Montauk Blue Slate Tile in the Foyer

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, My House84 Comments

The tile in the foyer is finished and we are one step closer to having the foyer and powder room makeovers complete!  So, there is still more to do before a reveal, but I thought I would share how this space is looking currently and also the details on the tile and grout choices.

I wanted to use a material that fit the traditional style of the house, but also worked with my aesthetic, which lands somewhere in an American farmhouse style meets European influence vein.  What came to mind to meld all of those styles AND to stand up to shoes and boots during a Minnesota winter AND a dog AND two boys were slate and brick.  I had considered a limestone, too, but I just couldn’t picture it.

After talking to the professional who was going to install it and getting Jeff’s opinion, I settled on slate.  Brick was going to be much more labor-intensive (and therefore expensive) to install and Jeff wasn’t excited about it.  As I started shopping for slate, the tile expert cautioned me about getting slate that was low quality.  Some are very uneven and prone to flaking.  He said he won’t even install low quality slate.  So, I did a lot of research, ordered some samples, and ended up getting the Brazilian Gray (Montauk Blue) Cleft Slate Pattern Tile.  (Just an FYI, this isn’t sponsored.)And yep, I ordered it online.

Here is the blurb about the tiles from the website, “These Brazilian Gray Slate Tiles are calibrated for quick and easy installation and have a smooth surface and uniform thickness. Their thickness is 1/4″ with a completely flat machined back. The tiles are naturally slip-resistant. The slate tiles are suitable for residential and commercial areas especially high traffic areas. They are suitable for exterior application in freezing and non-freezing climates”

The description sounded good and the sample looked and felt high quality.  I got the approval from Jeff and the “tile guy”, Chad, and placed my order.  Unfortunately, the patterned tile was on backorder, but Jeff and I felt like it was worth the wait.  Now, I have to give credit where credit is due and tell you that Jeff was the one who was insistent on the pattern.  I would’ve been fine with offset rectangles, but he didn’t waver.  He’s rarely opinionated when it comes to decorating choices, so I listened.  And, he was right.

The pattern did make the tile a challenge to fit together, though!  To make sure we got it right, I printed up about ten copies of the design, so we could lay it out on the floor and see the repeat.

I love the pattern, because it looks random, even though it’s not.  It took Chad and his co-worker about 6-7 hours to install it and they did a fantastic job.  It was amazing to me that they were able to demo the old tile and lay the new without having to even remove the quarter round!

They sealed it with a matte stone sealer and then applied the grout.  I selected the grout color “Iron”.  It’s a warmer mid-to-dark gray that was a little lighter than the tile color.  I wanted a bit of a contrast, but not too much.  I also wanted a darker grout, so it doesn’t show dirt.

And here is how it looks finished…

Well, the tile is finished.  I still need to prime and paint the baseboards (I did that today, but these pictures were taken a few days ago).  I also need to hang some things, finish the bathroom, and the steps will be done in January.

I ordered a 3 x 5 braided jute rug to put by the front door.  I couldn’t fit a rectangle 3 x 5 because of the air vent, but an oval one will work.  I want to have a larger place to kick off wet shoes and snow gear.  We try to come in through the laundry room/mudroom when we’re really wet/snowy/muddy, but that doesn’t always happen.  (As you can see from the drips on the floor!)

It’s hard to really capture the beautiful texture and variation of the slate in a photo, but you can sort of see it in the picture below, as the light passes over it.

Even though it’s gray, it adds a lot of warmth and definitely has more character than the large beige tiles that were there before.  We’ve made a lot of changes to this house, but Jeff & I feel like this is one of the best.  It’s transformed the foyer from a ho-hum space you just walk through to a proper room that demands some attention.

And, even though it’s a tiny room with just a sink and a toilet, I am very excited to bring together the details of the half-bath.  I was painting in there today and it’s already looking like an entirely different room!

Montauk Blue Slate Tile in the Foyer

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84 Comments on “Montauk Blue Slate Tile in the Foyer”

  1. It looks really good.
    Classic and timeless. Have you considered painting the heat vent cover so it blends in more? The white vent cover stands out and draws your eye directly to it.

    1. My thoughts exactly! Painting the vent cover to blend in would be a good move. LOVE the slate.

    2. Yes! I meant to mention that I was planning on painting them, but I might consider replacing them with something that sits flatter and looks more decorative.

  2. Our front stoop is slate and we’ve always loved it. We’re in a 50yr old house now for 17 yrs and are just now able to completely renovate the master bath. We’re using black slate in a herringbone pattern. I just love the pattern of the slate you chose. Just beautiful.

