Cleft Slate Tile vs. Honed Slate Tile

Benefits of Tiled Flooring

When putting in flooring, it is important to weigh your many options. Having a tiled floor is a timeless classic with both practical and aesthetic benefits. Having a well-tiled floor is a subtle yet effective way to impress guests as well. 

Know Your Options

When selecting a tile to use on the floor of your home, it is important to know what exactly you're getting into. Depending on where the slate was sourced, it will differ in texture, color, and strength. Different kinds of slate each have their pro's and con's, and knowing them can help you select the one which is most suited to you and your personal style. Let's look at the two most common categories of slate tile: cleft and honed. 

Cleft Slate Tile

Cleft slate tile (a.k.a natural slate) has smooth backs, while the showing surface is unrefined. This way, the owner can enjoy a naturalistic aesthetic that evokes an outdoor environment.

Having uneven surfaces also gives cleft slate tile more grip in comparison to other tiles, especially when wet. 

Because it is not as refined, cleft slate can be bought in many different vibrant colors (including gold, green, blue, and black)

If the cleft slate is too low quality, it has a tendency to break or chip, but since the surface is already uneven, it is not always noticeable. Still, this unevenness means that walking over cleft slate while barefoot may be uncomfortable for some.

Honed Slate Tile

As opposed to cleft slate tile, honed slate has a smooth and refined surface. This creates a more even feel similar to marble or granite. Unlike those materials, honed slate is matte: unpolished and unreflective. 

A drawback of this process is that the slate loses some of its natural flair, and will become more slippery when wet in comparison with cleft slate tile. 

Because honed slate is more uniform in shape and color than cleft slate, it is often used by those who want a modern or minimalist look for their homes. 

Due to the process used to smooth honed slate, if the tile does scratch or stain, it is more noticeable than cleft slate. 

Don't Compromise on Quality 

In any case, it's important to keep quality in mind. Cheap tiling might save some money upfront, but it may also cost you in the long-run. Inexpensive slate has a tendency to crack easily, meaning that replacements may become frequent, and costs will build up over time. Having rectified, precise tiling is an investment that will minimize the need to re-grout your tiles in the future.

Keep Your Slate Clean

No matter which tile you choose for your home, make sure you use the right cleaner to keep your floors in tip-top condition. Using chemical sealants to protect your tile is a must when it is first installed. And, of course, always remember to replace old damaged grout when it is needed. With the proper maintenance, your stone tile floors will remain impressive to everyone for years to come. 


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