Your experience with slate as a hearth pad please

CarbonNeutral Posted By CarbonNeutral, Aug 18, 2009 at 5:41 PM

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  1. CarbonNeutral

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 20, 2009
    Nashoba Valley(ish), MA
    Just found some really nice grey slate with a nice silver metallic fleck to it - will look great under our soon to be delivered ivory enamel F500 Oslo.

    It's not cheap at $7 per sq ft, but I don't particularly mind the cost as long as I don't have to replace it in two years.

    It will be on top of concrete board and ceramic board.

    Any comments from people with slate hearths - wear, spalling, cracks, etc.

    One caveat - the stove will be moved once a year for cleaning (don't ask), but I do intend to build a little wheeled cart that I can slide under the stove, lift the stove on jacks and move away from the stove pipes...

  2. d.n.f.

    New Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Nelson BC
    You should seal it. I had rough slate slabs in my last house for a hearth. Looks nice. Scratches. Slate is pretty soft.
    Needs to be resealed every few years depending on wear.

    Hides dirt well.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 23, 2006
    Boulder County
    I have had good luck with my home cheapo slate. I sealed it 6 years ago and i have not touched it since. It still looks good.
  4. Wet1

    Minister of Fire

    Apr 27, 2008
    I just bought some slate at Lowes for a DIY hearth project. I hear it's kind of a PITA to cut, but the price was right and it looks nice.
  5. runandjump

    New Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Southern Ohio
  6. firefighterjake

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I went with slate . . . namely because I had been given two free boxes of 1/4 inch slate flooring. I must admit after going a year with it that I am rather pleased with the look and the wear. I used a gray colored grout and combined with the dark slate I found like others that it tends to hide the dirt well. I also agree -- make sure you seal it. I went with a matte finish for a more stone like look -- this will help preserve the stone and make clean up easier.

    I have had no issues with wear, spalling, cracks or scratches . . . but I also don't move my stove, I'm careful not to drop wood or tools on the hearth and I wipe up ash spills or other messes right away. I also made sure the base of the hearth was rugged and not likely to have much flex to it.

    Since I had quarter inch tile (random sized) using a tile saw made cutting the slate wicked easy . . . thicker stuff might be a bit more challenging.

    If I had to do the hearth over or build another one I would most definitely consider slate again as I have been very happy with its performance.
  7. trailblaster


    Apr 10, 2008
    Loudon, NH & Greenville,ME
    We did our 3' x 8' hearth and 4' x 8' backwall with natural slate that was 3/4" thick. we purchased all 80+ of them from lowes and they cut 20+ pieces in half for me for free. i didn't have to cut any of them. For grout I used a platnum grey and filled the spaces with some kind of irregularity and not enirely flush for a rustic look. I later sealed it with a low gloss sealer (4 coats) and it never stains and is easy to clean. I 've dropped many peices of logs on it without a crack or chip. The only difficult part was hanging slate on the wall due to its weight.
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