to install slate countertops costs $10 to $30 per square foot or $35 to $85 per hour for professional labor. Other factors that affect the total installation cost include:

  • Old countertop removal – Removing the existing countertops costs $50 to $400. A full kitchen demo costs $500 to $2,500.

  • Plumber services – A plumber costs $45 to 150 per hour to disconnect and reconnect the plumbing.

  • Sink replacementReplacing your sink costs $330 to $1,300.

  • Backsplash – A slate tile backsplash costs $2 to $7 per square foot installed to complement the slate slab countertop.

Slate countertop textures

Slate countertop slabs are sold with their natural finish, a nearly smooth texture, or ground to a uniformly flat matte. The more detailed the finish work, the higher the cost of the slate slab.

Slate countertop textures
Texture Price category Description Pros & cons
Natural cleft finish $ Default “natural” finish of slate revealing the rough layered surface
  • Rough surface traps debris and is difficult to clean
  • Prone to chips, flakes, and wear with heavy use
  • Difficult to hide repairs
Cascade finish $$ Nearly flat finish with a slight uniform ripple effect
  • Hides scratches and smudges
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Difficult to hide repairs
Honed finish $$$ Silky smooth, completely flat surface
  • Lacks texture
  • Shows scratches, dust, oils, smudges, and fingerprints
  • Easily restored making repairs nearly invisible
  • Surface can be sealed to resist fingerprints and smudges

Slate countertops pros & cons

Slate is a rock composed of minerals like quartz, chlorite, and mica that has long been used for roofing, siding, and flooring. A newer trend is to use slate for kitchen countertops due to its stylish appearance, durability, and minimal maintenance.

Slate countertops pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Non-porous and waterproof
  • Easy to clean
  • Resists heat, stains, scratches, and bacteria
  • More subdued colors than other stones
  • Corners can be sharp and brittle, with installers recommending rounded corners for safety and durability

Slate cost vs. other countertop materials

In comparison to slate, the average cost to install countertops is $50 to $150, depending on the material. Slate costs less than other natural stone countertop materials like granite and marble, especially when selecting a natural finish.

Countertop cost comparison by material
Material Average cost per square foot installed Details
Slate countertops cost $50 – $100
  • Non-porous and waterproof
  • Easy to clean, antibacterial surface
  • Resists heat, scratches, and stains
  • Muted colors
  • Sharp, brittle corners should be rounded for safety and durability
Marble countertops cost $40 – $150
  • Luxury material with attractive veining
  • Surface stays cool for baking
  • Increases the home’s value
  • Last a lifetime with regular maintenance
  • Prone to stains and scratches
Granite countertops cost $80 – $150
  • Natural material with no two slabs alike
  • Heat resistant up to 400°F
  • Scratch and chemical resistant
  • Low maintenance with sealer lasting up to 10 years
  • Porous: requires sealing
Quartz countertops cost $50 – $200
  • Durable and low maintenance
  • Non-porous, non-staining
  • Scratch resistant
  • Damaged with high heat
  • Not suitable for outdoor use
Quartzite countertops cost $65 – $150
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Heat resistant up to 400°F
  • Prone to chips and cracks
  • Porous: may harbor bacteria

What are slate countertops?

Are slate countertops expensive?

Slate is one of the more affordable stone countertop materials, costing less than granite, marble, and quartz.

How long do slate countertops last?

Slate countertops, like other natural stones, last for 100 years or more if well-maintained.

Where to buy slate countertops?

Slate tiles are sold at most tile stores, stone warehouses, and home improvement stores. Slate slabs are a specialty surface with limited availability and may have to be ordered from a dedicated slate supplier.

Getting estimates from slate countertop installers

Before hiring a local slate countertop company near you, be sure to:

  • Compare at least 3 estimates with similar slate materials and finishes.

  • Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured company that has been in business for 5+ years.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Ask for references with contact information.

  • Review their portfolio of past slate countertop installations.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the project begins.

  • Never pay in full before the job is complete. Follow a payment plan instead, and don't make the final payment until the job is done to your satisfaction.

Questions to ask

Ask these questions to ensure you choose the best slate fabricator and installer near you:

  • What experience do you have with slate countertop installation?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Does the estimate include delivery and installation?

  • Which slate color choices fit my budget?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • Does this project require a permit, and do you handle the permitting process?

  • Do you require a deposit? If so, how much is it?

  • Do you submit the manufacturer's warranty registration for me?

  • Do you offer a warranty on the labor?