Glossary of Tile Finishes

Our stones come in a range of different finishes, to suit different aesthetic or practical effects. In a bathroom, for example, you may want a more textured finish for better slip resistance. If you are restoring a heritage property, an ageing process such as seasoning will help you to match existing materials.

These descriptions are only intended as a guide. Every stone is unique and reacts differently to the finishing process.

Stone has a greater variety of finishes than porcelain and ceramic tiles.


The edges of the stone are chipped by hand and cushioned using diamond grinding pads. This gives a timeworn appearance to the stone that is more refined than the seasoned finish.


The face of the stone is sand-blasted to make for a low-slip finish, perfect for external and wet areas. The process gives a ‘bleached’ look that gives it a more contemporary appearance. An etched finish is often used internally and can be used to create a seamless look from inside to outside.


Highly polished, either by mechanical polishing (normally porcelain) or by glazing, the effect will vary depending on the tile. Some glazes are designed with a crackle effect and require sealing.


Refers to our terracotta collection, where raw clay is worked into moulds by hand, left to dry and baked.


The sawn surface of the stone is planed by machine using high-pressure diamond pads to create a smooth face. Depending on its hardness, the surface will be left with a satin or more matt finish. The edges are diamond-sawn and typically contain imperfections. Once grouted, these imperfections blend into the stone for a truly natural effect.


This finish is low sheen with some texture or graining. The effect will vary depending on tile.


As its name suggests this finish gives the stone a glossier appearance. It is a slight advance on a honed finish which processes the stone with finer grade diamond pads to close in the surface of the stone so much that it will reflect light. A polished finish tends to work better on harder and more compact stones such as marble. The edges are diamond-sawn and typically contain imperfections. Once grouted, these imperfections blend into the stone for a truly natural effect.


Genuinely reclaimed products, often more than 100 years old. Each tile varies and requires a little more attention on site.

Riven or Rockface

A riven finish is naturally split along the strata of the stone to create an authentic surface that will vary from stone to stone. There is normally a high variation in thickness with riven stones (unless they are calibrated at source). In order to achieve a relatively even surface, when the tiles are being laid the adhesive bed can be manipulated to reduce this variation. Riven stone tends to disguise the wear and tear of everyday family life.


This finish is low sheen and smooth to touch. The effect will vary depending on tile.


The stone undergoes a high-pressure process which brushes the surface, uncovering its natural character and adding an extra dimension to the product. Edges are usually straight with a little rounding.


As its name suggest this is a raw finish left by the cutting process of the stone, normally used on external stones for its low slip properties.


Heavily tumbled edges and a textured surface, which is either naturally occurring or applied to give the stone a rugged, flagstone effect.


This finish is very matt with some relief to the surface. The effect will vary depending on tile.


The stones are individually placed in a jumbo rotating vat, which is full of pebbles, to create naturally soft, round edges – much like pebbles on a beach. Great for replicating a ‘lived in’ look that is not too rustic.

Tumbled and etched

This is an extra etching process that is applied to tumbled stone to increase slip resistance. The stone undergoes a washing process that etches the surface, improving it by retaining natural warmth and colour.


The stone is first etched producing a ‘bleached’ look and then undergoes a satino process which gives it a tactile, velvety feel. This finish works effectively in both traditional and modern interiors.


The edges of the stone are fettered by machine, while the surface is either honed or satino finished, producing a simple yet charming, cost-effective finish.


The result of an intensive process where the edges of the stone are chipped, exposing an open-grain surface. A weathered finish authentically replicates the appearance of ancient flagstones.


This is a smoothing process that is applied to riven stone by hand or machine. The process grinds down to the natural undulations of the surface and creates the effect of old flagstones.