What is gauging and how does it improve sandstone tiles?

Is gauging different to honing?

Gauging is a process in which natural stone tiles are ground down so that the back of the tile is flat. It's a process typically reserved for slate, however it is sometimes referred to in regards to other stone like sandstone. For example, sandstone may be gauged to produce a cleaner finish.

Let's discuss what the process of gauging is and the various finishes available for sandstone tiles.

What is gauging natural stone?

There are a few definitions of gauging you might come across.

The first refers to the process of measuring and filing a set of stone tiles to ensure they are all the same (or near identical) thickness. This is more commonly referred to as calibrating, however some will call it gauging.

More popularly, gauging refers to preparing the surface of a stone to be even or consistent. Often this will only relate to the back side of the tile, particularly when referring to slate pavers. Because these are outdoor stones, some people like a somewhat rough surface to walk on but having a flat back side means the tiles are more easily installed.

Finally, and perhaps most rarely, gauging can refer to a process otherwise known as honing. This is much like the same as gauging for slate, but is common among all types of natural stone and instead applies to the top surface. Because most stone, unlike slate, is cut from a larger block, the back often does not need to be smoothed. However, the top side of the stone tiles need to be honed if you want a smooth, consistent finish.

Sandstone is a great example when thinking about the difference that honing can make. Picture it in its most organic form – a rough stone shaped by the elements. Its surface is naturally jagged and craggy – beautiful to look at but not the most pleasant for walking on. However, it's also a very popular stone for flooring, particularly outdoors. You don't want your paved areas to be unpleasant to walk over, so you'd generally opt for a honed sandstone tile.

What other sandstone finishes are available?

Here at BauMart Natural Stone, we stock sandstone in beautiful Golden Palimo, White Palimo and Yellow Palimanan shades, which can all be excellently finished to suit whatever purpose you may have for the tiles.

Let's take a look at the beautiful finishes available for sandstone tiles.

  • Honed: As discussed above, honed sandstone is a beautiful option perfect for pavers as its smooth surface is comfortable under foot.
  • Natural split face: The opposite of honed tiles, split face stone is rough and raw – resembling its natural state. The surface of split face stone is jagged, organic and wild. It's ideal for external walls or feature pieces. The imperfect surface brings an immersive historic element and innate warmth that other finishes struggle to compare to.
  • Sawn-cut: If you're after the best of both worlds, sawn-cut is your answer. This stone is sawn and left unhoned, allowing for natural imperfections on the surface. These tiles are not bumpy or uncomfortable, so they can be used as pavers, however they have variance in thickness that creates an organic feeling under foot – as though you're walking on stone in the wild, just without the discomfort.
  • Line chiseled: For a more unique alternative, you might consider line chiseled sandstone. This is more like split face, with clear lines chiseled across the surface of the stone. The result is a beautiful contrast between the rugged stone and clean, modern lines. You'll enjoy the same warmth and authenticity of split face but with a more modern, linear style.

For more information about our sandstone tile products, don't hesitate to contact BauMart Natural Stone today.