Ardesia Slate in Black, Grigio, Rust and Shiraz
- Honed, Natural and Tumbled Finishes. 

Remember Mr Slate who ran the quarry in The Flintstones? Well, this isn’t about him, but the comparison does demonstrate how long slate has been enhancing residential and commercial spaces.

It may be easier to answer what can’t slate do, because it truly ticks every box an architect and family could be seeking for their project. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor, its attributes include low maintenance, fire proof, non-slip, a natural electrical insulator and a material that looks better as it ages – what is not to love about this natural beauty?

Slate forms within the earth in giant veins that run dimensionally through the ground. Slate began its life as a fine-grained 
shale-type sedimentary rock made from clay or volcanic ash. 
Slate then formed from this rock through low-grade metamorphism. 
It is extracted in huge slabs, which contain colours tones depending on the various chemicals which were present during its formation. It is mainly composed of the minerals quartz and muscovite, often along with minerals like hematite and pyrite. Its broad range of applications from roofing(slate shingles)to flooring and walls is partly due to its uniformity – cut into sheets by specialised equipment in quarries. The exact hue is dependent on its local environment at the time of extraction, creating a natural bespoke result.

There is nothing more beautiful than natural slate. Like fine wine, it actually gets better with age! Byzantine Design provides slate from Brazil, the second biggest producer in the world. We provide Brazilian slate in three varieties: honed, natural and tumbled.  
We are not a supplier that expects our clients to have a tile industry background, and we don’t like to bandy around jargon without explaining what it means and how the finish could impact or enhance your living space.

In the most simple of terms, many tiles, including slate (and marble, travertine and others), are sold as either honed or tumbled and both finishes are distinctive and beautiful. The processes do nothing to limit the natural attributes the stone has (such as durability, water resistance) but they do look decidedly different. Both finishes are enhanced by sealers which add to their low maintenance in terms of keeping clean.

Ardesia Black Slate 100x100mm in Honed and Tumbled finish. 

is where special diamond tools are used to remove all machine marks from when the slate was mined at the quarry. The result means that the slate appears uniformly smooth and often the natural colour is deepened. It softens the look but unlike crystalline materials such as granite or marble, the result is not a highly polished, gloss finish but a glorious satin finish.

literally indicates what is involved in the process. There are two main ways to produce a tumbled tile and the most common method is to place the tiles into a rubber or plastic barrel, along with grit created by adding rocks, water and sand. The tiles are literally tumbled over and over while the grit wears down their edges and softens their finish. This gives a more natural, worn look.  For larger tiles, it is not practical to tumble in a drum, as they may break. For these bigger pieces, a tumbled finish actually requires hand chiselling or using a machine to roughen up and chip the edges. Tumbled slate may have a more matt, chalky appearance which is ideal for a more rustic or vintage vibe. A mosaic made from tumbled slate would be amazing! 

So now we have the science lesson sorted, let’s cover what clients really want to know – what projects work best with slate? Well, we’ve mentioned that slate is both non slip and doesn’t retain moisture, so it is a great choice when considering underfloor heating.  It’s great for bathrooms and pools too. Likewise, a honed slate splashback would make your kitchen a timelessly beautiful space that surpasses any fleeting trends. Did I mention integrating honed slate into your interior design, including countertops and bars also creates a beautiful, considered and modern statement?
For houses such as the adorable heritage style cottages in Adelaide, exterior feature walls and fireplaces are created using tumbled slate in a myriad of tones, adding rustic charm and warmth to sandstone and stained glass.

Maybe all this talk of slate has made you want to learn more – as hard as it is, I have a soft spot for this material! 

We have the following slate tile sizes available:
600x300, 300x 75, 150 x 75, 100 x 100 both tumbled and honed
Some colours, finishes and sizes can be found on our website here. To view the full range drop in to our store sometime!

That's it from us for this week, 'til next time our tile obsessed friends... 

XOXO Byzantine Design  
Changing the World one tile at a time. 


Post a Comment

I LOVE your comments, please feel free to leave your thoughts, rants and ramblings here.