Slate is a very dense, but soft and easily scratched material which can be used effectively outdoors as well as indoors. Slate is a foliated metamorphic rock derived from shale and consisting mainly of grains of mica and quartz. Most slate is grey to black, but the rock may be red or purple, depending on its mineral content. The surface of slate is generally uneven with cleft planes which can spall or flake due to the cleaving of the stone along its layers. Slate has a low to medium absorption rate of oils and other liquids and should be sealed with an oil-repellent penetrating sealer to prevent staining, reduce soiling and decrease the effects of foot traffic.
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