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Your experience with slate as a hearth pad please

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by CarbonNeutral, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. CarbonNeutral

    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...


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  2. d.n.f.

    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

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    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

    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

    runandjump New Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Southern Ohio
  6. firefighterjake

    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

    trailblaster New Member

    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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