Help selecting raised hearth stone materials
We're in the process of building a new home with a masonry wood burning fireplace and need some advice selecting hearth stone materials. The fireplace will be faced with Eldorado stone and will have a raised hearth. We've been considering Cultured Stone hearthstones (their color and texture better matches our stone than Eldorado's brand). However, we're concerned that logs dropping on the stones, pokers, etc. will nick through the painted surface of the hearth stones fairly quickly (revealing the gray concrete underneath). We're told nicks can be re-touched with paint but this seems high-maintenance. We've considered stained concrete but have heard it's crack-prone (not sure why since hearthstones are made of concrete as well?). We don't like the tiled look as it's a rustic style fireplace and want the hearth color to be fairly uniform and neutral in color so as not to conflict with the stone. What are anyone's thoughs on granite or quartz if we can find a color that works? We've looked at natural stone too but run into problems with varying thicknesses, lengths, and patterns. Thanks for any advice, photos, etc!