  3. Perfection in a floor, such a good feeling to have made all the right decisions when a project is complete !

    1. Yes! I’m so glad it turned out even better than expected. There is always that doubt as you’re waiting to see it finished…

  4. It’s a perfect choice for the foyer and bathroom! I’m sure on those wintry days when the kids come through with their wet boots, you’re going to be thrilled with the tile!

  5. Very beautiful color/material. Just wondering if you had thought of doing a heated tile floor before you had it installed? We did a master bathroom reno last year and my husband said while we are doing this lets put in a heated floor. So glad we did….otherwise it would be freezing in the winter.

    1. No, I didn’t think about that for the foyer. I would definitely look into that for our bathroom, though, when we redo the tile in there.

  6. Your house is just beautiful. Every choice was well thought out and perfect. It is so warm and welcoming. Great job!

  7. How did your husband come up with that design? It really makes the tile look so much more high end to me.
    Wonderful design choice.

  8. All our homes in Ireland have slate roofs that look like your tile. I love the slate and your foyer looks absolutely lovely. My Ohio kitchen is hardwood, if it wasn’t I would enstall that slate! Wouldn’t that look greT against my white cabinets

    Great choice Marian

    1. Yes, this floor would look beautiful in a kitchen. I want to put it in my laundry room and the boy’s bathroom now, but that will have to wait a while. One big thing at a time!

  9. Gorgeous! So perfect. May I ask what matte stone sealer you used. I need one for my limestone hearth.

  10. OOH, I love the slate. The color and texture make it a perfect choice. Have you thought about installing it as a fireplace surround?

    1. I have! I think redoing the tile will be a bigger project, though, since we have a granite slab as a hearth and we have an arched mantle. I’m going to try an easier and less expensive fix first.

  11. Looks great…I have slate and changed my floor vents to black decorative vents. Looks so much better. Used brass where I have hardwood.

  12. Just beautiful. My parents had this as an “upgrade” in the house they built almost 60 years ago. I put the the same on my screened porch, but unfortunately just went with the 16″ squares and didn’t have the foresight to do the pattern. The pattern is just gorgeous and yes, it will be there forever as a classic.

  13. The timing of this can’t be better. We are building a house and I’ve been looking for this exact type of tile for a mud room/laundry/half bath area. Ordering a sample TODAY!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. The floors look beautiful and I love the pattern. I would spray paint the air vent to better blend in with the floor, which has worked in my Michigan home. Great job!!

    1. Yes, definitely! I meant to mention that is on my to-do list. I agree it would make a big difference!

  15. Looking wonderful! There is a company called Reggio that makes high quality grates. I think their black grate with small square openings would be perfect for your entryway. You can also spray paint the innards of the register opening black so it all blends. I think this would give more of a farmhouse/rustic look than the white, check it out!

    1. I was planning to paint them, but I’ll look into the high-quality grates. It would be nice to have them flatter and with more of an intentional design. We have wooden grates in our other rooms on this floor and they look so nice and integrated into the flooring. Thanks for the suggestion!

  16. Love your slate floor!What is the name of the company that you ordered it from?Did you get the grout from the same company?

    1. I ordered the tile from the Marble Warehouse. I believe the grout was purchased at Home Depot, but I’m not sure. The “tile guy” picked it up. I did a search, though, and I think grout colors are fairly uniform. The color “iron” seems to be in a few different brands.

  17. It’s beautiful, Marian! Love the color & the pattern.

    Before looking at the pictures, I guessed you’d use Pennsylvania blue-stone! The colors look similar to me and PA as a reference to your former home. Trying to think like you! Failed! 🙂

    Great choice.

  18. WOW, it looks amazing with the door and wall colors! You truly are an artist. I love Sebastian! He’s looking very handsome on the tile.

  19. Love love it. My family had very similar in my house in Montana and the name I really like because my daughter in law is from Brazil!

  20. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and we had almost identical slate in our entry! It made it through 20+ years of 6 people walking in and stomping wet snow boots all over it. You’ll be happy with your choice 🙂

  21. It’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m really impressed that they could demo the old tile and lay the new flooring without having to remove the quarter round!!

  22. I’m always interested (and amused) at the difference in speech/words used in other countries, A half bath? We would call that area a toilet.
    Sandie from New Zealand

    1. Ha…yes, we call it a half bath (since there isn’t a shower or tub) or a powder room. We would also call it a WC, but I think I picked that up in Germany and that isn’t so much a US thing.

