So, what’s the difference?  Most often when we use the descriptors, gauged, semi-gauged, or un-gauged tile we’re referring to slate tile. Most of our slate falls into the category of semi-gauged which means that it has undergone a grinding process that levels out one side of the tile creating a relatively flat surface. Once installed, semi-gauged tile creates a smoother, more level floor because the thickness of each tile is fairly consistent.

Ungauged tile, on the other hand, is much less refined and varies greatly in depth from tile to tile. By definition, ungauged tile is textured on both sides and has not been machine-altered in any way. It is often hand-split and boxed right at the quarry which means a greatly reduced price for the buyer. So, if you’re flexible with the look and feel of your tile, ungauged slate will save you 50-100% of the cost of it’s gauged counterpart. Although a bit raw in look at feel, unguaged stone offers greater design possiblities during installation because either side can be installed face-up depending on the amount of color variation you desire.  Installers should note that unguaged tile generally requires more work to install.

If you want a smooth finish, you’re in the market for gauged tile. When tile is gauged it has been honed on one side creating a surface that has a consistent texture and thickness. Because the manufacturing process requires more effort, gauged tile almost always comes with a higher price tag.

So, there’s your tile lesson for the week. You’re choice between gauged, semi-gauged and ungauged tile will depend on your budget and the design aesthetic you’re looking for. Ciao!