International slate specialists

At SSQ, we supply the highest quality slate for a range of aspirational applications. Our slate is popular with conservation area renovations and listed building installations. Combing the sleek and unique appearance of slate with some of the best weather protection available today, SSQ slate is the building product of the future.

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Natural slate pioneers

Forty years ago, Ahmed El-Helw fell in love with natural slate. At a Spanish trade show, he watched as skilled craftsmen demonstrated how thinly quality slate can be split and cleaved. He found it fascinating – so fascinating, in fact, that he’d go on to dedicate the next four decades of his life to the same material.

Ahmed founded Spanish Slate Quarries UK Ltd (SSQ for short), and became the first person to bring the finest quality Spanish slate to homeowners and architects around the UK.

University of Bristol
slate tiles on building

Discovering Del Carmen

However, in the beginning, it was far from easy. Ahmed quickly learned that slate, like any natural material, can vary hugely in quality. Even slate from the same country, or the same region, will vary significantly – which meant that if he wanted to offer the best of the best, Ahmed needed to track down a truly outstanding quarry. After commissioning an in-depth geological survey of North West Spain, the country’s natural slate heartland, he found one – Del Carmen.

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Sensational Spanish slate

SSQ’s Del Carmen slate is hand-picked by architects around the world for its outstanding aesthetics and consistently high quality. Del Carmen has a deep blue-black colour, a distinctive, faintly rippled texture, and attractive longitudinal grain.

Millions of Del Carmen slates have been installed by SSQ customers all over the world – and with quality controllers based practically on site in our Spanish office, our company’s uncompromising commitment to supplying only the best ensures our Del Carmen slate meets the most exacting international standards.

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Del Carmen First - Chafford Gorges Visitor Centre
Kresen Kernow

Finding phyllite

Not long after, SSQ branched into another, equally stunning and prestigious product – Riverstone phyllite. Phyllite exists in a perfect geological sweet spot. Hundreds of millions of years spent underground have made it hard and strong – even more so than slate. But it’s not so hard that it can’t be split for roofing and other purposes. Its mica flakes, and the tiny crystals on its surface, give it an unmistakable silky appearance – known in the industry as a phyllitic sheen – and its attractive grey-green colour instantly distinguish it from other products on the market.

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Trusted around the world

SSQ’s uncompromising commitment to quality have seen our products become known and sought-after all around the world. Today, as well as our logistics office in North-West Spain and quarry in central Argentina, we’ve got teams in 22 countries, meaning that wherever you are, you don’t have to settle for anything less than SSQ quality.

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Penyland Barn

Testimonials

The choice of SSQ Del Carmen was made easier after confirmation that it had gained approval for use in the Welsh National Parks as an alternative to indigenous materials. We were also pleased with the level of technical, design and on-site support we received from SSQ.

The Hafod Renewal Office

Testimonials

With so many ‘interested parties’ the local planners set their minds on a natural slate roof at a very early stage of the project and, from this starting point, we needed something that would satisfy a number of technical and aesthetic requirements – SSQ Domiz blue-grey, was the one chosen for use to compliment the local ‘Shere Green’ colour.

Ben Hunt, Total Project Integration

Testimonials

It was an absolute pleasure to meet you today, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time and a wonderfully informative CPD.

The whole team really enjoyed it, and you definitely conveyed your passion and knowledge of your products!

I would say I will keep SSQ in mind for future projects, but they always have been. However, I have definitely left with a need to utilise more slate in my design work!

Michael Clifton BSc ACIAT - Oakbridge Bespoke Homes Ltd

Testimonials

We specified SSQ First Domiz Blue-grey roofing slate for both technical and aesthetic reasons:its strength and quality gives the performance needed and its cold, hard, colour provides a dramatic foil to the rich warmth of the western red cedar walls.

Mark Webber, Architect, Nichols Brown Webber

Testimonials

Being both high quality and cost-effective, Matacouta slate from SSQ is proving very popular with specifiers and contractors alike for refurbishment as well as for new build projects.

Mr Roy Clark, Baxter Clark and Paul

Testimonials

SSQ Matacouta slate was chosen as the most sympathetic option. Its consistency and competitive price make it a clear winner over indigenous slates.

Historic Scotland

Testimonials

The choice of slates was made easier due to the quality of product you provide and the support of Gary Firth throughout the process – which I much appreciate. Gary is a good ambassador for your company.

Pat Murray, Senior Project Engineer, Alvance Group

Testimonials

SSQ Ultra Del Carmen slates come with a 75-year guarantee and that was important. Not only that, the on-site services promised – and delivered – by SSQ enabled a smooth and easy workflow.

Stuart Howes, Architect

Testimonials

Working in a conservation area brings a special responsibility. SSQ Riverstone slate fits perfectly, its tone and texture blending seamlessly with its surroundings.

Joan Kinane, Architect

Testimonials

SSQ Rocaber Blue-grey slate was actually chosen at the initial design-concept stage. A natural slate roof was in keeping with the traditional local architecture.

Tom Ewan, Architect at Model Developments

Testimonials

The quality and strength were there, the colour was similar to indigenous Welsh slate and its ‘traditional’ look was in keeping with the surrounding community. In fact, as I had used it on my own Edwardian house, I knew it was a good slate!

Julian Bohling, OSP Architecture

Testimonials

With the roofs being such a visible feature, the choice of roofing slate was a significant decision. We involved the roofing contractor at an early stage in the selection process and they recommended SSQ’s Del Carmen Blue-black slates. Although it’s not an indigenous slate, it is an excellent match for the originals and, having used Spanish slate on other projects, we know the quality is there.

Richard Thorpe, Ridge and Partners LLP

Case Study

Del Carmen and NRA Roofing rise to challenge on complex school installation

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Christ’s College

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Kresen Kernow

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Broad Meadow

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The Cowyards

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