Slate Hearths Suitable for solid fuel fires?Slate has been used in the fireplace industry for generations and is undoubtedly a great material to use for key feature areas, such as the fireplace hearth (base section of fireplace) Slate is a naturally occurring stone and quarried in Wales, Germany, Brazil, China and India (many other countries have deposits; however these are the most common sources of slate).
Slate Fireplace hearths reviewed:
1. Slate is a Soft material and was traditionally used to write on. This makes it a double edge sword when used to manufacture hearths. Slate will scratch in time and can be treated with linseed oil, however will always be a soft material. Homeowners whom install slate hearths frequently use them with wood burning stoves, and hence there is minimal movement near the hearth (and hence less chances of scratching the material)
2. Slate cannot be profiled in complex shapes like marble can. So if you are looking for an elaborate edge profile then this is not possible. It is possible to make a bowed (rounded) fireplace hearth in slate. However, this takes allot more skill and is hence more expensive
3. Slate is a non combustible material and can be used with gas fireplaces and electric fireplaces
4. Slate can be cut and rejoined to make a slabbed fireplace hearth. This method creates expansion joints and allows the heat to disperse avoiding the possibility that the hearth would crack whilst used for a solid fuel fire