Riven, Brushed and Honed Slate Tiles – Which finish to Choose and Why

Riven, Brushed and Honed Slate Tiles – Which finish to Choose and Why
26 August 2021

Natural Charcoal Grey slate tiles

Natural stone tiles are one of our most popular ranges here at Stone Tile Company. They offer an authentic bespoke look, that only real slate can provide. 

Slate is a gorgeous surface that can be used across a modern home to evoke a classic style with a contemporary twist. Alternatively, slate can be the perfect choice for a period home where you need an authentic classic solution. 

Part of our mission here at Stone Tile Company is to provide information and resources for people interested in tiling and the options we have. As well as our brilliant product range, we also want to educate and inform. 

When it comes to slate wall tiles and slate floor tiles, we hear a lot of questions about the different types of slate tile that are available. Riven slate tiles, brushed slate tiles and honed slate tiles are all popular options, but what are the differences?  

In the latest Stone Tile Company blog, we explain all. 

Riven Slate Tiles

A close up of riven black slate tiles

The term riven comes from the word rive, which means to split or tear apart. This is what happens to the slate when it is removed from the quarry and cut into slabs. So essentially, riven slate tiles are slate in its purest form – at least in terms of tiling! 

Natural charcoal riven slate modular set in an entrance space

They have a very natural surface, and have not been tampered with to enhance their smoothness. For this reason, riven slate tiles are often referred to as natural slate tiles and they have contrasting depths within the surface. Owing to this natural structure, they have a high wear rating and provide excellent slip resistance, so recommended for entrances, utilities, kitchens and conservatories. As natural riven slates have a very rustic nature, we don’t recommend them for barefoot traffic as they could feel quite structured underfoot.

Natural black riven slate set in an indoor outdoor setting

One thing is for sure when it comes to riven slate tiles – no two tiles will have the same pattern. This means that if you are looking for particularly eye-catching tiling in your home, riven slate tiles are a great option. 

Brushed Slate Tiles

A close up of brushed charcoal grey slate tiles from Stone Tile Company

Brushed slate tiles have a unique surface as these tiles undergo a ‘brushing’ process which sees the natural surface softened slightly. This results in a sleeker, contemporary surface effect. You don’t lose the beauty of the slate structure, just the more pronounced, structures areas if the slate is softened slightly.

Brushed black slate set in a kitchen setting

This helps make brushed slate floor tiles particularly suitable for open-plan living areas, combining the beauty of the slate surface with the practicality required within the home. 

Honed Slate Tiles 

A close up of honed black slate tiles from Stone Tile Company

Honed slate tiles are at the other end of the spectrum, with their surface completely smooth and looking fantastic. 

These tiles have a satin aesthetic and sit perfectly flat, allowing for smooth and sophisticated spaces to be created with ease.  

Whether it be a honed slate floor tile or honed slate wall tile, this finish gives the tile the kind of glisten that makes them a really appealing option for the home.  

As the surface is totally smooth, we wouldn’t advise this stone is placed in high traffic areas of the home as it will be harder to maintain. We would instead recommend it be used in bathrooms, living areas and conservatories. 

Choosing your slate tile 

Natural Charcoal Grey Slate tiles

The essential difference between the types of slate tile we stock at Stone Tile Company is to do with their finish. All contain quality slate and have real visual beauty, so the two choices you have to make are to do with the finish and the colour or shade of the tile. 

Riven slate tiles are gorgeous in their texture, and we really like them in more period spaces. Think rustic country kitchen, or boot room.  

Brushed slate tiles are adaptable and can be used across different spaces with ease, whether it is ultra-modern or period. This gives them a flexible quality that can be the ideal middle ground if you are unsure which type of slate tile you really want. 

Honed slate tiles are perhaps better suited to contemporary, modern spaces where the visual beauty of the slate can play a critical role. This smooth slate can be an important backdrop to any room. 

Shop for Slate Tiles at Stone Tile Company 

Brushed multicolour slate wall floor tiles

At Stone Tile Company, we have an exciting range of slate wall tiles and slate floor tiles that can really take the beauty of your home to new levels. 

Our selection covers a host of riven, brushed and honed slate tiles, with different colour schemes and options available.  

Favourites include our natural charcoal grey slate tiles, these brushed multicolour slate tiles and these gorgeous honed black slate tiles. However, with so many choices available, be sure to browse through all the slate tiles we have for you to pick from. 

We have a dedicated slate tiles guide available to read too, so be sure to browse through this at your leisure. 

Take a look too at our delivery options, as well as our product guides and installation guide. And if you have any questions, simply contact the Stone Tile Company team. We will be happy to help.