A slate stone fireplace is remarkably versatile and can be made to look right at home in virtually any style or setting. Due to its ability to be manipulated by human hands and finished in a variety of ways to create
a multitude of different looks, this beautiful natural material is equally at home in everything from a rustic log cabin to a sleek urban penthouse!
Slate Fireplace above via Modern Organic Interiors
Used in construction for thousands
of years, natural slate is dense, strong, acid resistant, non-absorp-
tive and impervious to freeze/thaw cycles. Available in a rainbow of col-
ors including black, gray, green, pur-
ple and red, it is often mottled with more than one color and infused with
tones of gold, copper and warm
earth tones, as shown in the two ex-
As a fireplace facing material, slate can be used in its natural state in the form of irregularly-shaped slabs and roughly textured blocks to give it a very rustic look, as shown in the example below left. For a more refined appearance, the facing of the cut stone blocks on the example below, right, has been honed to a smoother finish and combined with dimensional stone for added contrast.
In the following slate stone fireplace photos, slate tiles are used. Note the variations in color and texture, as well as the size, shape and positioning of the tiles in each example . . . . which make it possible to achieve a variety of different looks.
The two examples below present a study in contrasts. Though both are rather modern or contemporary in design,
the example on the left uses pre-
cisely cut and fitted tiles with a smooth finish to achieve a sleek and so-
phisticated look. Conversely, the example on the right employs randomly cut and fitted stones with a textured facing to give it a more casual and laid-back look.
The ability to manipulate slate in so many ways makes it extremely ver-
satile and an excellent choice as a fireplace facing material. For exam-
ple, the fireplace pictured in the
close-up at right was created by stacking slate tiles horizontally so
that only the edges are visible . . . resulting in a very distinctive look.
In the example below, left, a black slate stone fireplace mantel was highly polished to reveal the
ful -- albeit subtle -- variations in color and veining. Below, right, a
Cumbrian green slate fireplace surround is carved and incised with dragon-
flys for a truly unique look! And finally, the slate stone fireplace design at bottom employs a ribbed slate surround for a very contemporary look.
The final two examples on this page -- though very different from one another -- were selected for their design originality and flawless execution. The rugged "lodge-style" fireplace pictured below, left, artfully blends fieldstone and river stone with large, randomly cut and roughly textured slate slabs which are punctuated, horizontally, by two smooth dimensional stone mantel shelves and a hearth. The overall effect is truly impressive!
The deep tones and rich hues of the slate tiles on the contemporary design pictured below, right, are beautifully framed by the richly finished hardwood cabinetry flanking the fireplace. An elegantly curved mantel shelf ties it all together to create a very unified and harmonious composition!
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