What Does It Cost to Install Slate Tile for Flooring, Patio Surfaces, and Roofing?

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated March 22, 2022
Slate tile bathroom
Photo: Corbis/Getty Images


  • Slate tile flooring installation costs $10–$15 per square foot

  • Slate roofing installation costs $10–30 per square foot

  • Prep work, such as flooring or roofing removal, may be needed

  • You can DIY small slate tile floors, but leave slate roofing to a pro

  • Save on slate tile materials by buying in bulk or online

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From indoor floors and walls to outdoor patios and roofing, slate tile is a versatile material loved for its durability. While it can be an investment that increases the value of your home, slate tile also comes with higher upfront costs that you’ll need to budget for carefully. Expect to pay anywhere from $7,000 to $19,000 for the average slate tile project. We’ll explain how that cost breaks down.

National Average Cost: $13,000

Average Range: $7,000–$19,000

Minimum Cost: $4,000

Maximum Cost: $38,500

How Much Does It Cost to Install Slate Tile per Square Foot?

The per square foot cost of slate tile installation depends on the tile products’ type, quality, and purpose.

Slate tile costs compared by type, with flooring ranging $10 to $15

Slate Tile Flooring Cost per Square Foot

Including labor, professional slate tile flooring installation costs $10 to $15 per square foot on average, depending on its quality.

  • Basic quality slate tile installation: $9 per sq. ft.

  • High-end slate tile installation: $40 per sq. ft.

  • DIY material costs: $4–$10 per sq. ft.

Outdoor Slate Tile Cost per Square Foot

The average total cost to install slate tiles outside ranges from $9 to $40 per square foot. This doesn’t include the cost of additional projects that may be necessary for your installation, such as regrading your lawn, excavating land, removing trees, or any backyard renovation. The cost to build a stone patio of slate slabs or pavers ranges from $15 to $40 per square foot.

Slate Roofing Tile Cost per Square Foot

Slate roofing costs $10 to $30 per square foot to purchase and install, depending on the type of slate you choose.

  • Soft slate shingles: $10–$20 per sq. ft.

  • Hard slate shingles: $20–$30 per sq. ft.

  • Synthetic slate roofing: $5–$10 per sq. ft.

Slate Tile Cost Breakdown

Your slate tile installation costs will vary depending on the type of project you’re doing. Here’s a breakdown of some common costs to expect.


If you know what type of tile you need for your project, the size and quality of those materials determine how much you need to budget. When it comes to slate floor tiles, bigger tiles will cost more than smaller spaces, and high-end slate is considerably more expensive than basic tiles. The tile itself can range anywhere from $1.49 to $28 per square foot.

Slate tile roofing offers a similar range of costs. You’ll find hard slate shingles for $15 to $25 per square foot and soft slate shingles for $5 to $15 per square foot. Additional materials may also be necessary for weatherproofing, including flashings, nails, and sheathing. These can cost $2 to $5 per square foot.


Labor costs vary based on where you’re having the tile installed. A tile flooring specialist typically charges $8 to $12 per square foot for labor alone. Because installing slate tile flooring is so time-consuming, the labor costs more than it does for most other common flooring materials, ranging from $1 to $9 per square foot.

On the other hand, slate roofers charge $5 to $15 per square foot. This is a bit more than the $3 to $5 per square foot rate you can expect for asphalt, metal, or composite roofing due to added time and specialized training required for slate roofing installation.

You may also be charged by the hour at a rate of about $50 to $100 per hour. Be sure to ask for an estimated timeline when vetting local roofers and collecting quotes.

Prep Work

Your slate tile project may require specific preparation before installation can begin. For example, consider the cost of removing existing materials. The cost to tear up an existing roof is $2 to $5 per square foot, plus the cost of disposal. You may need to budget an additional $300 to $500 to rent a dumpster.

If installing slate tile as an outdoor patio surface, there are several projects you may need to do in advance:

  • Regrading your lawn: $1,000–$3,000

  • Excavating land: $50–$200 per cubic yard

  • Tree removal: $750 per tree

Cost to Install Slate Tile Yourself

If you’re comfortable installing slate tile flooring and have some experience with interior renovation projects, you may be able to do it on your own in smaller spaces. In all, the project will take about a week. You’ll spend an average of $4 to $10 per square foot on materials, but you’ll save $8 to $12 per square foot on the cost of labor to hire a professional tile installer in your area

For a DIY, you’ll need to own and learn to use an extensive list of tools and materials, including: 

  • Wet saw: Precisely cut edge tiles

  • Notched trowel: Apply mortar adhesive and sealant

  • Rubber mallet: Set tiles

  • Grout float: Apply grout between them

Cost to Install Slate Tile Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor

Slate tile roof installation
Photo: iStock/Getty Images

Not every homeowner wants to take on a slate tile installation project. If you lack the experience, time, tools, or patience to create the patterns you want or to cut tile to fit narrow spaces, you may want to consider hiring a professional to install your slate tile floors. Expect to spend between $9 and $20 per square foot for an average professional slate tile flooring job.

When it comes to slate tile roofing, all work should be left to a local slate roofer. You’ll want to carefully select a roofer with specialized slate experience, a proven portfolio of successful slate tile jobs, and positive ratings. Get quotes from at least three pros, and expect your installation to cost from $10 to $30 per square foot.

Tips to Reduce Cost While Installing Slate Tile

You can cut down on slate tile installation costs by saving on materials. One way to do this is to buy in bulk. You can purchase a case of slate tile that covers 10 square feet of flooring for about $30 per case from most home improvement stores. You can also shop online, as some virtual retailers offer free samples and won’t charge you for the cost of shipping.

Slate Tile Installation Questions and Answers

How do you install slate tile?

Here’s a simple overview of the slate tile installation process:

  1. Remove your current flooring

  2. Prep and clean the subfloor so you have a flat, clean surface

  3. Apply mortar to the subfloor as an adhesive

  4. Place spacers to create a layout of gaps between tiles

  5. Cut edge tiles in advance

  6. Place each tile by pushing down or tapping with a mallet

  7. Clean off any mortar from your tile surfaces

  8. Remove spacers and wait for the adhesive to dry

  9. Coat the outer edges of all tile pieces with a water sealant

  10. Add grout and allow the surface to set and dry for several days

How long do slate shingles last?

Hard natural slate roof tiles can last anywhere from 50 to 200 years. Soft slate has a shorter maximum lifespan of about 125 years.

Is a slate roof worth it?

Slate roofs are an environmentally friendly material that can last up to 200 years, which far exceeds the 20- to 30-year lifespan of the average asphalt roof. Even with this added durability, slate roofs cost more than an asphalt roof and can take longer to install. Consider these factors when deciding on a roofing material.

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