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How long does natural slate last? Does natural slate break easily?

A quality natural slate roof that's been professionally installed can last over a hundred years, with some natural slate roofs even outliving the building itself! It also resists cracks, scratches, breaks and chips. Del Carmen slate has one of the longest life expectancies of all natural Spanish slate, which is why we guarantee all Del Carmen roofs for up to 100 years. Read More

Does natural slate fade or darken over time?

Quality natural slate is the preferred option for restoring period properties as it will not fade over time. Our Riverstone, Del Carmen, and Matacouta slates will not fade or become discoloured even when exposed to the harshest environments.

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Is natural slate waterproof?

Thanks to a very low water absorption index, natural slate is renowned for its excellent waterproof qualities. Our Riverstone natural phyllite boasts exceptional durability and water absorption features.

Is natural slate slippery when wet?

Strong and durable, the impermeable surface of natural slate provides fantastic anti-slip qualities that’s ideal for a wide range of applications including bathrooms and shower rooms.

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WoodHouse Farm with Del Carmen installed
Roof slates in the sunshine

Does natural slate absorb heat?

Natural slate is one of the most heat resistant building materials available to-date. Read More

Does natural slate expand?

Natural slate can withstand extreme temperatures, making it the most durable option for hearths, kitchens, and roofs. With an exceptional melting point of 2000 centigrade, high grade natural slate will not expand, contract, or warp. Read More

Is natural slate fire resistant?

Natural slate and phyllite products are 100% non-combustible, which means they will not burn if exposed to fire. Read More

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How do you know if you have low quality slate?

High quality natural slate is certified to BS EN 12326 – W1-T1-S1 standards. Signs of poor quality include brittleness and sounding dull or rattling when tapped. When grading and selecting natural slate, if it has a 'ring' to it when you tap it you can trust that it is high quality slate. Read More

What is the average price of natural slate?

The average material cost for a natural slate roof can range between £40 - £80 per m².*
To provide a realistic idea of the cost of natural slate, it’s a good idea to consider the longevity of the slates alongside the initial financial outlay. Slates are one of the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials. Therefore, the initial cost is almost always outweighed by the years of use they provide with virtually no maintenance required. Read More

*Correct at time of publishing, August 2022.

What is natural slate commonly used for?

Thanks to its exceptional strength, resilience, and insulating qualities, natural slate is most commonly used for roofs, floors, and fireplaces. As well as natural slate roofing tiles and natural slate paving, other popular uses include snooker tables, headstones, and landscaping. Read More

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Larchwood tiles

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

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

It is a very attractive development and we needed something equally attractive and of equally high quality for the roofing material. SSQ Del Carmen slate is top quality, and we liked the colour and texture. What’s more, it is very good value. I’d have no hesitation choosing it again.

Mr Keith Wills, Clancy's Building Manager

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 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

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

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

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 put forward Riverstone as a cost-effective, yet high quality alternative to Welsh Slate, and it was accepted on that basis. The refurbishment work has now been completed and both the owners and ourselves are very happy with the result.

Keith Hicks Architect at Pave Hall

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

Everyone liked Sarria: the client was delighted with its appearance and its consistency made it easy to cut and lay.

Gary Lambert, Complete Roofing Contractors

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Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone provides reliable roofing solution for a piece of Cornish mining history

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Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone helps to restore part of Cornwall’s agricultural history

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Case Study

In with the new: SSQ’s Del Carmen restores Southampton University library

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Case Study

SSQ’s Riverstone raises the roof at Mottram St Andrew Primary Academy

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Case Study

Del Carmen helps revamp Saltash’s ‘Gateway to Cornwall’

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