  23. I don’t comment very much…but what a difference that beauty-full slate made to your home! We put something similar in our kitchen and master bath (about 12 years ago…wow, that’s awhile!) and I still love it! You will notice the color really changes with the time of day or light that shines on it!

    1. Glad to know you still love yours after 12 years. I felt like it was a classic/timeless choice. 🙂

  24. Love it, love it, love it! I love everything about it– the color, the grout, the layout, the slate! My cousin left me her house a few years ago and there was a huge floor register near the stairs that couldn’t be changed, I spray painted it to match the flooring and it changed the look of the whole area. A huge improvement! Since then, my husband has been calling me the spray paint queen. I paint everything! It makes such a huge difference. Love your blog.

    1. Yes! I meant to mention that. I am planning to spray paint the floor vents, so they blend with the floor better. I just need to find the right gray.

  25. I need to check local sources,tile close to $1000.00 and shipping near $500.00. Yours is lovely and what a nice treat upon entering your beautiful home

    1. Thank you! Mine ended up being $800 for shipping and the tile, so I felt like that was pretty good. You might be able to find a better price locally, though. I would just suggest looking at a tile store and not a home/hardware store. What they have in stock is usually the lower end slate.

  26. Beautiful! Marian, I live in an area called The Slate Valley in upstate NY. We are proud to know that the slate roof of the Pentagon came from our local quarries. Your “tile guy” is right, there is great variation in quality. Enjoy your lovely new floor.

  27. Love the pattern you laid the slate in. It works so well in this space. Can’t wait to see the bath.

    1. Yes, I didn’t want slate that had lots of greens and purples in it. I just wanted it to be varying shades of blue/gray and this is definitely what I envisioned.

  28. I wish that the slate we removed looked as good as yours do. I see that they say it is good for exterior, too. The slate would look great on your front porch. Especially because it is covered and has a bench it doesn’t read as porch but more like an outdoor living space.

    1. Yes, I would love to do something to the floor of the front porch. So many project ideas… 🙂

    1. It was from Target. I bought it on clearance a few months ago, so it might not be available any longer.

    2. I was wondering what you used to seal your tile. We are putting in a very similar tile in our mudroom. There are impregnating sealers, topical sealers, sealers that enhance color….I’m trying to decide which way to go.

  29. This looks so nice and will be perfect for dogs, kids, and rough winters. Our home was built in the 1960’s and we love the original slate floor that’s in the entry. It’s very durable and is a classic and timeless look in my opinion. Great choice!

  30. It’s beautiful. This really does fit your aesthetic. You are correct about good quality slate. My SIL put it in and already replaced it with another stone. It was uneven and it did chip.

  31. Absolutely gorgeous! We’re thinking about installing this exact flooring in our kitchen against our hardwoods in the living room. In the room to the right of your staircase, is there a difference in the threshold between your wood floor and the slate? If we install this tile, it will raise our kitchen floor and I’m wondering whether you encountered a similar issue. I like the threshold between the two floors–was it custom made?

  32. Hi! I was wondering if you could tell me what color you have your walls painted – looks like a very very light gray but I could be wrong. Thank you so much for the help!

  33. Hi, was this the montauk blue tile or montauk black? it looks so much darker in the foyer than the blue looks online! Thank you for the inspiration!

  34. this looks wonderful! do you have a link to the grout you used? what spacers were used between the tile when it was installed? thanks!

      1. Hello! I Love your site! The slate is beautiful! Exactly what I am going to have done for my Mothers bungalow bath & kitchen as well as front porch. I Would love to know where you purchased your grout (color iron) spacer size and sealant you chose?
        You are a inspiration!!
        Thank you,
        Mack Charlotte NC

        1. The tile setter ordered the grout, so I’m not sure about the brand. He sealed it with Enrich & Seal Stone Enhancer & Sealer in a matte finish.

    1. The tile pattern is sold in a set and I think it covers 4-6 sq ft per set. I determined the square footage needed and received enough sets to cover that area.

  35. Hi! I found this post when cross checking the quality of the slate that I found via google – your project Is BEAUTIFUL and inspired me to create the same look in my kitchen with the same product you used/linked!
    My question (maybe for your husband and/or the guy who helped him lay it) is if you can use Ditra as the underlayment instead of cement board. I want to avoid a big lip at the threshold between my wood floors and the new slate, but wasn’t sure if Ditra (which is much thinner) can be effectively used under slate.

    1. Oh, I wish I could answer that, but I’m not sure. The tiler was able to use the board that was in place, so he didn’t have to replace it. You might want to contact Marble Warehouse about it to ask them!

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