During my visit to Bau Munich 2023 (Europe’s biggest Building and Construction Expo), I stumbled across a stand and product that I hadn’t seen before; a flexible stone veneer that was being used as a wallpaper, floor finish, and even external cladding surface. I thought this must be an artificial reproduction, a product that was made to look like real stone, a printed version perhaps.
My curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to wait my turn to speak with Marius, Slate-Lite’s representative, and company owner. Marius quickly brought me up to speed, telling me about the history of the collections, how his father pioneered the method decades ago of creating a real stone veneer from a real rock slab.
In my 35 plus years in the building industry I rarely get truly excited about decorative products anymore, but this time I was amazed with this extraordinary product line.
So, I now realised that Slate-Lite stone veneers represent a reinvention of natural stone – crafted using an ingenious process to produce beautifully thin and flexible real stone sheets. Comprised of a 1.5mm thick natural stone layer bonded to a reinforced backing, these veneers retain the unmatched aesthetic of real stone while offering versatility far beyond traditional stone tiles.
The range of colours and patterns available from Slate-Lite is extraordinary – from multi-hued slate to striking sandstone, subtle limestone to elegant marble. With over 70 unique stone decors spanning 5 distinct types, designers can select the perfect natural stone essence for residential or commercial projects.
Amazingly, they also offer a translucent, ultra thin version that can be used for lightboards and even lighting products. The lightboards exhibit unique light patterns when a light source is applied behind the stone sheet. This provides an innovative addition to a lighting designer’s creative arsenal.
I appreciate how Slate-Lite encourages customers to explore the possibilities firsthand by providing affordable sample sets. Perusing the samples alongside vision boards or material swatches brings designs to life.
As the original stone veneer innovator since 2002, Slate-Lite’s proprietary process has only been refined over the years. The result is an exceptional design object with the authenticity of hand-crafted natural stone in formats as large as 280x120cm.
During my work on projects worldwide, I’m continuously amazed by Slate-Lite’s diverse applications. From bathrooms to exterior facades, fireplaces to furniture, this thin stone veneer adapts beautifully. The self-adhesive backing on some of the collections even eliminates cumbersome installation.
The only potential downside for me is that we are dealing with a natural product that demands a certain amount of creativity to place two sheets next to each other, a problem that is not present when you’re dealing with patterned wallpaper. So the designer needs to create a negative detail or make the sheets look like tiles for me to really stand out.
If you want a stone look without the weight, cost, and very slow installation then I think Slate-Lite is a great natural alternative. I am certainly going to use it on a project soon, maybe even as a floor surfacing, or even on the ceiling – now that will create a lot of curiosity.
I’m impressed with Slate-Lite’s commitment to innovative craftsmanship, and promoting creative possibilities. Their stone veneers lend spaces a unique personality with the warmth and beauty of natural stone, something I really appreciate. If you have a residential or commercial project craving a striking stone statement, Slate-Lite’s innovative materials should be on your mood board.
I highly recommend Slate-Lite’s stone veneers.