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6 good reasons to clad your cabin in slate

En hytte med fasadeskifer av lys Oppdalsskifer. Tråkkheller ligger rundt hytten.

Would you like a maintenance-free cabin? Cladding your cabin’s exterior walls with slate is an easy and beautiful way to make your dream come true, so you can spend your time at the cabin doing what you really want.

Think about it. What do you really want to spend your time on when you’re at your cabin? An evening with a book in front of the fire or out staining wood? With a tasty fondue or a leaky window?

The answer is probably the first option in both cases. By using Norwegian slate on the cabin’s façade walls, you can free up time for more enjoyable activities. After all, you can’t spell ’skiferie’ (skiing trip) without ’skifer’ (slate).

One advocate of this is Halvor Bakke. For those that followed his TV programme ‘Adventurous Refurbishment’, it’s a well-known fact that this Norwegian designer likes natural stone coverings – either on the ground or on walls.

Modern cottage with a facade in slate and large windows. A slate staircase goes down to the garden.
Facade in Oppdal quartzite laid with overlap – maintenance-free, durable and beautiful.
Details of a cabin with a slate facade of Oppdal quartzite.
Facade in slate laid with overlap.

– It’s a very exciting way to use slate. Either to cover the entire cabin, or just parts of it. Our cabins have enough wood, says Halvor Bakke.

And it’s not only in a professional context that Halvor Bakke prefers walls clad in Norwegian natural stone.

– I’m building a cabin myself now, and I’m going to cover the outbuilding walls with slate. I think it’s especially cool on an outbuilding or shed, he says.

See how Halvor Bakke installs a Oppdal slate facade in just one afternoon using this ingenious system:

– Slate is a strong material, even in thin formats

Morten Lie runs Stoneart, which specialises in finding ‘new’ ways to use Norwegian slate and new markets for the product.

Slate mounted in systems with aluminium rails is widely used on façades in Europe and the rest of the world. The systems are often supplied with Spanish slate in thin formats. Now, in collaboration with Minera Skifer, Stoneart can supply Norwegian slate from Oppdal as the façade material for these tried and tested systems.

While Spanish stale comes in relatively small formats, Norwegian slate can be supplied in large dimensions.  Slate from Oppdal with its light grey hues and unique texture, can give a building a unique appearance.

Close-up of an facade installation system for thin slate slabs  with aluminum rails and hooks.
Light Oppdal facade panels. Photo: Stoneart
Suspension of slate facade with aluminum rails and hooks.
Light Oppdal facade panels. Photo: Stoneart
Suspension of slate facade with aluminum rails and hooks on a cabin.
Light Oppdal facade panels. Photo: Stoneart

Aluminium rails manufactured by Norsk Hydro are attached directly to the supporting wall or on laths. The profiles are perforated and provide good aeration behind the slate that is attached to the rails with hooks. The 10-mm thick facade slate from Minera are 32.5 cm high and have lengths of up to 100 cm. From the back wall, rails and slate protrude no more than 55 mm and weigh 35 kg per sqm. This allows the system to be installed on most buildings – old and new.

– Stoneart has developed its own systems that make it incredibly fast and easy to fit the Norwegian slate to the cabin’s façade. No specialist expertise or tools are required. As the slate is mounted without using glue or chemicals, it can almost last forever. On any changes to the façade, the slate can be taken down and reused, Morten Lie concludes. Read more about reuse and sustainable options with Scandinavian slate.

A cabin that has been made maintenance-free with slate as facade cladding. Benches are built on the terrace next to the slate wall.
From the TV show “Adventurous renovation” where Halvor Bakke & Co dressed up a cabin with thin slate slabs of light gray Oppdal quartzite on top of existing wood cladding.

Here are Morten Lie’s six best reasons to clad your cabin in slate:

1. It looks beautiful

There are many good reasons to clad your cabin in slate. But for many, the main reason is simply that it looks beautiful. There is long tradition for building with slate in Norway and by using Norwegian stone, the cabin will fit beautifully into the landscape.

2. Slate is completely maintenance-free

No more wood staining and no more washing. You just screw up the fastening system and the slate will hang on your wall until you take down again. And best of all: the stone retains its original quality and may become even more beautiful with time.

If you buy a new cabin, or decide to refurbish the one you have, you can also just unhook the slate tiles and use them again.

A dark stained mountain cabin with an extension with light gray slate from Oppdal on the facade. There is a lot of snow.

3. You can mount the slate yourself, on the existing wall

Cladding your cabin in slate requires no screwing other than fixing the rail system to the wall. Next, hang the tiles in layers, fastened with an ingenious hook system. Should you ever choose to return to the original wall, the only damage will be some screw holes.

4. The façade is ventilated

The slate will not seal the wall completely, so moisture can escape between the tiles. You therefore won’t need to worry about moisture damage to your cabin’s wooden walls, even if they’re armoured with a layer of Norwegian natural stone.

5. A light, but solid façade

Since the slat is split into thin tiles, the cladding will never weigh more than around 35 kg per sqm. The façade will still be resistant to frost, snow, rain, wind and everything else that the Norwegian climate might expose your cabin to.

6. It’s as local as you can get

The only thing that doesn’t come from the Nordic region is the patent. The aluminium in the rails is produced by Norsk Hydro, the metal hooks to which the tiles are attached are made from Swedish steel and the stone, well, it comes from Oppdal, Norway.

Interiørdesigner og programleder Halvor Bakke står på en steintrapp

Thin slate slabs on the cabin wall

– It’s a very exciting way to use slate. Either to cover the entire cabin, or just parts of it. Our cabins have enough wood. I’m building a cabin myself now, and I’m going to cover the walls with slate.

Halvor Bakke
Interior and furniture designer

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