Slate vs Honed Granite

jennypieFebruary 14, 2005

We are planning on having either a slab of slate or a slab of honed Absolute Black granite installed for our hearth. Our granite installer told us that slate wouldn't hold up very well and recommended the granite (he also just happened to have a remnant of the granite he wants to get rid of). Has anyone here had any experience with either material? We are planning to have a tiled, 20's style craftsman fireplace surround.

Thanks, Jenny

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Slate quarried in VT and upstate NY holds up very well (the edge does not chip or crack) and works well as a fireplace hearth. It has a dull finish and when honed is smooth, with no cracks or crevices. I have had a FP with slate and one with granite and both can be beautiful but they offer 2 very different looks. Granite, even honed AB, has a pattern, slate does not. Slate can have variation and swirling of 2 different colors, but slabs can be had that are one color only. IMO, and only in IMO, slate is preferable to granite because of its naturall dull finish, it would let your tiled surround "pop" without calling attention to itself.

Full disclosure: I am a slate fan, and have had it in previous homes as fireplace surrounds, flooring and patios, so I am sort of prejudiced. I will also only have slate quarried in VT or upstate NY, as I know it doesn't chip or delaminate.

I have included a couple of links to quarries that carry VT slate.



    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 1:27PM
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We have a 12" slate tile raised hearth in our kitchen eating area and it's held up really well and looks good. Either of your choices should work technically so go with the one you like the best!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 5:20PM
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I chose a Granite Hearth for my Vermont Castings Direct Vent Propane Fireplace. Since my Great Room has lots of angles, I did not get a rectangular hearth. Instead the length of the hearth against the fireplace is 5 feet in length and the length of the outer edge is 4 feet. The sides angle in evenly to make it 4 feet. And it turned out fantastic. It's also leftover granite - Blue Pearl - from my kitchen.

I was also going to get a mantle and corbels made from the granite until I heard how much they would weigh. Since I'm already putting a 5 foot wide heavy antique custom made mirrow above the fireplace, I didn't want to add more weight. My mantle will be a paint grade wooden one that I'll paint a flat black.

My fireplace surround is Vermont Casting's cast iron bay window and surround. It's not installed yet. But when it's done it should all look awesome.

Note: Instead of slate, did you check out Bluestone? I would think Bluestone would be more durable than slate.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 6:23AM
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Sir either one are durable for fireplace it's all up to you on which color you like. My father and I have done over 3000 fireplaces in Granite and Slate so just get samples that you like take them to your fireplace and pick the one that looks good. In Granite I will tell you that Absolute Black is the preffered color because it is the strongest of the Granite colors. Also make sure your installer has exp. and don't be afraid of asking a lot of questions, It's your fireplace and you will have to live with the results so take your time and good luck.(Fred G.)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 1:23AM
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I am having my fireplace covered with slab marble (crema marfil). Do I use the same marble for the hearth (flat on ground) or do I use slate or darker colored stone?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 11:53PM
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I personally prefer Slate. I think Slate gives little more cozy, inviting (wormer) look and wont be as flat looking like black granite.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Slate

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 9:23PM
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