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Frequently Asked Questions



What is the difference between a boxed and lipped hearth and a flat hearth?

A boxed and lipped hearth is a 20mm thick hearth set on 30mm thick risers. A riser is an additional piece of slate which is glued to the underside of the hearth along the front and side edges. The risers are usually set back approximately 6 -8mm from the edge. This gives the effect of lifting the hearth giving an overall height of 50mm.

A boxed and lipped hearth is shown below:


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Why might I opt for a boxed and lipped hearth?

An overall hearth height of 50mm is the regulation for fireplaces using Gas Coal Effect fires. Whilst it is not a regulation for Solid Fuel Fires some customers prefer the look of a boxed and lipped hearth. The other possible benefit of a boxed and lipped hearth is that if you are laying a wooden floor or carpeting up to the hearth you will have a smooth finish i.e the floor covering can butt up neatly as the main hearth is raised.

Do I have to have my hearth cut into sections for use with Solid Fuel?

Again this is not a regulation, however it can help prevent the hearth cracking by providing expansion joints between the pieces of slate. This can be suitable for Basket Grates or Cast Iron Insert fireplaces. Our experience is that often with an enclosed stove or woodburner it is not necessary to section the slate however this is a personal choice and we are happy to cut your hearth any way you choose. If you wish to discuss your requirements with us personally don't hesitate to give us a call.

Can I burn Solid Fuel over a slate hearth?

No, it is likely that burning solid fuel directly over a slate hearth will crack it, unless it is in an Enclosed Stove or a WoodBurner. We recommend that if you are planning of burning solid fuel in a Basket Grate or Insert Fireplace that you do so over a fondhu cement render as your back hearth i.e. under where the fire actually burns. Fondhu cement has a high aluminium content and cracks less easily that normal cement making it ideal for back hearths. Some customers may prefer to install a steel plate as an alternative to the fondhu cement option.

Can I have my hearth made in thicker slate?

We offer 30mm slate too. We can also provide hearths with flush risers (i.e. level with the top section and repolished) to any depth giving a thicker overall appearance.

Can we cut hearths into a t-shape in one piece of slate?

Absolutley. We specialise in made to measure hearths to customer requirements. You will just need to provide a drawing or exact measurements. Our prices are very competitive for this service.

I have children. Are the front edges of the slate/granite hearth sharp?

Rest assured on all our hearths the front and side edges are chamfered or pencil edged and then polished.

If you are particularly concerned we also provide a service where the corners of the hearth are rounded off. Please call us to discuss this.

What is the difference between Honed Slate and Riven Slate?

Honed slate can be described as a completely flat, smooth finish. Riven slate has a rougher texture and grain providing a more rustic and natural look.

What colour is the slate?

Both honed and riven slate are naturally a Clerical Grey colour. This is the unoiled finish. If you prefer we can oil the slate for you which turns the colour to Virtual Black. If you are not sure which to choose you can opt for unoiled and then you can temporarily turn the hearth black like an oiled finish simply by washing it with white spirit it will turn black as though you have oiled it. 5 minutes later it will dry back to natural grey. If you preferred the oiled finish you can oil it yourself using WD40 or similar for a permanent virtual black finish.

How do I retain the colour of my hearth?

For unoiled (clerical grey) hearths customers are advised to simply wash the hearth with soapy water and dry with a cloth before wiping over some white spirit.

For oiled (virtual black) hearths customers can maintain the finish by regularly oiling the hearth with WD40 or similar.

I've scratched my slate hearth - what can I do?

We recommend you try papering down the scratch with finishing glass paper and either reoil it (for oiled hearths) or wash and wipe with white spirit for unoiled hearths.

Can you make other things in slate?

Yes we can. We have made many items for customers out of slate including window sills, steps, plant pot stands, speaker stands, kitchen worktops, fireplace slips and backpanels...or anything else you wish! We can do this in either riven or honed slate. Please call us to discuss your requirements.

I need my hearth in a hurry - can you get it made quickly for me?

We may be able to express make and deliver your hearth sometimes as quick as next day! Please call us to discuss.

I cannot collect from London - can you deliver to me?

Door to door delivery via our courier can be arranged for London postcodes for between 10 - 50 depending on postcode - please call for a quotation.

Delivery to the other areas in the UK can also be arranged at competitive prices - please call or email with your area details.

We are also pleased to recommend our trusted courier John Wilson who can be contacted on 07515 486860

Customers are of course welcome to arrange their own courier

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information about collection or delivery on 0208 533 5311