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    Slate is a fine grained metamorphic rock derived from sedimentary shale rock. It is a very durable natural stone that can be used indoors and out. It is commonly used for floors, countertops, backsplashes, and patio areas and is available in slab and tile form. Slate comes in two finishes, natural cleft and honed. Natural cleft slate has an uneven surface and is typically what comes to mind when you think of slate. Honed, on the other hand, is a process of grinding down the surface of the slate to a very smooth finish. Honed slate is not available in as many colors as natural cleft and is usually more expensive.