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Natural Rough Granite Slab for Hearth

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by landrand, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. landrand

    landrand New Member

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    I’ve decided to renovate my lakefront cottage/home and make it more rustic looking to include adding a stone look wherever it makes sense. In addition, I have a brick fireplace that I plan to convert to utilize a free standing woodstove. Over the last few years I’ve been thinking about modifying/rebuilding the hearth so I can place a Hearthstone Heritage woodstove on it and pipe it through the chimney using stainless steel chimney liner. In addition, I plan to reface the brick with a cultured or perhaps a natural stone look.

    Recently, I talked to an older fella who owns land way out in the sticks that contains an old a granite rock quarry. He tells me he has all kinds of spectacular granite stone in every size, shape, and form. Yesterday I took a ride out to the quarry and it was very interesting to say the least. The quarry was mined from the early 1900’s to the 1940’s and today there is granite rock everywhere….and like he said, in every size, shape, and form. The granite bluff was blasted many years ago and there is considerable rock that would be suitable for building a natural rock fireplace, wall, or whatever. In addition, there’s thousands of large rock chunks with some as large as a car. I started thinking about the possibility of searching through his large quarry and perhaps see if I could find a granite chunk/slab that I could use as a hearth for the stove to sit on. I might be able to find something approximately 48”x42” with a thickness of anywhere from 4 to 6 inches that is relatively flat on the top and bottom. The owner also tells me that I may be able to find a suitable rock hearth slab from the larger chunks by finding one that has natural fractures with the approximate thickness I need. He says I could use a 5 lb hammer and chisel and use the natural fractures to split off the rock to create a slab with two flat sides with the correct thickness. The owner charges about $80 a ton for the rock.

    Was wondering if anyone has made their hearth using a big chunk of natural granite stone. Even if I can find something somewhat flat on the top and bottom, I’m wondering if it would be flat enough for the stove to correctly sit on. Perhaps, I may even be able to find someone in the area who can grind/polish the slabs top and bottom flat and smooth. Am I nuts for even considering this as a hearth? Any ideas or comments would be appreciated.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like it would make a beautiful and unique hearth, just be sure that it meets the stoves specs for size and is level once set. You might also want to add some support underneath. Together with the stove weight it will be heavy.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    :eek:
    Can you get a fork lift into your house? That slab is gonna be some sort of HEAVY at 4-6 inches thick.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    One member bought a piece of finished granite for a hearth . . . it looked spectacular.

    I think rough granite would look nice . . . but be a pain to clean without it being polished. Handling the granite could be a challenge . . . I would also suggest seeing how much it would cost to have the granite smoothed out . . . if you go the granite route you may find it easier to buy a piece of granite already cut and polished through a shop.

    In either case . . . I would be sure to check out the floor support . . . and make sure you install the stove to its installation specs. Some folks don't realize that some stoves require a set insulation value for the hearth and a single piece of granite may or may not meet those specs (on the other hand some stoves just require a hearth that would resist any errant embers and granite would work fine in this case.)
  5. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    I hadn't really thought of it that way before....but this is a hunk of granite that my pellet stove sits on. In the crawl space you can see the other side of it, and it's supported under there by old hand hewn beams. It is about 10 inches thick I'd say. It is rough, unfinished, and has been there for 250+ years and used for all the cooking in the house in its early days. Cleans up just fine with a damp cloth/vinegar and water and regular vacuum for the dust.

    [​IMG]

    This is one view of the bottom:

    [​IMG]

    Have fun and let us know what you decide to do! :)
  6. landrand

    landrand New Member

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    I found a third party who is selling two tables with granite tops that are 60"x42"x3" thick. He has 2 for sale at $200 each. The two table top granite slabs should be similar in color and looks, but I don't know for sure as I haven't looked at them yet. Here's a picture that he sent me. I have a local shop that can cut and polish granite and they charge $50 an hour. I don't know how heavy these slabs are, but I would assume that each uncut slab would weigh about 687 lbs assuming the density of granite is 2.65 grams/cm3.

    So, for $400 plus a few dollars more to have someone cut these slabs sounds a lot easier than spending days walking a quarry looking for a large natural granite hearth stone....then, with a chisel and hammer, spending hours trying to split off a natural granite slab with somewhat flat surfaces. I must admit though, the other day I spent an hour walking the quarry and it was kind of fun looking for a rock suitable for the hearth. The patterns and color in the natural granite was very beautiful!

    Maybe I should just throw down some 3/4 plywood and micore on the floor in front of the fireplace hearth and plop one of these $200 dollar 60"x42"x3" slabs on top and not even worry about messing with the existing fireplace hearth. Its not ideal, but I don't think that would look all that bad. I could cover the plywood and micore with some nice wood trim and have the 3” of granite showing from the front and sides. The 60"x42" would be bigger than the minimum hearth pad requirements for the Heritage stove.

    Granite Slab.jpg ExistingFireplaceHearth.jpg
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    The pic of the granite table almost looks like Deer Isle granite . . . mined here in Maine . . . it has a pink hue.
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    My last kitchen island I cut/polished it myself and it came out pretty good. No fancy edge, just a round over and the edge isn't as shiny as the factory top but with a little polish you can't tell. I bought a $50 broken remnant from a counter top fabricator. Then I cut with diamond saw blade on the circular saw and used an angle grinder w/ about $100 worth of dry polishing pads from Ebay.

    You're looking at something about 4x as thick, so it might not be an option. Still, a great deal on some hefty stone.
  9. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    That granite looks very nice with the brick...
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Those granite table tops look very nice and hard to beat at $200.00.. Bet the table top is very heavy!

    Good Luck!

    Ray
  11. landrand

    landrand New Member

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    At first I wasn't sure the reddish granite slab would look good with my Grayish/Blue Heritage soapstone stove sitting on top. I do agree, if I keep the brick look on the fireplace, the red granite would match and look rather nice. Well, I guess I need to take what I can get...cause it ain't easy finding granite slabs that are thicker than the normal 1 1/2". Now I need to figure out how I'm going to get them into my trailer as they weigh about 750 lbs each. I'll have them cut down to a smaller size to fit on the hearth. After cutting, they should be a lighter making it easier to haul them into the house.
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hire a couple goons to handle that heavy stuff!

    :cool:

    Ray

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