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How to tile your cabin bathroom with slate

More and more people are using slate indoors, and tiling bathroom floors with slate has become particularly popular. For former Minera CEO Arnstein Sæteren, it seemed like the natural thing to do. Check out his cosy cabin bathroom!

Sæteren had bought a cabin that was steeped in history. It was built in the 1960’s, but the inner structure was originally a North-Eastern timber shed from 1912. But as much as Sæteren loved the old building, it was in need of an update.

– The cabin was in good condition, but we wanted to keep it for a long time. That’s why we lifted up the entire timber section, cast a new foundation and hoisted it back up.

View of mountains and water from a terrace with flagstone slate.
On such a fantastic plot nothing beats local natural materials. Flagstones of Light Oppdal quartzite slide in quite naturally.

Slate floor tiles

The renovation also allowed him to finally add a proper bathroom. For a man in the slate industry, with a cabin in Oppdal, the choice of materials was obvious. Natural stone.

– We went for silk-brushed Oppdal slate on the entire bathroom floor and shower wall. Here, we used floor tiles with a width of 30 centimetres in continuous lengths. They have a nice pattern. On the floor inside the shower, where you need a bit of an incline, we went for tiny mesh tiles.

The countertops in the cabin bathroom are also tiled in Oppdal slate. Sæteren wanted to create a look of overall consistency in his materials.

– There’s no doubt the timber walls here are a little old and tired, so it seemed appropriate to find something that would match the old style. There aren’t many materials that are both traditional and modern, like slate is. The result was excellent, he says.

A close-up of a sink set into a gray slate worktop
Worktop in the same type of slate as the floor tiles gives the bathroom an elegant and cohesive look.
Detail of gray slate tiles inside a shower and black mixer tap
Light Oppdal silk brushed tiles of slate.

Warm and cosy cabin bathroom

He also has to admit that he was driven by curiosity. Because while Oppdal slate has a long tradition for being used outdoors, indoor use is relatively new, and something he had been encouraging.

– We’ve done a lot of refining and adapting, and the idea was to make this material easier to use indoors. So, I naturally wanted to try it myself, now that I finally had the chance.

The result made Sæteren even more confident that slate has a place inside Norwegian cabins and homes. Because natural stone does much more than just look good.

– It has so many qualities. For example, although having a slate floor in the cabin bathroom might sound hard and cold, it’s quite soft and warm, and the silk brushed surface is particularly comfortable to walk on. The heating cables we have in the floor really come into their own because the slate is so good at storing heat.

Detail image of a gray tile in a slate bathroom with mosaic in the shower
Light Oppdal silk brushed tiles on the floor and mosaic in the same type of slate inside the shower, which ensures a good drainage fall.

Non-slip floor tiles

Finally, the floor is as flat as a parquet floor – and is impressively slip-resistant. This latter benefit is one Sæteren is particularly delighted with.

– For those of us with grandchildren, it’s nice to know that the little ones can run around and play. And there’s also the durability factor: I know this floor will last as long as the bathroom, he says, adding:

– There’s a sustainability perspective here too. When you produce a ceramic tile, you need to heat clay to 700–800 degrees, and then there’s the transport. Here I’m using materials that will last forever, and which have almost been taken straight from my own back garden. That’s a good feeling.

A cabin bathroom with gray tiles and slate worktops and a black frame on the shower walls
Light Oppdal silk brushed slate tiles’ good ability to store heat means that the heating cables underneath really come into their own.

Tips for natural stone for cabin bathrooms

For anyone else considering slate tiles in their cabin bathroom – or other wet rooms – Sæteren has some tips.

– Most importantly, you need to impregnate the slate. Even if you have heating cables that allow the floor to dry quickly, the joints will draw some of the moisture. So you should impregnate as soon as possible.

Another tip is to use a dealer who can guarantee an even thickness of the slate tiles.

– Traditional stonelayers are of course a dying breed, so it’s mostly tilers who lay stone. As they do this on a levelled floor, the thickness of the slate is completely uniform, Sæteren explains and concludes:

– A good tip would be to ask someone who has done it before. This is of course a bit unusual, so seek advice from those who really know natural stone, whether it’s a dealer, craftsman or manufacturer.

Soft and warm floor with slate

Although having a slate floor in the cabin bathroom might sound hard and cold, it’s quite soft and warm, and the silk brushed surface is particularly comfortable to walk on. The heating cables we have in the floor really come into their own because the slate is so good at storing heat.

Arnstein Sæteren
Former CEO and 2nd generation owner of Minera Skifer

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