Random multi-color slate flooring — an authentic mid-century choice

Jeff recently reminded us that random multi-color slate flooring is a wonderful choice for a mid-century home. To be sure, I see this floor all the time in homes I visit from the 40s 50s 60s and 70s. It’s usually in porches, breezeways, or foyers — spots that require a very durable, waterproof flooring material.

(But, I do not see this in kitchens and bathrooms. This floor is, I believe, traditionally used as a transition between the outside and inside, rather than a floor you’d want to live on all day long. That said, in a big open concept contemporary in a hot climate, I can see it being used throughout the house.) Jeff is purchasing his at Vermont Slate Depot, where as today, 10 sq. ft. costs $16.75 plus shipping. I also have seen this floor at my big local stone supply store, the same place everyone buys their patio pavers. So, you may be able to get it locally, as well, and save on the shipping. Design tip: That white grout shown in the photo is not what I’d choose. It will show dirt instantly. I’d have to eyeball it, but at minimum would start with medium gray.


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  1. Tikitacky says

    Too bad one can’t find it in the irregular shapes which would be far, far, FAR preferable. The colors are good, but to me, these perfect 90º corners are not in keeping with the MCM blending of indoor/outdoor. They lack the organic feel that MCM made strides to incorporate into the home. I await with baited breath a reader tip on where has the irregular slate slabs still available. I’d love to bring it inside my entry to match the outside entry of my house. 🙂

  2. Carolyn says

    Our foyer is slate just like this and needs some TLC. Paint splatters from previous owners. Any suggestions on how to clean it up?

  3. Leonore says

    Hi, I commented above when I didn’t like the floor…. I wanted to update you all… I bought some floor stripper, applied it, and scrubbed with a metal wire brush… then I cleaned it and applied new sealant “wet look”, I think.
    It looks soooooooooooooo much better! i also painted the walls a cheery yellow, so the foyer is much brighter now..

    • Heather says

      To Leonore, I am wondering if you could post a before and after picture. I have about 2,000sq. Ft. Of this on our main floor and am desperate to try something! Thanks!

    • Amy says

      I have the same floor and feel it looks dull. I’d like to change it, but it’s the only thing in our house my husband loves. 🙁

      I just painted out foyer, where this floor is located a bright cheery yellow as well. Ill be getting a large neutral and light colour area rug as well.

  4. Allison says

    Gah! I kinda like the look of slate in a kitchen, especially the pictures of a house you showed that was a “time capsule”… Neutral counters and back wall, orangish wood cabinets… And slate floor. We have the same cabinets and backsplash as that pictured house! We are scheduled to have Azrock installed tomorrow and are second guessing it since it will be yet another cream color that I worry will clash. Plus, with it being a semi open concept kitchen, I’m not sure how the Azrock will transition from the wood in the rest of the house to a shiny vinyl! Hmm… Wish in we considered slate (?)

  5. \karen says

    I have this flooring in a 1960s home. there are some whitish marks that appear when you leaves something wet on it. perhaps this is from years of wax buldup. can you suggest how to clean it before \I wax it.

  6. Lori says

    Can anyone tell me if we could put this slate on a wall?? We have been looking for something for out exterior basement wall and this would be perfect!!

  7. Matt says

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! for posting this. I’ve been looking for the perfect flooring for the entry hall in our MCM/ranch and never was able to come up with anything that played nicely with the original white oak in the formal living room and the new white oak in the kitchen. This + the grasscloth wallpaper I put in should really help undo the bad 1970s and early 2000s remodels previous owners did with the place.

    I still need the right light though… maybe a PH5 pendant so light gets dispersed both out, down and around?

  8. Sarah says

    We’ve just pulled up some unattractive 6×6 beige 80’s tile and found this underneath! I’m thrilled as we bought this 1958 split level with the intention of bringing back some of that 50’s glory. Sadly, the residue left behind is causing trouble. Does anyone have a solution to removing old tile adhesive and grout from the top of these tiles? I obviously want to leave the floor in tact for the removal process.

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