Black Granite and Slate Hearths
Stone hearths are less traditional for post-Victorian fireplaces but the utility of Italian black slate and black granite has increased their popularity since the decline of open coal fires.
As a colour black will work with almost any decorative scheme and the larger pieces used give a more minimalist feel to the fireplace than do tiles for instance.
For gas fires and many solid fuel stoves the hearths can be in a single slab of stone, for most solid fuel fires the stone will be cut into smaller pieces and rejoined with reinforced concrete beneath.
The hearths come fully assembled as a box type structure made from 20mm thick pieces at an overall height of 50mm. The flat top of the hearth can either overhang the vertical pieces (called boxed and lipped) or be exactly the same size (called boxed flush).
Granite hearths are very hard wearing and have a durable gloss finish.
They are scratch resistant and difficult to damage in normal use but also more difficult to repair should any damage occur.
The most common black granite in use today is sourced from China in various sizes up to 60 inches x 20 inches. Larger sizes are available but are most commonly made from multiple smaller pieces. They are made to a tolerance of + or - 5mm from the nominal size,
Italian black slate hearths have a matt black finish.
They are not as scratch resistant as granite hearths but are much easier to repair should any damage occur.
Because of its machinability slate hearths can made to various shapes and sizes with an overall tolerance of + or - 5mm.
Usually hearths are simple shapes but we can offer a range of more complicated geometries such as bow fronted or chamfered or radiused corners.
The shape of the edge finish can be changed to have a full radius or an ogee.
With slate the back edge can often be machined to a template to fit up to an existing fireplace installation (for decorative purposes only).