Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Slate?
A: Slate is composed from a fine grained layering of a shale-type rock formed from compressed clay or volcanic ashes. It is mined for its durability and attractive qualities. When the slate is in the quarry, it is expertly cut using specialist tools by striking parallel to the compressed layers. This causes the slate to 'split' and part naturally exposing the riven surface

Slate is quarried in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. Spain is the worlds largest producer and exporter of slate; closely followed by Brazil


Q: What is riven slate?
A: Riven slate is the natural textured surface of the slate. It has a more rugged and uneven surface with a rough consistency to the touch. It is the most popular choice of slate for its rustic-cottage appearance. On parting the layers of slate, if the split runs evenly the surface can be relatively smooth or it can be very ridged in pattern if the split travels through multiple layers. No two pieces of riven slate will ever look the same

Q: What is honed slate?
A: Honed slate is when the surface of the slate has been carefully and mechanically smoothed down using a series of specialist processes and equipment to produce a very smooth and satin-like finish. The honed surface will look clean and even in appearance with a polished cloud-like pattern

Honed slate is much easier to keep dust free, it is darker in appearance which can be maintained by washing in a mild soapy water and a soft cloth, then followed by treating with a small amount of linseed oil. This will stop your slate from fading 

Q: What colour can i have my signs letters and numbers?
A: We offer five matt and two metallic enamel paint choices, which are as follows: Matt: WHITE, Metallic: SILVER, Metallic: GOLD, Matt: CREAM, Matt: GREY, Matt: VIOLA and Matt: SAGE.

We also offer a no fill/no paint option which produces a really nice finish on both riven and honed slate signs. If this option is not displayed in the products drop-down menu, please state this detail preference in the 'Extra Instructions' box. All our paints are specialist enamels and UV resistant, waterproof and weather proof, which means even our metallics will not fade  


Q: How can I clean and maintain my slate house sign?
A: Once your sign has been installed it is a good idea to periodically clean your sign every 6 to 12 months keeping it free from dust and dirt. This will maintain the overall surface appearence, keeping the lettering looking crisp and the slate looking at its best. Both honed slate and natural riven slate will need to be cleaned differently

Honed Slate
Using mild detergent soapy warm water; wash over your sign with a sponge or soft cloth. Pay attention to the lettering to remove dust debris. Allow to dry naturally. To revive and restore the dark appearance of honed slate, we recommend simply applying Tableau Slate oil sparingly with a very soft cloth, removing any excess and then allow to dry. This will protect and seal the slate from stains and watermarks. We do not recommend slate oil for natural riven slate

Natural Riven Slate
Using mild detergent soapy warm water; wash over your sign with a sponge or soft cloth. Pay particular attention to the riven layers and lettering to remove built up dust debris. Allow to dry naturally. Once dry take a clean dry lint free cloth and rub the slate surface over firmly, this will restore the natural appearance

Q: Can i choose my own font?
A: Most of our handmade slate signs are fully customisable, meaning you can personalise your sign by choosing any of the fonts listed in the products table tab. If however, you want a font not listed, we can do our very best to obtain your desired font choice. Please request this by using the 'Extra Instructions' box.

Some of our themed handmade signs cannot be font personalised as they have a specific font inkeeping with its design. This will be indicated clearly on the signs product description


Q: What can i expect from a natural slate product?
A: Each piece of slate quarried is unique in its composition and texture depending on where in the World it has been sourced. This can mean that on occasions you will see visible the mineral Pyrite also known as 'fool's gold' running through the slate. It can give the appearance of glittery gold specs. Sometimes, when engraving the lettering the slate can break down at different times due to the composition of dense to soft shale rock and clay. This can give a bubbly appearance to lettering. However, this is not detrimental to the integrity of the sign and is not due to faulty paint. When making a purchase with us it is important to consider whether a natural product will be suitable for your requirements as natural texture variation or mineral composition imperfections are not refundable 

Your Question not Answered?

If you have any questions at all about having a sign made up for your property, please feel free to give us a call on 01749 673 603 or complete our simple Contact Form for a fast email response