How do I know your slate is good quality?

 

Our slate is Grade 1 Italian Slate, imported directly from Italy. This is the highest classification available. Beware of other retailers who offer Brazilian or Chinese slate or who simply do not state the quality  Unfortunately in our experience, Grade 2 slate often has variations in it, which are technically 'natural' so you have little grounds for complaint, but in reality the hearth may look as if a child has scribbled over the hearth with a lead pencil! A slate hearth is an investment purchase, which you are no doubt going to be looking at for many years to come, so please do ensure you choose your supplier carefully.  We are proud to have never had a customer that has been disappointed in the quality of a slate hearth we have supplied. See below for some photos of our slate vs Brazilian Slate to highlight the difference in quality. Note the swirling and colour variations in the Brazilian Slate, which is why it is often offered at a cheaper price.

What is the difference between Honed slate and Riven slate?

Honed slate has a smooth, flat finish whereas Riven slate has a rougher texture and grain providing a more rustic and natural look. 

 

What colour is the slate and what is the difference between oiled and unoiled?

Our slate is naturally grey in colour when unoiled. All hearths can be oiled at no additional cost. An oiled hearth is darker in colour and looks virtually black.  If you are unsure which to opt for, we recommend ordering an unoiled hearth, as you can easily oil this yourself at a later date. You can even wash over the hearth with plain water, which will turn the hearth temporarily black i.e. the colour of an oiled hearth. It will dry back natural grey a few minutes later. This enables you to see which colour you prefer with your set up at home. 

I am in a hurry for the hearth. Can you get it to me quickly?

Our turnaround time is usually 1 - 2 weeks from ordering. We are sometimes able to express orders hearths - it really just depends on your requirements and the availability. We also hold a small stock of hearths ready for speedy collection or delivery. 

What is a boxed and lipped hearth and why do people order this options?

A boxed and lipped hearth is a 20mm or 30mm thick hearth set on risers. A riser is an additional piece of slate which is glued underneath the hearth along the front and side edges. The risers are generally set back approximately 12mm - 13mm from the edge. This gives the effect of lifting the hearth and therefore produces a greater overall height. Risers are usually 20mm or 30mm but can be custom made too. The setback depth can be changed too if required).

A greater depth is sometimes necessary in order to comply with regulations for some fireplace set ups. Consult your fitter for advice and guidance. Some customers may also opt for a boxed and lipped hearth as they want their hearth to raise above their carpet/flooring and the lipping means that carpet/flooring can sit underneath the overhang.

Why are some hearths cut into sections?

Cutting a hearth into 3 sections can help by preventing the hearth from cracking by providing expansion joints between the pieces of slate. This can be suitable for Basket Grates or Cast Iron Insert fireplaces. It is often not necessary to cut the slate into 3 pieces for a wood burning enclosed stove, however we are happy to cut a hearth into sections if you wish.  Please consult with your fireplace fitter for further information. 

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