Slate Paving is a very popular choice of paving for any garden or patio project but what’s the difference between each type?
The colours and textures will vary between each type of slate, depending on the origin of the stone and the range of options can be tricky to get your head around, so we’ve put together this handy guide that will talk you through the differences between Indian, Chinese and Brazilian Slate Paving, so you can be sure that you’re making the right choice for your garden!
Indian slate paving is a very natural looking stone with a riven surface texture that is created naturally when the stone is split along its layers and leaves beautiful variations in texture throughout the surface, with subtle rises and falls.
This means that no slab is exactly the same, one of the main appeals of Riven Paving, which has been a customer favourite for both modern and traditional patio designs for many years.
Like most natural stone paving, Indian slate is a very durable option for patios and pathways and a high-quality slate tile will last for decades. The durability of the stone makes it an excellent option for high traffic outdoor areas.
Read more about the two most popular styles of Indian slate paving below…
The deep and moody colouring of Indian Blue Black Slate will offer a bold finish to any patio with a range of black and charcoal as well as very subtle hints of blue.
Blue Black Slate has been described as having an almost metallic or glossy finish to the riven surface with a slight sheen and is typically very consistent in colour, without too much variation.
Indian Rustic Copper Slate Paving offers natural, earthy tones of gold, copper, blue and black, which suit a range of patio designs and are perfect for creating an authentic outdoor space.
As the name suggests, Rustic Copper Slate is great for any rural space and the colours compliment and traditional patio design with a slightly worn look so that the stone will slot right in as if it had been there for years already!
The mixture of natural colours will create an eye-catching finish to any exterior space and also look great when wet with the multicoloured tones across the riven surface texture becoming more accentuated.
Brazilian Black Slate offers a more premium appeal at an affordable price!
The lightly riven surface offers less harsh variations than Indian Slate and as a result, has a much smoother texture overall.
The range of black and charcoal tones will offer more variation with some grey tones coming through for a unique and high-end appeal to any modern patio.
Brazilian Slate is often regarded as a more modern alternative to Blue Black Slate, with the smoother surface appealing to more contemporary projects for a sleek finish.
Other Options Of Slate Paving
Welsh slate is regarded as a very high-quality material for any use, but the very high prices make it a much less popular option for paving.
At 4 or 5 times the price of its Indian or Brazilian counterparts, Welsh slate is far less popular these days and at upwards of £80/m², it’s almost a no-brainer when considering the quality, appearance and durability of the other options available.
In previous years, Chinese slate was a very popular option, however, the quarries in China recently stopped production and Indian slate has taken its place in the market.
If you are looking to extend a Chinese slate patio, the closest match you will get to this will now be Indian Slate which is a very similar stone in texture and appearance.
Sealing Slate Paving
Slate is naturally very stain resistant and due to the bold colours, any stains to the slabs are typically much less noticeable, but sealing your stone will always help to prevent staining, as well as the growth of any moss or algae.
Some sealants will simply seal and protect, whereas others can even be used to enhance the colour of your slabs, bringing out the natural colours. Sealing slate paving will also help to protect against other general wear such as fading which can sometimes occur over long periods, especially with a dark stone.
As for when to apply a sealer, there are no specific guidelines and most landscapers will have their own tried and tested methods. Some people choose to seal their slabs before laying to prevent any staining during the laying process and others prefer to leave their stone unsealed for up to a year, allowing the stone to weather naturally first.
To find out what is best for you, we always advise speaking to a local tradesperson who will be able to assess the needs of your project. You can find out more about Sealing Paving Slabs on our blog!
Both Indian and Brazilian slate offer durability and stain-resistance to any garden or patio, making them both great choices for those who want a no-fuss, low maintenance space!
The two different styles are very similar in price and the main difference between the two is down to the colours and texture of the slabs.
The lightly riven surface and dual-tone effect to Brazilian Slate appeals to more modern or minimal spaces and the more harshly riven texture of Indian slate is more suited to traditional spaces.
Slate slabs are incredibly stain-resistant, meaning that your stone can look as good as new for years to come. Designers often regard slate as a high-end material as it can really add value to any property!