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Slate Tile Finishes

Types of Slate Tiles
Types of Slate Tiles
31 May 2010- If you notice, you can see that not all slate tiles are smooth. Some of them are slightly rough and some others shine extraordinarily. This difference in slate tiles is due to the difference in there surfaces or finishes. On the basis of finishes, slate tiles can be divided into following categories.

Polished Slate Tile

As is obvious from the name, this type of slate tile is polished to get a smooth and even surface. The slate floor tiles that are used for home interiors are mostly polished though other types of slate tiles are not uncommon for floorings.

Honed Slate Tile

These slate tiles are also polished though not completely. They can be called semi polished slate tiles or tiles with matte finish. Due to their slip resistant charcteristic, these honed tiles are generally preferred for kitchen floorings. Read the use of Honed Slate Tiles to Create a Charming Slate Kitchen

Tumbled Slate Tile

Tumbling machines are used in slate stone factories in which acid based chemicals are used to give a weathered look to slate tiles that are then known as tumbled slate tiles. These tumbled slate tiles with antique type finish and softened edges are preferred as exterior tiles or for rustic home decor.

Natural Cleft Slate Tile

The natural cleft slate tiles are neither honed nor polished down and thus have a natural rough appearance. Cleft is the splitting that occurs within the slate stone during its formation. It causes the uneven features found in finished slate tiles. Natural cleft slate tiles are extremely slip resistant and therefore are mainly used by restaurants and commercial kitchens for outdoor flooring as they are very high traffic areas. Most of the natural cleft slate tiles are gauged (or milled) on the underside for their easy installation. However, the natural cleft is evident on the exposed surface of the finished tile.

Split Face Slate Tile

Natural slate tiles are typically "riven" or split on the facing up side making them vary in thickness. However, not all split face slate tiles are naturally riven. Many split face (sometimes also called rock face) tiles are split with the help of a guillotine like machine that creates a look similar to that of an exposed rock in nature, but processed in dimensions suitable for architectural settings.

Flamed or Brushed Slate Tile

Tiles with smooth and subtle texture- similar to a honed slate tile surface- but slightly less smooth and uniform in finish are the brushed slate tile . For giving this type of finish to slate tiles, buffing heads are made to run over the tile surface in order to create a slightly weathered texture. Through this process, slate tile is honed down slightly, just enough to get rid of the most dramatic peaks. The resultant slate tile finish is more natural than honed tile, with vibrant colors and dimensionality. Flamed slate tiles are generally popular for making hotel lobbies where a dramatic and inviting look is desirable.

Antiqued Slate Tile

This is again a slate tile with a finish created by tumbling them by acid washing. However, they are different from tumbled slate tile in that these antiqued tiles are later brushed to "smooth" the surface.

Sandblasted Slate Tile

The process of sand blasting creates a coarse but consistent slate tile surface. This type of slate tile finish is generally used for slip-resistant applications for kitchen and bathroom flooring, wall cladding, border, counter top, table top, roofing, exterior, interior decoration or other decorative designs.

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