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Refurbishing your bathroom? Get some expert tips about slate

Et bad med en vegg av skifer tørrmur. Et betongfelt på midten utgjør dusjen, moderne dusjarmatur.

It’s no secret that Norwegians are champion refurbishers. It’s not known whether we’re world champions at staying in the bath or shower, but we do like a nice bathroom. Are you thinking about refurbishing your bathroom – but need a little inspiration? Here are a few expert tips!

Stein Vidar Gulløien is a trained painter and decorator and runs Trysil Flis & Malercenter. He’s been swinging hammer, chisel and paintbrush in people’s homes and cabins for over 25 years. He’s in no doubt that folks here in the mountains love their bathrooms.

– Norwegians like to be clean and hygienic, and we spend a lot of time on our personal grooming. We like to bathe, shower and get made up. Yes, and we also like to be comfortable on the loo! he says with a smile.

A bathroom with light gray slate tiles on the floor, bathtub and bathroom furniture in oak
Oppdal silk brushed tiles on the floor and back wall together with bathroom furniture in oak.

A relaxation department

The experienced craftsman naturally follows current trends closely and has no difficulty describing the state of the art. There are many details such as wall-mounted toilets and built-in shampoo niches.

– Floor tiles have to be large, people want double washbasins, and rain showers are a must. Maybe even a bathtub, if there’s room for one.

Over the years, he’s seen the bathroom become more and more a place of recreation a personal relaxation department.

– We’ve seen many people putting in cosy armchairs and they want both a sauna and a steam shower. In general, there needs to be more space in the bathroom, Gulløien says.

Large bathroom with a feeling of luxury with slate tiles by Offerdal on the wall, white marble on the floors.
Slate tiles of Offerdal quartzite in natural surface, combined with white marble.
A sauna with walls and ceilings of slate tiles. The stove is clad with a piece of solid slate slab from Offerdal
Offerdal quartzite slate on both wall and sauna stove.
A bathroom and a sauna in a cabin with light Oppdal flagstones on the floor.
Light Oppdal quartzite crazy paving in the bathroom and shower.

Sketch your bathroom

For anyone dreaming of an exciting new bathroom, the expert has the following advice: begin by sketching how you want your bathroom to look.

– You need to find out what you have space for. Is there room for a bathtub, as well as a shower? Do you want a standing toilet? And what about the washing machine? Make a plan of all the surfaces and decide where you want to have the heating elements or panel heater.

Try out different types of slate. Put together several different surfaces and structures, and see how the combination turns out.

A large bathroom with light Oppdal silk-brushed slate tiles on the floor and on the shower wall.
Silk-brushed Oppdal quartzite on the foor as well as the walls.
Details of a rain shower with silk-brushed slate tiles from Oppdal on the floor and on the shower wall.
Details of a bathroom floor with tiles of silk-brushed Oppdal slate. There is a black table with wellness items there.
Details of a shower with light gray slate tiles on the floor and wall. A long drain is embedded in the slate tiles.

Once you’ve made the important decisions, contact a good plumber who can manage the project from A to Z.

– It’s important to get the technical aspects of the wetroom right. A bathroom is an expensive room, but it can quickly become even more expensive if you don’t do everything according to the book, he emphasises.

Versatile stone

One of the big decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of surface you want on the walls. Gulløien says the size of your wallet is often what decides this. But if money is no object, he has one firm favourite: slate.

– Because it’s so extremely durable. You’ll never get a scratch in it. It hasn’t been baked in a kiln in Spain, but has lived its own life for millions of years. This also increases the sales value of your house, he adds.

Gulløien says that there’s a lot more clout in a slate-clad bathroom. And it also gives an avalanche of inspiring options.

– The great thing about slate is that it comes in all sizes and surfaces. From light grey Oppdal to dark grey Offerdal slate, and from the roughest to the very smoothest. A creative tiler can do a lot with that versatility, he says.

Et bad med lys grå skiferflis på gulv, et speil og badeinnredning i eik
Silk-brushed light Oppdal slate on the floor and oak bathroom furniture.
A modern bathroom with Offerdal slate tiles on the wall and Offerdal slate mosaic floor
Offerdal slate on the floor and on the wall inside the shower.

– The great thing about slate is that it comes in all sizes and surfaces. From light grey Oppdal slate to dark grey Offerdal slate, and from the roughest to the very smoothest. A creative tiler can do a lot with that versatility!

Stein Vidar Gulløien
Detail image of tiled slate floor
Light Oppdal silk brushed slate tiles on the floor.
A sauna with slate tiles on the floor and cedar paneling on the walls.
Light Oppdal silk brushed slate tiles on the floor and cedar paneling in the sauna.
Detail from a bathroom with slate tiles on the walls and oak shelves.
Light Oppdal silk brushed slate tiles on the wall and shelves of oak.

Stone with soul

He has done exactly this himself. Gulløien describes large slate tiles on bathroom walls and mosaic tiles in the shower. Hewn edges and stepping stones. The sky is the limit.

– Once, we installed a bathroom where the entire shower area consisted of two gigantic slate slabs weighing 250 kg each. No grouting You can’t do that with tiles. No, it’s not the cheapest of material, but you can really be creative with it and over time you find that the cost decrease due to its durability.

Bathroom with Oppdal slate brick and cast concrete slab in the middle of the shower wall. Slate tile flooring.
Light Oppdal quartzite both as tile on the floor and as a rustic brick shower wall.

He has noticed how more and more people are using many different types of surface. These days, it’s common to find more than one type in a bathroom.

– It’s increasingly popular to mix the old with the modern. For example, a smooth tile on one wall and coarse slate on another. It’s also really stylish to set light grey Oppdal slate against brown wooden walls. This creates a real ‘cabin’ atmosphere, he says, and concludes:

– Slate is, after all, stone with soul.

A rustic bathroom with gray timber walls and Offerdal slate tiles on the floor. Entrance to a sauna inside.
Slate flooring tiles from Offerdal in a natural surface, combined with gray round timber walls. Rustic and soulful!

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